Remembering Secretariat Movie 13 Years Later

Few movies are able to stand the test of time, but Secretariat is undeniably one of the best sporting movies that we have seen in the modern decade.

The movie helped transcend the feeling that many felt when watching the legendary racehorse run and captures the emotive feeling of all those involved with the famous runner, and those that watched any race that Secretariat was involved in.

The movie has turned 13 years old, and the story surrounding the great horse remains one of the most famous in the history of horse racing.

Secretariat Movie Was Released In 2010

Secretariat Movie Was Released In 2010

The movie centered on the life of Secretariat was released in 2010 and was released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was largely based on the book released by William Nack in 1975 called Secretariat: The Making of a Champion.

According to, many years after Secretariat run the Derby Of Roses he still holds the record of the fastest horse in the history of the Kentucky Derby.

The movie stars Diane Lane and John Malkovich as Penny Chenery and Lucien Laurin, respectively. As well as the two leading actors, the film also starred Margo Martindale, Graham McTavish, and James Cromwell. The movie was produced by Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray, with Randall Wallace directing the masterpiece.



Secretariat was widely applauded, and that saw the film pick up a number of prestigious honors at various award ceremonies. The flick was awarded the Christopher Award for Best Feature Film, while it was also named the Best Film for Mature Audiences at the MovieGuide Awards.

This movie was also nominated for Best Sports Movie at the ESPY Awards and also received a nomination for Best Live Action Family Film at the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Furthermore, Secretariat was nominated for Best Youth DVD and Best Cinematography at the Satellite Awards. Diane Lane also received critical acclaim for her performance, and she was nominated for Best Actress Feature Film at the Women’s Image Network Awards.


Like most films, Secretariat was subject to a number of underwhelming reviews, with one claiming that the flick was xenophobic due to the ‘unpleasant and stereotypical’ representation of non-white characters in the film. However, these claims prompted Bill Nack to respond, as he mentioned that the verbal attack on one of the characters before the Kentucky Derby was not intended in the manner in which the critic took.

Secretariat also bypassed a number of significant moments in the story, with reports from the Los Angeles Times pointing out that there were a number of historic inaccuracies. Those include the lack of mention of Riva Ridge, who managed to keep Meadow Stable afloat after winning the 1972 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. It was noted that without this, Secretariat’s story may have been different, as Chenery may never have had the opportunity to own the famous runner.

The reports also claim that the film led viewers to believe that Sham won the Wood Memorial Stakes before the Kentucky Derby. However, Angle Light in fact won the major prep race before the opening Triple Crown race. In fact, Chenery’s biggest conflict before the Derby was with Edwin Whittaker, the owner of Angle Light, and not Ogden Phipps.

Legend Of Secretariat Remains

To this day, Secretariat remains one of the most celebrated horses in the history of the sport. His career saw him set time records in all three Triple Crown races, as he became the ninth horse to achieve the Triple Crown.

The success also saw him become the first Triple Crown winner in the United States in 25 years, and his record-breaking 31-length success in the Belmont Stakes remains one of the greatest performances that fans have ever seen in the United States. Secretariat won five Eclipse Awards during his career and was named the Horse of the Year at both two and three.

His legend saw him nominated to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1974. Secretariat was named the second-best racehorse of the 20th century by Blood-Horse magazine, with only Man o’ War ranked higher than the legendary Triple Crown winner.

Two-Year-Old Campaign

Two-Year-Old Campaign

The movie ventures away from the majority of Secretariat’s career victories away from the Triple Crown, but his performances often saw viewers tune in just to watch the legendary runner. Secretariat made his racecourse debut aged two in 1972, as he finished fourth in a maiden.

However, he would then follow that disappointment with victories in seven of his next eight starts. That included victories in five stakes races. The only defeat that he suffered after that debut disappointment came in the Champagne Stakes, where he was disqualified after interference despite passing the post first.

Three-Year-Old Campaign

Secretariat’s three-year-old campaign will be the season where many will remember his great performances on the track. He started his season with a routine victory, before landing the Gotham Stakes by matching the track record. His first defeat as a three-year-old came in the Wood Memorial Stakes, as he could only finish third.

The defeat saw widespread questions asked of Secretariat’s ability to win the Kentucky Derby, but those were answered in emphatic fashion at Churchill Downs, as he landed victory with a record time.

That win was soon followed by success in the Preakness Stakes, as he landed victory by over two lengths from Sham. His legend had already emerged before the Belmont Stakes, as Secretariat featured on the cover of national magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Time, and Newsweek. Not one to disappoint his fans, Secretariat landed victory in the final Triple Crown race by a sunning 31 lengths.

Later Races

After becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years, Secretariat traveled to Arlington for the Arlington Invitation, which he won by nine lengths. However, one of the biggest upsets in the history of sport occurred on his following start at Saratoga, aptly named ‘the graveyard of champions’. Secretariat broke poorly and was eventually beaten by a length by Onion.

However, he would bounce back to form by winning the Marlboro Cup by three lengths, before suffering another shock defeat in the Woodward Stakes at Belmont. But, Secretariat would end his career with two major victories, landing successes in both the Man o’ War and Canadian International.