Monday, September 27, 2010

SECRETARIAT!



I can't WAIT to see this movie! Secretariat is the greatest racehorse ever.

I just wish I'd gotten to see him run in person, but I do remember watching the Belmont Stakes on television, when he won by a whopping 31 lengths. That still makes me catch my breath whenever I think about it.

Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, I did at least get to see where he was born (at Meadow Stable, which was in Doswell, Virginia). Doswell was actually about a ten minute drive from where I went to college at Randolph-Macon. I still remember my father packing us kids into the car after Secretariat won the Triple Crown and driving the family up to Doswell to look at the farm. Mostly I remember the rows and rows of grassy meadows and white fences that went on forever.

Here's some Secretariat trivia for you: the average horse's heart weighs about 9 pounds. When Secretariat died, the autopsy revealed his heart weighed close to 22 pounds. It's not a genetic mutation; he happened to have the large heart gene that other great racehorses like Eclipse and War Admiral had. 22 pounds was unusually large for even these horses.

He was truly a remarkable horse, the greatest ever (no disrespect to Man O'War).

Zenyatta is rapidly earning her place among these ranks, though they don't run racing campaigns nowadays the way they were run back in those days.

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