The film chronicles the life of Thoroughbred race horse Secretariat , winner of the Triple Crown in In , Denver housewife and mother Penny Chenery Diane Lane agrees to take over her ailing father, Christopher Chenery's Meadow Stables in Doswell, Virginia , despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. With the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin Malkovich , Chenery navigates the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and one of the greatest racehorses of all time.
Penny learns of her mother's death and returns to her childhood home. She reunites with Mrs.
Ham, her father's secretary, and comforts her confused and elderly father. The Hancocks offer any help she may need during her efforts to bring Meadow Stables back to profitability.
Penny's brother Hollis informs her of a dishonest sale that was about to be made by the trainer until their mother stopped him. Penny fires the trainer and asks Bull Hancock to help her find a new trainer.
Penny's father had made a deal with leading owner Ogden Phipps that if Phipps breeds his best stallion Bold Ruler to Chenery's two best mares Somethingroyal and Hasty Matelda , the two owners would flip a coin to see who receives which foal.
Bold Ruler, the stallion, was fast but couldn't last over distances. Hasty Matelda is the obvious choice for her young age, but Somethingroyal's bloodline is made up of many horses with good stamina. Penny hopes to choose Somethingroyal's foal for the interesting mix of speed and stamina. Phipps wins the toss and chooses Hasty Matelda's foal, leaving Penny with Somethingroyal's foal, Secretariat. When Secretariat enters his first race at Aqueduct race track in Queens , New York City , everyone has high expectations.
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The jockey, Paul Feliciano, is very young with little experience, which worries Penny, but Lucien reassures her. During the race, Secretariat is repeatedly hit by other horses and comes in fourth.
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Penny and Lucien fight, and Lucien blames Paul for the loss. Penny realizes the only way Secretariat will ever win is if he has an experienced jockey. Penny's flight back home is canceled on the day of the race, and she misses her daughter Kate's solo in a play. Her son holds up the pay phone so Penny can hear Kate sing. Penny gets experienced jockey Ron Turcotte to ride Secretariat to many victories.
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Secretariat is named horse of the year after a successful two-year-old season. Penny's father suffers a stroke and dies, leaving Penny and her brother Hollis to inherit the estate. Although she needs six million dollars to pay estate taxes , Penny refuses to sell Secretariat.
Instead she syndicates the horse, selling 32 shares worth more than six million dollars, as long as he can win a three-year-old distance race.
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She tries to sell a share to Ogden Phipps, who instead offers to buy the horse for seven million dollars. Penny refuses to sell him. When Phipps demands to know why, she tells him Secretariat's value will triple when he wins the Triple Crown — a feat no horse has accomplished in twenty-five years. During this time, Frank "Pancho" Martin , trainer of rival horse Sham , tries to provoke a match race with Secretariat.
Secretariat is taken to the Wood Memorial three weeks before the first of the Triple Crown races to take on Sham and attempt to earn Penny her syndication money. Turcotte notices that the horse's breathing is heavy, he refuses to eat, and he is reluctant to allow the bit into his mouth. After Secretariat loses the race, an abscess in his mouth is discovered that may have caused the poor performance.
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Secretariat recovers and wins both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in record time. Sham comes in second place in both races and Pancho Martin tells Sham's jockey, Laffit Pincay, to stay with Secretariat through the Belmont in an attempt to tire him early and win. An exhausted Sham ends up in last place, having failed to keep up with Secretariat's record-breaking pace. Penny and her family receive the Triple Crown trophy at the end of the race.
He was also a consultant for the film, and made a cameo appearance. The website's critical consensus reads: "Rousing, heartwarming, and squarely traditional, Secretariat offers exactly what you'd expect from an inspirational Disney drama — no more, no less.
Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert gives the film a four out of four stars saying that " Film critic Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.
I don't find anywhere in Secretariat the ideology he discovers there. Nack wondered who O'Hehir could claim as a source to say that Martin wasn't boastful. Bill Christine, a former long-time racing writer for the Los Angeles Times , pointed out that the film made some significant departures from Secretariat's actual history.
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These include:. Steve Haskin, a sportswriter for The Blood-Horse , had some of the same issues, particularly the omission of Riva Ridge and the staging of the Wood Memorial.
He also added: "Although the horses who played Secretariat did not capture the majesty and physical presence of Big Red, the equine stars did well enough, considering there isn't a horse alive who could have done justice to him.
A more thorough comparison between the film and history can be drawn from comparing the plot summary to the narrative of events in the actual life of Secretariat.
The Blu-ray bonuses include a look at how the racing scenes were filmed, an interview with Penny Chenery, and a profile of Secretariat's Belmont race. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Theatrical release poster.
Walt Disney Pictures Mayhem Pictures. Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company.
Retrieved October 7, Box Office Mojo. Retrieved Kansas City Star. Boston Globe.
Cincinnati Enquirer. Bloodstock in the Bluegrass.
October 9, Rotten Tomatoes. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 3, Retrieved May 4, October 6, Chicago Sun-Times. October 7, Archived from the original on October 12, Talking Horses. Horserace Insider. Retrieved 21 June Box Office Magazine.
Secretariat: The Making of a Champion
The real Secretariat story
Mike Rich Sheldon Turner. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Best Film for Mature Audiences.