Last night Ray, Leah and I got to watch the amazing movie, Secretariat, about the greatest racehorse in American history. Secretariat was a large, chestnut American Thoroughbred horse that became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in 25 years in 1973, setting new race records in two of the three events in the Series – the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. These records still stand today.
He was sired by Bold Ruler, one of the most important stallions of his day, and Somethingroyal’s foal.
The movie was incredible and inspiring, even though writer Steven Crist – whose article I found by googling “Secretariat” – dislikes the movie not being historically accurate, and who objects to Edwin Hawkins’ spiritual song O Happy Day at the end of the movie: “What in the world does “Oh Happy Day/When Jesus washed/He washed our sins away” have to do with Secretariat winning the Belmont by 31 lengths?”
Well, Jesus IS the one who made the horse and gave him the power and endurance to run like he did! ANYWAY!
Secretariat’s jockey Ron Turcotte, who rode him to historical victory in the Triple Crown, said Secretariat was the greatest and fastest horse he’d ever ridden. Ron said that the horse was a ham, loving crowds, highly intelligent, and that he just loved to run. He was not afraid of anything. Jockeys try not to get attached to horses, but Ron was to Secretariat. He doesn’t believe there will ever be another horse like him.
Factually accurate and sentimentally mushy or not, I thought the movie was still GREAT and LOVE it! I’ve always had a special place in my heart for horses (I want one!), and felt the movie had a great Biblical message – that we are winners, championship material. “All right then,” Penny said to Secretariat. “Let’s show them what you’re made of.”
It spoke to my heart about our lives as believers in Christ. “This is about life. You run at it!” Penny said of her horse.
- The odds were against Secretariat. He was one of the fastest horses in history, but many fast horses don’t have great endurance. When he died, it was discovered that Secretariat had an abnormally large heart, twice the size of a normal horse. This large heart was probably the reason he was able to run so fast and get more oxygen pumping in his body to endure. What spoke to me about this is that even when things seem very hard or even impossible, they aren’t because nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37) And may our own hearts be enlarged with God’s love.
- Sometimes all we need is just someone to believe in us, like Miss Chenery did Secretariat. “I’m that right,” his owner Penny Chenery (played by the beautiful Diane Lane) said about him winning the Triple Crown to wealthy breeder Ogden Phipps (James Cromwell), when he offered to buy him for $9 million and she refused because she knew she had a champion.
- “I’ve run my race. You run your’s.” – Chenery said to Secretariat the evening before the Belmont Stakes. We all have unique gifts from God that He wants us to use for His glory. We need to fulfill the specific calling God has given us. Secretariat was created to be fast by God, and I’m sure God smiled as He watched Secretariat run that last stretch, winning by 31 lengths and running the fastest 1 1/2 miles in history at 2 :24 flat!
- “I will not live the rest of my life in regret,” Penny said about not letting Secretariat race. Don’t live a life of regret. Live to the fullest. “Let him run, Ronnie! Let him run!” Penny shouted to his jockey as Secretariat was going down the backstretch at Belmont. What were you created to do and to be? Run your race here on earth well! Don’t hold back in fear, doubt, or intimidation!
- It’s your time. I loved watching the horse in the movie when he was at the gate, just before the race began. He eyed his competitor, but as soon as the gate lifted, all he focused on was what he was made to do – to run as fast as he could. Don’t worry about other people and what they think of you. Don’t try to be anyone other than who you are. It’s your time, your season. You are uniquely you, made for a specific purpose to glorify God. This year 2011 is going to be a wonderful year for you. God has great plans for you this year. (Jeremiah 29:11) Now is your time to shine!
Here is the movie trailer of Secretariat, and below that is a clip of the real horse Secretariat winning the Triple Crown. It is just incredible to watch him with that 31-length lead. The movie trailer and the clip of the real race just brought tears to my eyes. “‘You’re about to see something that you haven’t seen before!” Secretariat’s groom said. Amen! God’s creation is just amazing! Enjoy.
Video of movie trailer Secretariat
Video of Secretariat winning U.S. Triple Crown