The Return of Big Red

Wherein illustrator Sterling Hundley depicts Secretariat.

Sterling Hundley

This is a  big year for Secretariat, the Virginia-born Triple Crown Champion. He was born at The Meadow farm in Caroline County 40 years ago, charged to glory in 1973 and died in 1989. Even as his racing achievements fade into history, his legacy grows.

 Later this year, the chestnut stallion known as Big Red will be introduced to a new generation. The movie Secretariat is scheduled for a fall release. It will focus mostly on Penny Chenery, Secretariat’s owner, and the challenges she faced taking over her father’s falterng horse farm. Actress Diane Lane will portray Chenery (who now lives in Boulder, Colorado), and John Malkovich will play trainer Lucien Laurin. Also this year, Dementi Milestone Publishing will release Secretariat’s Meadow: The Land, the Family, the Legend, a pictorial history of the farm, the horse and the family. It was written by Kate Chenery Tweedy, Penny’s daughter, with Leeanne Meadows Ladin.

Seldom, if ever, does a thoroughbred season pass without racing experts recalling Secretariat’s career and his 31-length victory in the Belmont Stakes, during which TV announcer Chic Anderson exclaimed, now famously, “He is moving like a tremendous machine!”

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