A Rocky Mountain High for Secretariat’s Meadow

Have been on a “Rocky Mountain high” since our whirlwind trip to Denver for the advance screening of the Secretariat movie on Sunday September 12.  Over 400 guests of the Chenery family attended and so did Entertainment Tonight! They interviewed Penny and Kate and shot a lot of footage of the crowd.  The LA premiere is September 30 and this segment is supposed to air sometime before that, we think.

The movie was everything I had hoped it would be. Three things impressed me the most :  the thrilling, hoof-pounding (and heart-pounding) racing scenes; Diane Lane’s portrayal of Penny facing her many challenges with determination, class and style; and the emphasis on The Meadow, Secretariat’s Virginia birthplace. As a Virginian, that was very meaningful to me.

After the screening, the crowd, which had filled two theatres, surged back into the lobby, buzzing about the movie. People were saying that  even though they knew the ending, the  movie was still very exciting .  There were many comments about how the movie would show what a great role model Penny Chenery was (and is!) especially for women and girls.

 The movie is sparking a resurgence of interest in this great champion by letting us “boomers” relive those glory days of his Triple Crown  and it’s introducing him to a whole new generation.    Never did I imagine, as I sat in front of our black and white TV in 1973, screaming as Secretariat won the Belmont in another zip code from the rest of the field, that I would be signing a book about him at a movie screening. We sold 10 cases of books in one hour!

And I get to do it all over again on September 22 with the Virginia Thoroughbred Assoc. in Northern Virginia at a special screening they are hosting.  Hope we can do as well as we did in Denver!  I certainly don’t mind this kind of writer’s cramp!

Leeanne Meadows Ladin

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