Part 3 of my Secretariat trilogy is a review of the long-awaited film
that opens nationwide on Oct. 8. For those who wish to see the movie
with an open mind and not be made aware of its flaws, you can just read
the opening and closing graphs. To the casual and non-racing fans, the
flaws will be of little concern. As much as I want the movie to do
well, and believe it will, I cannot write an objective review in a
racing publication without mentioning them. But this is Disney, and on
the feel-good meter, it registers a "10."
I decided not to write
a review immediately after seeing the movie in order to let it sink in
and come to terms with the revisionist history aspects of it. I didn’t
think it was fair to offer a knee-jerk critique as a racing aficionado
when the film was not geared toward an esoteric viewpoint. As
representatives of the film keep pointing out, it is not a documentary.
I said, I wish the film all the best and hope it does well, because the
sport needs all the positive mainstream exposure it can get. And it’s
time for people, especially the younger generation, to get an idea just
what kind of impact Secretariat had, not just on racing, but on the
American public. Imagine a horse today being on the cover of Time,
Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated in the same week and occupying the
entire front and back pages of the New York Daily News. Secretariat
transcended racing and sports in general, weaving himself into the
fabric of American culture.