Travers Weekend Will Wrap Up with a Big (Red) Bang.

PENNY and RED RONIf you’re like me, you adore Secretariat, and the legacy that was carved out by that great horse with key humans in his life, Penny Chenery and Ron Turcotte.

If you’re like me, you drink in Anything Secretariat, always on the prowl for events that bring you closer to Big Red and the team that rode him on his flight to glory.

Lucky you! Lucky us! I am absolutely delighted to share with you the news that, this Sunday (August 24th) in Saratoga Springs, New York–you can get a serious fix of Secretariat and his people.

You see, on Sunday,, in partnership with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will present a special double-feature film screening of the extraordinary documentaries, Secretariat’s Jockey, Ron Turcotte and Penny and Red, the Life of Secretariat’s Owner in the Museum’s Hall of Fame Gallery.

I don’t need to tell you–but I will–that Ron Turcotte, who famously looked over his left shoulder during Big Red’s triumphant, football-field-length romp home in the 1973 Belmont Stakes, was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1979. (I asked him once what he was thinking at that moment and of course he responded, “Where the Hell is everybody?”)

What a stellar way to wrap up Travers Week, with a celebration of the horse who changed the lives of so many people–who converted so many hearts into hard-core racing fans, and who brought hardened sports fans to tears of joy and disbelief.

Mr. Turcott will be a special guest at the event, and ready to meet you–us–his legion of fans.

The evening will kick off with an optional VIP reception at 6PM–you want to be a VIP, don’t you?–at which you’ll be treated like a Triple Crown winner.  No blanket of flowers draped across your shoulders, but a fabulous repast in a singularly-elegant and appropriate setting at the Museum. (And I heard a rumor that other racing luminaries will be on-hand to meet you. I can’t wait to see who they are.)


At 7PM, you’ll join other filmgoers in our beautiful Hall of Fame Gallery for the screenings of the two marvelous films.  (I haven’t seen either yet, and so am overjoyed that I’ll get to see them at my favorite museum in the world, with Meadow Stable’s cobalt and white checked silks looking down upon me.)

Interesting details: Secretariat’s Jockey, Ron Turcotte, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, is expected to start at 7:00 pm. The 75-minute film will be followed by a Q & A session with Mr. Turcotte. (Isn’t that cool? Finally you can ask all the questions that have been in your racing heart for 41 years.)

Then, a brief intermission so you can stretch your haunches, then…

Penny & Red, the Life of Secretariat’s Owner, the 60-minute film produced by John Tweedy’s Landlocked Films, will begin at approximately 9:00 pm.

Both films–distinct, revealing and critically-acclaimed–have something in common: both share intimate views of Secretariat’s most legendary connections, as well as rare historical and previously-unreleased footage.  We racing history buffs are eager to see that previously-unreleased footage, for sure. I can’t wait to get new glimpses into Secretariat’s life, conformation, spirit–and the lives of his closest humans.

As Foghorn Leghorn (a favorite Warner Bros. character) would say, “I say, I say, RUN, do not walk–“ to get your tickets.  The VIP tickets will sell out before Sunday, so do not delay. Similarly, the Hall of Fame Gallery has X amount of seating–so please don’t wait ’til the last minute to get your tickets for both parts of the evening.

Tickets for the evening’s double feature film screening are $20 per person. Tickets for the screenings and VIP reception are $50 each.  You need to know that the cash you spend for VIP/screenings, or screenings, alone, go to two very worthy causes–for ticket sales will benefit the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and the non-profit Secretariat Foundation (which was established by Mrs. Chenery to assist equine welfare in the areas of research, rehabilitation, retirement and recognition.)

Tickets are available on-line on a first-come basis through and may also be purchased at the door on the evening of the event–but remember, that’s subject to availability.

You snooze, you lose.

To purchase tickets for this amazing evening, simply go to:

PLEASE NOTE: No tickets will be mailed. The actual tickets to the double feature will only be available at the National Museum via will-call beginning at 4:30 pm on day of the event.

N.B. (N.B. means, “Note Well”–and this is a note you need to read: This just in: I hear-tell that the build-up to Sunday night’s VIP reception and screenings will start on WEDNESDAY, the 20th: daily appearances by Ron Turcotte at Saratoga Race Course through Sunday, Aug. 24. (Mr. Turcott apparently wasn’t content in 1973 simply to win the Triple Crown on Secretariat–he also won the 1973 Travers with Annihilate ‘em.  He’ll be at the Race Course to meet fans and sign autographs throughout each day in front of the jockey silks display on Vendors’ Row, beginning at 11 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on the weekend.

To confirm this, please check out and NYRA. (

No true fan of Secretariat will want to miss this singularly-wonderful, exclusive Saratoga evening. My (ever-humble) advice: get on the VIP bandwagon, and show your support for Big Red, the Secretariat Center and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Be there, or slap a big, red letter L on your forehead.  (“Loser,” not “Lasix.”)