It was October 12th three years ago that a towering bronze sculpture of 1973 Triple Crown Winner SECRETARIAT was unveiled at Keeneland Race Track as part of the 11th annual SECRETARIAT Festival in Lexington.
Designed by artist Jocelyn Russell (pictured on left), the statue captures Big Red Winning the 1973 Kentucky Derby under jockey Ron Turcotte.
Back then it was temporarily displayed outside the track’s sales pavilion.
After the completion of that years festival the statue was moved to its permanent location at Old Frankfort Pike and Alexandria Drive in Lexington.
Some of Ms. Russell’s other works include sculptures at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and a statue of Korean War horse SERGEANT RECKLESS at the Kentucky Horse Park.
There was a diverse group of horse racing dignitaries that participated in the unveiling ceremony that day; Kate Chenery Tweedy (pictured on right), daughter of SECRETARIAT‘s owner, Penny Chenery, along with Triple Crown jockeys Steve (The Kid) Cauthen and Jean Cruguet.
Also on hand was jockey Otto Thorwarth, who portrayed Ron Turcotte in the 2010 movie SECRETARIAT, which was filmed in part at Keeneland.
The SECRETARIAT Festival, which celebrates the life and legacy of the 1973 Triple Crown Champion, launched in 2008 in Paris, Kentucky.
In the years since, thousands of attendees have gathered in the heart of the Bluegrass to toast the sport of racing and one of its most beloved champions.
The festival and its organizers remain committed to bringing fans together annually to celebrate the life and legacy of BIG RED, as well as provide devotees with a unique opportunity to experience equine-related activities and access to the sport of horse racing.
The festival also features tours of Claiborne Farm, where SECRETARIAT was a longtime stallion and was buried upon his death in 1989.
The Daily Racing Blog salutes this festival, its organizers and their dedication in keeping alive the memory of the Greatest Of All Time.