“Secretariat: “he’s like a machine….!”

This has to be one of my great loves. I was very young when this horse electrifed a nation disillusioned by Watergate and Viet Nam. Out of nowhere came this big red horse who “felt like running.”

My Mom always loved Northern Dancer and my Dad loved Man O’War, whose name sounded forbidding and wonderful. I loved the name War Admiral. It always fell to me to sit in the car when the family shopped and I happily sat listening to the wonderful radio broadcast of the Kentucky Derby of 1973.

Last. He was last. How could this end well I thought as the drone from the racetrack carelessly read the events for all those who couldn’t see it. The nasal melody sang “Now they make their turn…..Sham on the outside, and here comes Secretariat along the outside.” I have since been fortunate thru YouTube.com to have seen the race and he was eating strides all the way from behind. When he decided to run. He looked amazing, never looked like he was working at any of it….His stable buddy and very fast Sham was a beautiful dark horse, and growing up reading and sobbing thru “Black Beauty” I was also rooting for him.

Then Pegasus seemed to descend to earth, wings sprouted and the phenomena was born. Weeks would pass for the Preakness and of course the media had a hint of the new star. As is their want, early on, they were thrilled and replete with what if’s…..and it was fun. The adults had fun. Sitting in a parking lot of Ralph’s Supermarket in Hollywood, jumping up and down in the little blue car, as if I were the jockey, I heard the second and equally thrilling race of the Preakness…..also coming from behind. “He did it again”…..

Now the media went to work to doubt him, LOOKS like we may have a winner, we MIGHT have one….second guessed everything done. Can he do it, was it all a fluke…all the odds were trotted out.

The owners and trainers showed Olympian indifference. Good for them, they had a Horse God racing for them. So here I thought I might include the video of his mythical, magical historic run for all ages,a winning Chariots of Fire moment….he ran and we felt God’s pleasure.

It was a stunning slap in the face to all who discounted his great spirit. Those who doubted were treated to a masterpiece that has yet to be equaled. 31 lengths, big enough victory for you?

He lead from start to finish to answer all about his stamina. And in that moment where the “machine” seems to FLY away into the history books, there occurs something even more precious to me…..the jaded, the haters, the bitter, the old beaten up souls sleepwalking thru life saw something unreal and supernatural, blinked and blinked and then became like children again…..no spin could rob the day, no lie would cheat the hope, you could actually believe your eyes……

“Pegasus came down to earth to run a little and man did he run…..

I hope you feel the same sense of awe that I did as you watch this little video….a piece of golden history and sweet remembrance. Hope it speaks to the part of you that believes in magic. Enjoy!!!

~ by aprilemillo on July 14, 2007.

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