Diane Downs

October 7, 2010 by Post Team 

Diane Downs, This is a weekend for horse racing, not only because of the days of back-to-back-to-back ESPN coverage live from Keeneland on Friday. Not only because of the crowd in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re in” races at Keeneland, Belmont and Oak Tree at Hollywood Park this weekend. But because the highly anticipated Disney film “Secretary” opens nationally on Friday. Click here to find a time Secretariat and Movie Theater near you.

Unlike the appearance of many in our industry, I have not seen the film. I expect to see with the family in what I hope is a movie theater packed. But if Diane Lane comes anywhere close to capturing the real Penny Chenery, I know I will enjoy it enormously.

I must confess that in 1973, I was pretty young and clueless about horse racing, even despite my roots Kentucky. My interest developed soon after, but I always felt a little disappointed that I was not well connected to the Secretariat for their exploits took place. This regret was doubly exciting for me when, early in my career with Churchill Downs, I had the opportunity to meet Penny Chenery.

She is the real deal, and took a taste to his immediate no-nonsense, down-to-earth middle in both the enterprise and in particular in relations with people. She was very nice to me and interested in my point of view, even when I was much too new for the company to earn such respect. Never condescending or upper hand in any way despite monumental achievement with the Secretariat, Penny has served as a model for me and many others who know her.

In addition to the direct effect it had on people like me, Penny has also been consumed ambassador for our industry since it became a public figure. I read some comments at the top to mention that the film is as much to Penny that he is on the Secretariat, but in some ways, this is how it should be. There is no question that the Secretariat was the horse of a lifetime of life-or maybe several. But Penny was a perfect complement to the man who makes this amazing art Secretariat an opportunity when others could have wimped out or tip. How the film deals Penny is the stick by which I measure it.

Tell me where you were in 1973, and how you affected the Secretariat as a fan of horse racing? And by all means, let me know what you think of the film.

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