Produced and directed by Penny Chenery’s son — award-winning filmmaker John Tweedy — and narrated by actress Diane Lane, the 60-minute documentary is Mrs. Chenery’s honest reflection on her storied life and her incredible experience of owning “America’s Horse.” The world premiere of the film and exclusive VIP reception will be Friday, Sept. 20, at the Fasig- Tipton Sales Pavilion in Lexington, Ky., to kick off the Secretariat Festival, which celebrates the life and legacy of the 1973 Triple Crown champion (Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Preakness at Pimlico and Belmont at Belmont Park) and showcases the Bluegrass pride in horses and hospitality.
“This documentary is obviously personal for me,” Mrs. Chenery said. “The candor of the interviews and 40 years of hindsight greatly add to our story, telling it in a way that has not yet been told, with John accumulating a treasure trove of previously unreleased footage and photographs. I am delighted Penny & Red will benefit several equine-related charities and that we could host this first screening as part of the Festival for Secretariat’s most loyal fans.”
The Festival will be in full stride Saturday, Sept. 21, in Paris beginning with the 5K Secretariat Big Red Run/Walk at 9 a.m. at Adena Springs Thoroughbred Farm and guided tours throughout the day of Claiborne Farm, where Secretariat stood in stud and is buried.
Many of Saturday’s festivities will take place at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds, with free admission to a full schedule of events. Highlighting the day will be appearances and autograph signings by Mrs. Chenery, Secretariat’s jockey Ron Turcotte, exercise rider Charlie Davis and Secretariat author and acclaimed sports writer Bill Nack. Additionally, MAB Celebrity Services will present appearances and signings by Major League Baseball stars Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez — the legendary Cincinnati Reds foursome renowned as part of the “Big Red Machine” in the era of the 1970s. Also scheduled to meet with festival-goers are Walt Disney Pictures’ Secretariat star Otto Thorwarth, who played Turcotte in the popular feature film, as well as an exceptional assembly of racing’s greatest jockeys, including: Laffit Pincay, Pat Day, Jean Cruguet, Chris McCarron, Eddie Maple, Jacinto Vasquez, Jorge Velasquez, and Mike Manganello.
Festival-goers will be treated throughout the day to a silent auction with rare memorabilia from the Secretariat archives as well as equine exhibitions, children’s activities, regional vendors, a delicious assortment of food, and a variety of entertainment. The Festival is a must for horse racing fans.
The Sept. 20 Penny & Red premiere, to benefit the Secretariat Foundation, will begin at 6 p.m. at the Sales Pavilion with a VIP cocktail reception featuring appearances by Mrs. Chenery, the Meadow Stable team and Mr. Nack as well as an open bar and a delicious sampling of Kentucky-inspired hors d’oeuvres. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m., and a VIP dessert reception with the celebrities will follow. Admission to the screening only is $40 per person. VIP tickets for admission to the screening and both the cocktail and dessert receptions are $95 per person, while deluxe VIP tickets are available for $150 each and include admission to the screening and both receptions as well as a complimentary DVD of the film signed by Mrs. Chenery. Film premiere tickets are available through Secretariat.com or by calling (502) 893- 7997.
Registration for Saturday’s 5K Big Red Run/Walk and Claiborne Farm Tour reservations as well as more information about the Festival events and celebrity signings are available at Secretariat.com and the Secretariat Festival Facebook page.
The Secretariat Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization created by Penny Chenery to assist the Thoroughbred industry in the areas of research, rehabilitation, retirement and recognition. Mrs. Chenery named the foundation after her great champion to use his enduring appeal to bring greater awareness to the many causes found within the equine-related community. For more information about Secretariat or the foundation, visit Secretariat.com
Tags: Adena Springs Farm, Bill Nack, Bluegrass, Bourbon County Fairgrounds, Charlie Davis, Chris McCarron, Cincinnati Reds, Claiborne Farm, Diane Lane, Eddie Maple, Fasig Tipton Sales Pavilion, Jacinto Vasquez, Jean Cruguet, jockey, Joe Morgan, John Tweedy, Johnny Bench, Jorge Velasquez, Kentucky, KY, Laffit Pincay, Lexington, Meadow Stable, Mike Manganello, Paris, Pat Day, Penny Chenery, Pete Rose, Ron Turcotte, Secretariat Festival, Secretariat Foundation, Tony Perez, Triple Crown, Walt Disney Pictures