Thursday, October 1, 2009

Horsey story

Speech #7 for Toastmasters is  Research

Announcement on KLFY website  "Look at this Chris, Disney is  going to make a movie about Secretariat and they need 5000 extras.
  "Let's sign up we will be great extras and we can meet some folks and chat while standing in line. Should be a good adventure"
"How are they going to make a Disney story out of Secretariat?"  Chris searched and found the book by william Nack the great sports writer for the DRW 
The announcement said to bring a photo 4x6. We went through my digital photos and took the disk to Wal Mart for instant prints. 
Sunday we drove to the Cajun Dome and arrived at about 11:45 put on our best British Cue manners and stood in line.
We met our line neighbors and remarked "How are they going to make a story out of Secretariat?  We had read the book.

After all He was born perfect March 30, 1969. 
Well it did take 11 submission to the Jockey club to arrive at his name.  Kind of a story.
He earned an A as a foal
He earned an A as a weanling No injuries, good disposition
He earned an A+ as a yearling.  Made it to 2 yrs old without an injury.
He was easily trained to the saddle since he was very tame and constantly petted
He had no problems learning to be a race horse. Ran an eighth of a mile in 22 seconds A+++
He ran 4th in his first race.  Bumped twice out of the gate, wouldn't let that happen again.
Won several races after that and was 3rd in the Wood Memorial
Eclipse award for the Two Year old season
Won the Kentucky Derby as the favorite in 1:59 then the Preakness and the Belmont.  The Triple Crown.   1973 and the Horse of the Year 1973 and the Eclipse Award.

The line moved forward as we enumerated the rather eventful but not particularly Disney life style for an animal story.
We were in the Cajun Dome (air conditioned) typical Disney World, line very long.
New line and new line neighbors. We discussed Secretariat.  One girl even had a picture of him downloaded onto her I phone.  
We wondered maybe Disney is going to make a heart warming story about Secretariat's connections.

His owner breeder family, The Cheneys of The Meadows in Virginia.
Christopher Cheney grew up poor middle class in rural Virginia, but his family managed a way to send their sons to college.
He was an engineer who wound up on Wall Street and invested in telephone communications through the depression. Became wealthy enough to afford his hobby.
He rebuilt his family farm and turned it into a first class breeding farm

We filled in our applications and let others borrow our pen and then stood in another line. Met some new line neighbors and continued wondering out loud, "How would Disney make a movie out of this story?"

Maybe it was Penny Cheney Tweedy's story.
She saved the farm from the Inheritance tax collector.
She lived a rather ordinary boarding school, Daddy's little girl who loved horses life.
Served overseas in the Red Cross during WWII
Along with Secretariat she willed her father to live until Jan. 3 1973 thus postponing the bulk of the inheritance taxes till April 1974. 
She sold 32 shares of Secretariat's breeding season for $200,000 each.  20 minute story there.

Two very enthusiastic cheerful young women took our applications stapled the pictures onto the form  We let them choose the ones they liked.  Both were very admirable, talking to us like we were important individuals and handing us the printed form with directions for our next appearance as extras in the Disney movie. 
Dismissed we had been there 4 hours. There was 2 hours of line behind us.  Those poor girls taking the applications for extras. We hightailed it out of there.

Secretariat was #35 on the ESPN list of 20th Century 100 greatest athletes
The only animal in the Kentucky Hall of Fame
He died in 1979 because of the hoof disease Laminitis which Barbaro died from and there is a charity sponsoring the search for a cure in Barbaro's name.
The screenplay is by Mike Rich  directed by Randall Wallace and Staring Diane Lane
See you at the movies we hope we don't wind up on the cutting room floor

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