No-- but then that is not surprising.
But in view of the wonders of medical Science today- In keeping with the revelations that seem to be occuring- I do wonder what the horse was on.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.
Full story here about the horse and the movie that opens this weekend:
BTW, Alberto Contador's story that he picked up some illegal drugs while eating beef from Spain would have been more believable to me had he 'fessed up to eating horse meat. Since it's illegal to slaughter horses for meat in the US now, most race horses that move down the ladder toward "kill sales" get exported out of the USA for slaughter. Since US ex-race horses and ex-show horses are notoriously full of drugs, the new owners have to put them through a "detox" program before they can legally slaughter them.
Of course, not everything is done legally.
"... as of July 31, 2010, the European Union (EU) will require that horses destined for slaughter and human consumption are free from certain drugs, including many that long have been in the bodies of horses, most notably phenylbutazone (a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory commonly called “bute,” which is given to an estimated 98 percent of American Thoroughbred racehorses as well as to just about any breed of horse to relieve occasional pain or swelling). Kill buyers will be required to provide a signed statement for each horse claiming that to the best of their knowledge the animal has not been treated with these particular substances. “Some kill buyers claim openly that they will simply fill in bogus forms,” says John Holland, president of the Equine Welfare Alliance. The fact is, it would be impossible for KBs to tell the truth, because the horses they pick up could have had numerous owners, and it is rare for papers of any kind to travel with horses to auction, let alone an animal’s lifelong medical history."
The bike-related lesson here is that you should shy away from eating horse meat if you think you're going to be tested for drugs. Oh, and beef from Spain, too.
Just to round things out -- Here's a picture of our family steed trying to avoid being identified at a doping control. Notice the guilty look in his eyes. Doper.*
*Not really. This horse sees a "natural medicine" vet. BTW, the NY Times has a major story on efforts to crack down on doping in equestrian events, in today's issue:
Was there ever any doubt who would win that race? I remember the day well. I was just out of high school. We had a pool at work where you drew your horse's name from a hat. Owner of the company drew Secretariat, and someone said "the rich get richer", since it was foregone conclusion in most people's minds. Watching the clip, Secretariat's gait just looks so much smoother as he pulls away from the others - just like a great runner, who isn't bouncing up and down, or a cyclist with a smooth, efficient pedal stroke.
"If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."
OK, just to wrap this up -- started the thread because we were all excited to see the movie that opened this weekend, "Secretariat," since my daughter is "into horses," as the saying goes, and I remember the "big deal" when he won the Triple Crown.
My review: 3.5 stars. Diane Lane is always good, John Malkovich is great, as usual. Good horse-racing scenes. Not as good of a movie as "Sea Biscuit" (which I loved), but more kid-friendly.
The movie makes the owner out to be something of a "horse whisperer" who can peer soulfully into a race horse's eyes and make him run faster. I read a great interview with the owner in the NY Times last weekend -- she admitted that that part of the movie is a little Disneyesque. She basically explained that while she had affection and respect for the horse, nobody is really "friends" with a world-class 3-year-old racing thoroughbred.
Sorry, no cycling content in the movie. Though you could fit a nice velodrome inside a horse track, and have room left over.
Thanks BB: I really enjoyed watching the video. I cannot believe that was so long ago.... (sigh wistfully). Things like that make me think of places and people past and it is nearly always a good memory. I'm raising a glass to poor Ruffian....
I look forward to the movie and I remember the race and of course the horse. As a kid, I read Man of War who was also a great champion. I want to remember them as great champions. Maybe the men who owned and managed them were not so great but without facts we have to assume they were.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle
We took the whole family to Secretariat Sunday afternoon. It was one of the best family experiences we've had-ever. It opened the door to talk about goals and "Running Your Race." Great flic.
I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!
I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.
Dr. Swerczek states in correspondence:
"Certainly, after performing autopsies on several thousand thoroughbred horses, including mares and stallions, no other horse came close to Secretariat’s heart size. The second largest heart I found was the heart of Sham, who actually broke the Kentucky derby record, but still lost to Secretariat. Sham’s heart weighed 19 pounds. The third largest heart I found was stallion Key to the Mint, which was 16 pounds. The majority of all others were smaller, in the range of 10 to 12 pounds. Bold Ruler, the sire of Secretariat had an average size heart. The heart size seemingly is inherited from the female side of the pedigree. When I performed the autopsy on Secretariat, which was necessary because of insurance and we needed to determine the cause of the laminitis, the cause of destruction, I did a cosmetic autopsy. The reason being I did not want to dismantle such a remarkable specimen and the farm personnel and handlers were present to immediately collect all organs in large plastic bags which were immediately returned to the farm to be buried with the body. Normally, with other horses we can keep all organs and the body for further study, or to preserve large specimens, like the heart, but I was not allowed to do this with Secretariat. For this reason, all specimens were immediately collected and returned to the farm, and I did not get a chance to weigh the heart. However, by comparing it to numerous other hearts I got actual weights on, I am certain the weight was between 21 to 22 pounds. So I considered the heart weight officially as 21 pounds. The heart was in perfect shape, not diseased in any way, but just considerably larger than any other horses I autopsied."
Local tradition has it that when a great horse dies, you bury the head, heart and hooves of the horse because those are what made the horse great in the first place.
If they did that with BFers, what body parts would they bury?
There has been an interesting debate playing out on the Internets about the meaning of this movie. Since most of us lived through these times, I thought you might find it interesting.
For those who haven't seen the movie -- there are a couple of interesting themes in the movie besides horse-racing. One is that Penny Tweedy left her family in Denver while she flew back to Virginia to manage her father's stables and raise and train Secretariat; it's clear from the movie that she grew apart from her husband (the estrangement was apparently even more dramatic in real life). Second, is that her kids were dabbling in liberal politics and demonstrating against the Vietnam War while she was enmeshed in the very traditional world of horse racing.
A couple of days ago, the son of Penny Tweedy (the owner of Secretariat), wrote this post about the cultural significance of Secretariat and it's relevance to today.
This post follows a debate carried about between a review for Salon -- who trashed the movie as Nazi-like Christian propaganda, and the movie critic Roger Ebert (and many others) who were astonished by the Salon critics' view.
Here is the son's post:
October 9, 2010
As Penny Chenery's youngest son, I am fascinated by "Secretariat's" reception by critics, and the dialogue between Ebert and O'Hehir is to me the most interesting so far. Rather than taking sides about whether the movie is "good" or "bad" (I am far too close to evaluate its merits), I want to comment on the value I see in both reviewers' perspectives. From their conflicting angles, each shines a light on something I believe to be true about both the movie and the events that gave rise to it.
I understand O'Hehir's perception of something relentlessly, indeed forcedly, upbeat about the story, perhaps masking a troubling reality underneath. The movie does, indeed, glamorize and improve on my family's situation in the early 1970s, as it sanitizes the cultural context of that era. In real life, we Tweedys were more riven and frayed by the large and small conflicts of the time, and by the pressures of celebrity into which we were suddenly thrust. The wars between our parents were more bitter, the marriage more broken, and we kids were more alienated and countercultural than the movie depicts. During the pre-race CBS broadcast at the Belmont, Woody Broun interviewed my dad, my siblings and me, asking Jack whether he was the "power behind the throne." He gamely (and for me now, poignantly) replied that he was proud of his wife, his kids, "and the horse." Mom had wanted us to be all together for that interview, but away from the cameras we were each living in a separate world. The movie navigates this terrain with a combination of erasure, gentleness, and tact, and from the point of view of my family's privacy, I am grateful.
But Ebert is right that there is something more -- and something better -- at work in the movie than simply airbrushing over painful truth. My mother has always known that the "Secretariat story," and her role in it, filled a deep cultural need. While the country was convulsed by feminism, Watergate and Vietnam, Penny took pains to present as a wife and mother, offering a wholesome, western, maternal female image that paired beautifully with the heroic, powerful male icon that Secretariat was becoming. Our President may have been a Machiavellian liar, our soldiers denounced as baby-killers, and our fathers excoriated as chauvinist pigs as they commuted grimly to work. But here came Secretariat, deeply male, muscular and graceful, his chest lathered with sublimated sex. And on that day in June 1973, when he blew away the field in the Belmont Stakes, he transcended argument, rivalry, even transcended sport itself. In that moment Secretariat gave my family, and gave the public, something like grace.
Now we are again in a cultural moment of war and dissension. My sense is that the movie's creators didn't feel the need to portray the convulsions of the early 1970s, in part because today's audiences carry the burdens of our current convulsions into the theaters with them, hoping to escape briefly to a world they can believe in and admire. I think the movie is offered to satisfy the old hunger for a kingly male and a queenly female, who together strive for something beyond themselves, who seek victory, and achieve grace. Disney has long been in the business of telling this kind of story. The best such films rise to the level of archetype, while lesser ones sink into the mire of cliche, or worse. Whether "Secretariat" succeeds in this mythic leap is for critics to argue, and for audiences to decide. Personally, I'm enjoying the ride, as well as the critical dust it's kicking up.
This was review that caused the stir:
"Secretariat" is a work of creepy, half-hilarious master-race propaganda almost worthy of Leni Riefenstahl, and all the more effective because it presents as a family-friendly yarn about a nice lady and her horse.' "
Here was Roger Ebert's response, "Secretariat was not a Christian."
Finally, would any historical movie be complete without its historical innaccuracies? Here's the dirty detail, from a horse racing expert:
Is there any advantage to drafting in horse racing?
When I was in my very early 20's, we would do a lot of things just to avoid being drafted!!