The 2012 edition of the Kentucky Derby, horse racing’s most storied race, is scheduled for Saturday. In addition to being a rite of spring in America, the Kentucky Derby is the first leg of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown. If a horse can win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, its name is etched forever in history.

Our Sports Movie of the Week, ‘Secretariat,’ is a film about one of the best horses in the annals of horse racing. This 2010 Disney drama is based on the novel ‘Secretariat: The Making of a Champion’ by William Nack.

In the movie, housewife and mom Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) begins operating Meadow Stables, the Virginia horse farm of her sickly father. Almost immediately, Chenery faces push back from the male-dominated sport. Eventually, Chenery enlists veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich) to help turn her horse, Secretariat, into the 1973 Triple Crown winner, the first horse to accomplish the feat in 25 years.

Five Reasons to Watch ‘Secretariat’

1. ‘Secretariat’ was nominated for an ESPY award for Best Sports Movie.

2. Secretariat’s incredible time in the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5) is still the record for the race. It has been suggested that Sham, the second place horse in the 1973 Kentucky Derby, ran what is still the fourth fastest time ever, and lost.

3. The film does a commendable job of capturing the pageantry and atmosphere around the Kentucky Derby.

4. The real Penny Chenery was on set for much of the filming of the movie. She helped select horses that looked like the actual Secretariat.

5. Footage of the actual 1972 Preakness is used in the film to show the results of that race.

Click the play button to watch the original trailer of the film below:

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