Richmond Times Dispatch columnist John Markon had this to say about casting the upcoming Secretariat movie:

Word is that Disney Studios has purchased an option to film the life story of Secretariat. Hopefully, this won’t result in Big Red being ridden to victory in the Belmont Stakes by Hannah Montana or Kim Possible.

There are enough rich roles for humans in the Secretariat saga without having to invent them. In my first act as Disney’s Director of Casting, I’m going to assign a few parts and draw the parameters for a few others:

Penny Chenery [owner]: She went by the last name of “Tweedy” at the time and she’s invariably portrayed as the youthful and inexperienced daughter of breeder Chris Chenery, who assumed control of Meadow Stable when her father died. She was 51 in 1973, so “youthful” may have been a stretch. Anyone playing her would need to capture the timeless qualities of the female Southern aristocrat of the 70s – always mannerly, composed, well-spoken, impeccably coiffed and dressed as if she’d just been to an elegant luncheon.

Suggestion: Julia Roberts [age 39], but only if she’s willing to “play gray” and recognizes that the horse is the “lead redhead” in this flick.

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