Based on the reaction of satisfied movie-goers, last night’s screening of the soon-to-be-released Disney movie Secretariat was a success. The majority of those attending seemed to enjoy both the reception and the film.

“Spirits were high. Folks obviously enjoyed themselves, and the evening, ” said Wayne Dementi of Milestone Publishing who attended with Secretariat’s Meadow — The Land, The Family, The Legend co-author Leeanne Ladin. “We sold lots of books.”

So did jockey turned trainer Tom Foley who play Secretariat’s exercise rider Jimmy Gaffney in the movie.

“It was high energy crowd, folks were excited about the movie,” said VTA Executive Director Glenn Petty. “We oversold the event and the reception as we had so much demand. So we had to cram about 80 extra folks into Norton’s and they did their best to accommodate everyone, so I hope nobody left hungry or thirsty.”

VTA’s Heather Stanley
It was easy to hear those in attendance sharing their memories about Secretariat and his that memorable Triple Crown conquest. After the movie George Grayson was happy to note that Angle Light, who beat both Secretariat and Sham in the Wood Memorial, also had a Virginia connection. Angle Light was by Quadrangle who stood at the Grayson’s Blue Ridge Farm in Upperville. Quadrangle, who won the Belmont and Travers, also sired Champion three-year-old Susan’s Girl among others.

Disney added another unannounced wrinkle when a uniformed security team met guests at the theatre door demanding that they surrender cell phones and cameras before taking a seat.

“We didn’t see that one coming,” said Petty.

Apparently officials at Disney also didn’t inform their own marketing company or AMC theatres. “This is my third screening, and this is the first time I’ve seen any Disney security. Hey, maybe they know more about us horse folks then we thought!”

All in all, it was a nice evening enjoyed by a cross-section of Virginia racing enthusiasts.

Tom Foley signs his book
Racing people in attendance included Will and Christina Allison, Nick and Peggy Arundel, Bill Backer, Chris Baker, Rob and Julie Banner, Peter Burnett, Tim and Diane Casey, Wayne and Susie Chatfield-Taylor, Mark Deane, Jim and Bobbi Falk, Jerry Fishback, Tom Foley, Jill Gordon-Moore, George Grayson, Lenny Hale, Nick Hahn, Carol Holden, Tommy Lee and Diane Jones, Ron and Anne Kilbourne, Marion Maggiolo, Ann MacLeod, Diana McClure, Kay Minton, Jim Morris, Andrew Motion, Chris and Shelly Norden, Ernie and Betty Oare, Jacqueline Ohrstrom, Frank and Mary Lou Petramalo, Anne and Dick Poulson, Robin Richards, Donna Rogers, David Ross and Randy and Michele Rouse to name a few…

More later, but here are a few photos from last night.
Colm Dillon, Frank Petramalo, Randy Rouse and David Ross
(Photos by Jordan Koepke Photography/Turning Memories into Artistic Images. 540.351.0341 or 
Betty and Ernie Oare

Leeanne Ladin
Leigh and Benjamin Dick
Rob Banner and Will Allsion

Jim Morris and Connie Lamoth

Sara Gargagliano and Annie Gridewall


Nick Arundel