After seeing the Secretariat movie last month, I set out to re-read Bill Nack’s book about Big Red as well as Ramie Woolfe’s book Secretariat.
Woolfe, a Virginian, is a lifelong horseman and a wonderful photographer. A UVa grad and a former Marine, Woolfe has been a steeplechase jock, a licensed trainer, a farm manager and a course designer.
For 11 years he was Chief of Photography for the Daily Racing Form and his proximity to Belmont Park and his connections from years in the business got him close to Secretariat’s camp.
His book is an excellent read which allows you to digest the entire story in the span of one pleasant evening. The photographs are excellent especially when you recall that Woolfe was using 35mm film most of the time and didn’t enjoy the convenience or retouching now available with digital photography.
Two images stand out to me. One is famous – the one of Eddie Sweat wiping away a tear after saying goodbye to his noble charge at Claiborne Farm. The other is not so famous – Secretariat on the backside at Saratoga looking quite serious about the business at hand.
The updated copy of the book features bloodlines, training notes, charts and a “Where They Are” follow up about all the players involved.
You can purchase the updated soft cover version of the book by clicking here.
Hard cover copies are also available of both the original and updated versions as well. — Glenn Petty