Director Randall Wallace said, "I wanted the audience to enter the races as participants, not spectators; I wanted viewers to feel they were inside the races, as if they were the jockeys and the horses, feeling the dirt in your face, the speed under your feet, the horse's heart pounding like your heart. A visceral, primary experience." He succeeded. And he wrapped his popular poetry around the story of Penny Chenery Tweedy (Diane Lane), a Denver housewife turned racehorse owner who staked her identity and character on Secretariat's prowess. As a special treat for Preakness fans: Wallace shows the middle jewel of the Triple Crown entirely on television, as Tweedy's husband and four children follow the broadcast in their family room in Denver. It's an unexpected directorial move, a surprise emotional high point -- and the only time in the film when Secretariat plays himself. --Mike Sragow
John Bramley, Associated Press
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