Based on the true story of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat and his owner Penny Chenery (Lane), the film highlights her journey from housewife and mother who didn't know much about racing when she took over her father's Meadow Farm horsebreeding business, to first lady of racing.
Three races. Three states. Five weeks. That’s how to win the impossible Triple Crown. Secretariat (not a typo) did just that, becoming the finest racehorse e’er born, uniting ’70s America, saving families etc. With, er, Greyfriars Bobby done, Disney takes the reins (sorry) of an against-all-odds animal yarn about Penny (Diane Lane), a housewife-turned-battleaxe who swaps frying grits for equine business. Closer to Herbie than Seabiscuit, there’s some distance to run before we see… well, a horse run. Thrilling as the races are (in jockey view!), one cry of, “I knew he’d do it!” stirs a giant, ‘Duh.’ Less likely is Lane as a Bible-quotin’, ‘get off ma farm’-hollerin’ real wuman. But oozing schmaltz, when Penny asks, “Y’all wanna see a horse bein’ born?”, the answer is, “Neigh.”
Despite a decent performance from Lane as the homespun trainer, Secretariat is more blind alley than Blind Side.