Fan Club

Secretariat Festival 2023

SECRETARIAT FESTIVAL – Nov. 10-12 in Paris, Kentucky

The 2023 Secretariat Festival is planned for Nov. 10-12 with a full slate of activities for horse lovers and Big Red enthusiasts. The weekend will offer a picture-perfect fall backdrop where fans can gather to share the legacy of Secretariat and experience the Bluegrass region’s rich Thoroughbred heritage.

The Festival will showcase all things Secretariat with the majority of activities taking place in downtown Paris, Kentucky along historic Main Street beginning Friday, Nov. 10 thru Sunday, Nov. 12.

This year’s renewal in Paris will be a horse lover’s dream destination filled with civic pride and small-town charm as it hosts the official opening of the Secretariat Park on Saturday, Nov. 11 — 50 years to the exact day when Secretariat arrived at his new home at Claiborne Farm following his extraordinary racing career. Join in for the Park’s historic dedication ceremony and the unveiling of sculptor Jocelyn Russell’s new Secretariat bronze monument, commissioned by the city of Paris as the centerpiece of this new public attraction.

As part of the inaugural Legends of Bourbon County celebration several new events have been incorporated into the 2023 Festival experience including the “Welcome Home” Main St. Parade, Saturday evening gala, Sunday 10K run, as well as a full slate of live music and a Thoroughbred Marketplace featuring numerous vendors and equine-related products offered each day.

Throughout the weekend the Secretariat Festival Headquarters will be located at 530 Main St., directly across from the new Secretariat Park. The convenient corner front store location is your one-stop shop featuring official Secretariat products and Festival merchandise, and will be adjacent to the weekend’s celebrity signings as well as the Secretariat Archive Silent Auction featuring special racing memorabilia and select items from the Secretariat/Meadow Stable Archives, including photography hand-signed by Penny Chenery herself!




FRIDAY, NOV. 10 –  OFFSITE: Keeneland Race Course, 4201 Versailles Road in Lexingtonwill host several activities throughout the weekend and will serve as the pick-up and drop-off location for the much-anticipated Lane’s End Farm Tours. 

Founded in 1936, the historic racetrack and National Landmark hosts world-class racing during its spring and fall meets and is also the world’s largest and most prominent Thoroughbred auction house.  Keeneland’s timeless beauty also provided a picturesque location for the filming of Disney’s Secretariat. Now, more than eight decades since its inception, Keeneland continues to represent the best in Thoroughbred racing and tradition.

  • Lane’s End Farm Tours 9:45 a.m; 12:15 p.m.; 2:45 p.m. (SOLD-OUT)On Friday, enjoy three very special tours to one of the Bluegrass region’s most prestigious farms to see “The Queen” — Zenyatta — along with 2022 Horse of the Year Flightline as part of a star-studded tour that also includes the prolific sires Quality Road, Candy Ride, Mineshaft, and Honor AP. These 1.5-hour expanded tours depart via motor coach from Keeneland Race Course located at 4201 Versailles Road in Lexington. Please check-in at the clubhouse entrance 10 minutes prior to your tour time departure.

Prior to, or following your Lane’s End Tour, make you way to the Keeneland Sales Pavilion – site of the following free activities beginning at 10:00 a.m. daily:

  • November Breeding Stock Sale – Festival-Goers are encouraged to observe (or participate) in this most fascinating component of the Thoroughbred industry where the roots of racing history can sometimes begin. The eight-day sale, the world’s most important auction of its type in terms of total sales and average, offers the auction of broodmares, weanlings, and stallion prospects. A must-see event for racing fans and horse lovers of all ages.
  • 2023 Sporting Art Auction Preview – The Sales Pavilion also offers Festival Guests an exclusive preview of the forthcoming November 18 Sporting Art Auction. Enjoy an peruse and extensive exhibition of the world’s finest equine artwork for auction including several impressive Secretariat-related selections: a magnificent 1/3 size version of the Secretariat live-sized bronze monument of Secretariat, Ron Turcotte and Eddie Sweat at the Kentucky Horse Park, an amazing 16-piece series of Secretariat in stride created by Jaime Corum; LeRoy Neiman’s original painting of Secretariat that was used as the basis the 1973 publication of his coveted serigraph; as well as three historic Richard Stone Reeves original paintings – two of which emanate from the Chenery family’s own private Meadow Stable collection.


FRIDAY, NOV. 10 – PARIS, KY: FESTIVAL KICK-OFF PARTY – Canoneros Bourbon Bar, 713 Main St. – The Secretariat Festival Kick-Off Party launches the social activities in Paris as the official Friday gathering place where Festival-Goers can catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Beginning at 4:00 p.m. guests will be welcomed with an extensive selection of Kentucky bourbons and crafted cocktails to toast the Bluegrass region’s proud Thoroughbred heritage. Mingle with fellow Big Red enthusiasts as well as our special celebrity guests and enjoy this late afternoon / early evening soiree in downtown Paris. Get the party started with this fan favorite tradition! (Ticketed event, with limited space available)


SATURDAY, NOV. 11MAIN ST. IN DOWNTOWN PARIS –  Beginning at 10:00 a.m. Secretariat Festival activities will take place along the length of the Main St. corridor.  Festival admission is free.

  • Secretariat Park Dedication 12:00 p.m. Join in the “Big Civic Event” with the highly anticipated official dedication ceremony of the new Secretariat Park and the unveiling and public debut of Jocelyn Russell’s new Secretariat bronze monument. Following the unveiling, guests will have several opportunities to take photographs of this artistic masterpiece — maybe even a selfie with the artist!

Both prior to and after the park and monument unveiling, Festival guests will have the opportunity to participate in Saturday’s Festival Farm Tours:

  • Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa, 9:00 a.m. (SOLD-OUT) – We are delighted to offer this morning tour to perhaps the most beautiful horse farm in Kentucky and what is often called “the Biltmore of the Bluegrass.” The historic and storied property, tracing its origins to 1827, features a renowned stallion roster that includes two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, leading sires Good Magic and Violence, and 2013 Secretariat “Vox Populi” Award winner Mucho Macho Man. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy a private behind-the-scenes tour hosted by Hill ‘n’ Dale owner Angie Sikura. Tour-goers will depart Paris via motor coach at 8:40 a.m. and return at approximately 11:15 a.m.– in time to enjoy the Secretariat Park monument unveiling and dedication ceremony. Or guests can provide their own transportation directly to the farm tour entrance located at 1027 Stoney Point Road in Paris.
  • Spendthrift Farm Tour, 2:15 p.m. (SOLD-OUT)– This special afternoon tour to one of Kentucky’s most distinguished breeding operations offers the unique opportunity to visit with regal resident Beholder, a two-time Secretariat Vox Populi nominee and four-time Eclipse winning champion mare as well as Spendthrift Farm’s impressive stallion roster, which includes America’s leading sire Into Mischief and 2020 Secretariat “Vox Populi” Award winner Authentic. Tour-goers will depart Paris via motor coach at 1:45 p.m. and return at approximately 3:45 p.m. or provide their own transportation directly to the farm located at 884 Iron Works Pike in Lexington. For the most discerning racing memorabilia collector, a rare and original halter worn by the renowned distaff superstar will be part of the Secretariat Festival Auction.

Saturday Festival Forums at 600 Main St. – Forums will offer fans of all racing interests access to discussions with our special celebrity guests along with the opportunities to ask questions and hear insiders’ experiences of Big Red. Forums will take place adjacent to the Headquarters as part of the general Festival activities:

  • An Artist’s Vision – Meet Secretariat Monument sculptor Jocelyn Russell and Secretariat Mural artist Jaime Corum who will provide their fascinating backstories about the making of the two new historical Paris creations. Approximately 45 minutes, with Q&A session to follow. 3:15 p.m.

Saturday Celebrity Appearances at 600 Main St. – Celebrity appearances and signing sessions have become a Festival marquee event and a dream destination for autograph seekers of all ages. Meet famed Kentucky Derby winning riders Pat Day (Lil E. Tee) and Mike Manganello (Dust Commander, 1970) as well as Hall of Fame jockey Sandy Hawley (U.S. leading rider by wins in 1972 and 1973). All will be available along with Penny Chenery’s daughter Sarah Tweedy to meet fans and share their unique racing-related experiences. 1:00 p.m.


SUNDAY, NOV. 12The Festival continues for another day of activities, including live music at the Team Kentucky Concert Stage, vendor sales at the Thoroughbred Marketplace, and the addition of the Winner’s Circle 5K and 10K runs. Several more special Secretariat Festival Tours are also scheduled for Sunday:

  • Lane’s End Farm Tours 9:15 a.m.; 11:45 a.m. (SOLD-OUT) – On Sunday enjoy two additional tours to one of the Bluegrass region’s most prestigious farms to see “the Queen” Zenyatta and 2022 Horse of the Year Flightline along with the rest of their star-studded stallion roster includes the prolific sires Quality Road, Candy Ride, Mineshaft, and Honor AP.  These 1.5-hour expanded tours depart via motor coach from Keeneland Race Course located at 4201 Versailles Road in Lexington. Please check-in at clubhouse entrance 10 minutes prior to your tour time departure. 
  • Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm – 12:15 p.m. – Enjoy a special visit to this equine haven where founder Michael Blowen will personally guide guests to some of America’s most famous retired racehorses including the oldest living Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm, 2011 Secretariat Vox Populi Award winner Rapid Redux and Groundshaker, the last horse owned and raced in the Meadow Stable colors by Penny Chenery. Guests will provide their own individual transportation to the farm located at 1841 Paynes Depot Road in Georgetown. This tour lasts approximately 2 hours.
  • Claiborne Farm Tour – 12:30 p.m. (SOLD-OUT) – We are proud to offer this special tour to the famed breeding operation where Secretariat lived out his life as a stallion and is buried in his hallowed grave. Enjoy the Festival’s expanded access tour that includes a visit to the broodmare and foaling pastures as well as the rarely seen Marchmont cemetery — the final resting spot for the great filly Ruffian and other racing greats including: Ack Ack, Conquistador Cielo, Damascus, Easy Goer, Moccasin, Personal Ensign, Unbridled and many more. The tour includes a visit to the stallion barn that hosts the internationally accomplished War Front, champions Blame and Runhappy, and promising young sires Catholic Boy and War of Will. Tour-goers can shuttle to the farm from Paris via motor coach at 12:10 p.m. or provide their own transportation directly to the farm located at 703 Winchester Road in Paris.

The 2023 Secretariat Festival will be a charming and most memorable gathering for horse lovers of all ages to share the region’s proud horse heritage and celebrate racing’s most popular champion.


If you are traveling to Lexington, a diverse selection of accommodations can be found in the area. The following hotels are convenient to all Festival events: Clarion Hotel Lexington, Griffin Gate Marriott, Ramada Lexington North Hotel, Days Inn Lexington, Fairfield Inn Lexington North, Embassy Suites Lexington, Four Points Sheraton Lexington, and Best Western Paris. Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport, located across the road from Keeneland Race Course, is serviced by Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

The Secretariat Festival, which celebrates the life and legacy of the 1973 Triple Crown champion, launched in 2008 in Paris, Ky. In the decade and a half since, thousands of attendees have gathered in the heart of the Bluegrass to toast the sport of racing and one of its most beloved champions. Proceeds from the event have benefited the area charities as well as the Secretariat Foundation, which is committed to funding equine-related causes that enhance the welfare of the Thoroughbred community. Updates for this year’s festivities and future announcements will be posted on the Secretariat Festival’s Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Keep checking back as we update our information here…


Signup for the newsletter For new announcements, merchandise updates and other excitement here at, please enter your email address in the popup window. Our mailing list is never sold or viewed by anyone other than