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Secretariat Festival 2017 / Equestricon™


The beauty and charm of Saratoga Springs has long been the idyllic setting for Thoroughbred racing’s finest late summer memories, including Secretariat’s juvenile season at the “Spa.” Another chapter of this shared history will be added this year as the Secretariat Festival takes a one-year hiatus from the Bluegrass to encourage Secretariat fan support for Equestricon, scheduled for Aug. 13-15 in Saratoga Springs, the historic racing hub in upstate New York.

Equestricon™ is set to be the first and only of its kind premiere horse racing lifestyle event designed to celebrate the sport of racing with its fans. The inaugural event presents a wonderful opportunity for one of Thoroughbred racing’s most legendary teams to offer its support in a collaboration that will appeal to new and existing fans alike.

“Building the next generation of horse racing fans is paramount to the future of horse racing,” said Mrs. Penny Chenery, owner of Secretariat. “Equestricon’s founders and partners have launched an impressive effort to that end, and it is the heartfelt desire of the Secretariat Team to lend our presence and support during their inaugural year. Further, the Secretariat Festival’s one-year ‘vacation’ from its traditional Bluegrass backdrop will allow our 10th renewal in 2018 to better align with the 45th anniversary plans to commemorate Secretariat’s Triple Crown. I applaud the direction both events are taking and am excited for the possibilities that can result.”

A variety of attractions are planned at Equestricon™ that will highlight Secretariat’s profound impact on the sport, including a panel discussion and autograph signings with jockey Ron Turcotte, exercise rider Charlie Davis and author Bill Nack, who wrote the acclaimed Secretariat: The Making of a Champion. Additionally, Triple Crown jockeys Jean Cruguet and Steve Cauthen, Hall of Famer Pat Day, and Sham author Phil Dandrea — all Secretariat Festival regulars — will be part of the outstanding Equestricon™ guest list.  And Big Red will be duly represented with a selection of Secretariat merchandise and mementos offered on site. Other Secretariat-related attractions include:

  • National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Special Secretariat Tour – Sunday, Aug. 13 at 9:00 a.m. This custom enhanced tour will provide a historical perspective highlighting specific Secretariat-related artifacts residing within the Museum’s renowned collection. A sampling of tour highlights include: 1973 Man o’ War Stakes trophy, The Hall of Fame (with stops at Bold Ruler, Secretariat, Lady’s Secret, Lucien Lauren, Eddie Maple and Ron Turcotte), film footage within the Triple Crown interactive exhibit, and of course the famous John Skeaping bronze monument of Secretariat in the Museum courtyard. Admission to the Museum is $10 for adults and pre-registration is required as there is limited availability. The Museum is conveniently located at 191 Union Ave., just across the street from the track. For more information and tour reservations call (518) 584-0400 ext. 120
  • Jeaneen Barnhart Exhibition of Original Secretariat Artwork at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion – beginning Sunday, Aug. 13 at 10:30 a.m. throughout the Equestricon festivities. Equestricon-goers and art lovers can enjoy an exhibition of artwork depicting Big Red from this noted equine artist. The exhibit, held in conjunction with Cross Gate Gallery, hosts a collection of recently released original work featuring Secretariat for viewing and purchase, as well as an amazing array of sporting fine art and sculpture. Located on the second floor of the Sales Pavilion at 415 East Ave., just two blocks from the track.
  • Equestricon Secretariat Memorabilia Auction Debut – Monday, Aug. 14 and Tuesday, Aug. 15 throughout the day at Equestricon. This public debut and display of landmark racing memorabilia for auction features historically significant artifacts associated with Secretariat’s 1973 Triple Crown championship including Ron Turcotte’s 1A armband worn in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes official winner’s garland, and Belmont Stakes Winner’s Presentation Blanket. Display and advance bidding registration available throughout the day at the Leland’s booth in the Equestricon main exhibition area at the City Center.

Equestricon’s backdrop of Saratoga Springs has long been intertwined with the Meadow Racing Stable. It was there at Saratoga Race Course where Riva Ridge and Secretariat both left their hoofprints in time and history, recording their first stakes wins. Riva Ridge’s victory in the 1971 Flash Stakes launched a career that would secure the family operation and set the stage for his younger stablemate, a charismatic chestnut colt who stormed onto the scene the following season. Secretariat’s spectacular performances at the famed racetrack in the 1972 Sanford and Hopeful Stakes sowed Triple Crown dreams after a quarter century drought. One year later, Secretariat would fulfill those hopes as a crowned champion and national hero.

In addition to top-tier racing at Saratoga Race Course, Equestricon™ guests can enjoy other racing panel discussions, extensive trade show, handicapping workshops, celebrity autograph signings, author series, and live music among many other racing-related festivities. Tickets to these events and more are available at discounted rates to Big Red fans through the special link and entering the discount code: secretariat

The Secretariat Festival, which celebrates the life and legacy of the 1973 Triple Crown champion, launched in 2008 in Paris, Ky. In the nine years 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 Equestricon™ festivities and future announcements can be found on the Secretariat Festival’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds.


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