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Secretariat now the picture of nostalgia Md. photographer's shot to be on commemorative poster


Literally thousands of photographs were taken of Secretariat in 1973, the year the late great horse won the Triple Crown.

He was on the cover of Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated.

But when the horse's owner, Penny Chenery, recently flipped through her scrapbooks looking for one definitive pose of the animal, she chose a picture shot in the Notebook

post parade of the Preakness taken by Jimmy McCue, photographer for the Maryland Jockey Club.

"It's just a wonderful photo," Chenery said.

She wants to reproduce McCue's picture on a poster she plans to issue this spring to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Secretariat's Triple Crown sweep.

Over the phone this week from her home in Kentucky, Chenery said she and the horse's trainer, Lucien Laurin, will be at the Kentucky Derby, and hopefully the Preakness, to sign the posters.

"We're trying to get Ron Turcotte [the horse's jockey] to come, too," Chenery said.

McCue, 46, is pleased Chenery selected his shot.

He has been taking pictures of horses at the Maryland tracks since 1970. "But of all of them, I'd have to say Secretariat is my favorite," McCue said.

Chenery is forming a limited partnership, called Over The Meadow, Ltd., to market the posters and she also plans to produce other Secretariat memorabilia. Part of the proceeds will go to the Grayson Foundation to study equine diseases.

New Virginia players

Three groups -- Churchill Downs, the Maryland Jockey Club and Arnold Stansley from Ohio -- have already been identified as potential track operators in Virginia.

Now a fourth group, comprised of Virginians, is emerging. It is headed by James J. Wilson, owner of Dresden Farm in Middleburg, and a corporate officer of Interstate General, a large company that operates, among other businesses in its diversified portfolio, El Comandante Race Course in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Fred Kohler, well-known Virginia bloodstock insurer, has joined forces with Wilson.

"We are just an embryo organization, but we are definitely contemplating filing for a license," Kohler said. "Only out-of-state interests have come forward so far. It seemed time that Virginians stepped up to the plate with a plan to benefit Virginians -- and keep all the money generated here -- instead of it going elsewhere."

Kohler foresees his group modeling it's efforts after El Comandante, which, he said, has been quite successful since it started operating a large off-track betting network.

"We're contemplating building a track and running a six-month thoroughbred meet," Kohler said. "The track wouldn't own the OTB outlets, but we'd have some sort of agency agreement with them. They would be in sports bars and restaurants and limited to jurisdictions that have passed an OTB referendum."

Kohler hopes his group joins forces with Virginia Racing Associates, which is comprised of harness enthusiasts, with the idea of also running a Standardbred meet. The VRA is currently working with Churchill Downs.

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