Scenes from Disney Movie Secretariat to be Filmed at Churchill Downs; Prep Work Underway

Oct 01, 2009 Darren Rogers

Scenes from the Walt Disney Studio’s forthcoming motion picture “Secretariat”, starring Diane Lane as Penny Chenery and John Malkovich as Lucien Laurin, will be filmed at Churchill Downs starting Monday, Oct. 5. Officials say that filming at the historic home of the Kentucky Derby is expected to last five days.

Transformation of the Churchill Downs grounds is underway. Areas that will be used in scenes include the paddock, paddock runway, sections of the Grandstand, main track and barn area. Also, the track’s Matt Winn Dining Room on the third floor of the Clubhouse is being used as an area for makeup and thousands of costume fittings for film extras.

The most notable facility changes are period updates to the paddock area and Grandstand signage that signifies the year 1973.  Secretariat, of course, ran 1 ¼ miles in a track record 1:59 2/5 on May 5, 1973 to defeat Sham by 2 ½ lengths and win the 99th running of the Kentucky Derby. The two-time Horse of the Year would go on to sweep horse racing’s Triple Crown which culminated in a jaw-dropping 31-length romp in the Belmont Stakes.

Walt Disney Studios is seeking additional extras for the film. They are asking people of all ages to wear clothing from the 1970s and come to Churchill Downs on Monday, Oct. 5 and Tuesday, Oct. 6. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. on both days. Extras should enter through Parking Gate 12 off Queen Avenue, walk to the Gate 10 admission gate and follow signage to the ITW area on the second floor of the Clubhouse. The first 500 extras will receive free hot dogs and drinks, while all extras will be eligible for prize drawing giveaways.

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