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Larger-than-life Secretariat statue coming to Lexington

December 27, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A larger-than-life bronze memorial to the famous racehorse Secretariat is coming to Lexington this fall.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports , sculptor Jocelyn Russell is constructing a statue of the 1973 Triple Crown winner. He’ll be posed in full stride winning the Kentucky Derby as starter no. 1A, with jockey Ron Turcotte in the saddle.

Once completed, the statue will travel from her Norman, Oklahoma, studio to its permanent home in Lexington at the intersection of Alexandria Drive and Old Frankfort Pike. A parking and viewing area nearby will have informational kiosks.

When she was contacted about sculpting the memorial, Russell said, “I think my jaw was down in my lap. I just kept saying, ‘It’s Secretariat. You want me to sculpt Secretariat? I can’t imagine a more iconic animal and the honor of it.’”

Russell has made two trips to Grand Falls, New Brunswick, to consult Turcotte on the statue and make sure that every last detail is accurate. She also visited the horse’s Meadow Stable birthplace at Doswell, Va.

On one of several research trips to Kentucky, Russell sat by Secretariat’s gravestone where she said she felt a powerful connection to the horse.

The statue is being funded by the private Triangle Foundation, which has not disclosed the price, while the parking and viewing area is funded with a combination of local, state and federal money and is expected to cost $754,000.

There are at least five other monuments to Secretariat, including two at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park, but the new monument will be the largest at slightly more than 1 ½ times Secretariat’s actual size.

Alex G. Campbell Jr., founder of the Triangle Foundation, said his group wanted its memorial to be the large so it could be easily seen by passing motorists.

Campbell said he urged Triangle Foundation’s executive committee to select Secretariat as the subject of the sculpture, “because Secretariat is the greatest racehorse that ever lived.” Campbell defended his assertion by noting Secretariat “was the only horse to win all three (Triple Crown) races and set the track record at all three places. It’s a mathematical fact which horse is the greatest.”

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com

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