Diane Lane Takes ‘Secretariat’ to the Finish Line

I admit it, I’m a sucker for a good animal movie. They can be about dogs, horses, lizards, penguins or anything else with sub-human intelligence and I’ll happily watch it. Then I’ll claim I’ve got something in my eye in order to maintain my hard-hearted reputation when the tears start to flow. So the idea of a movie about the famous Triple Crown winner Secretariat fills me with all kinds of nostalgia for my horse-loving youth, and the fact that it’s attracted such a classy actress as Diane Lane makes me hope for the very best.

Variety reports that Lane is set to star in Disney’s “Secretariat,” a film that will portray the story of the horse and his owner, Penny Chenery. While Secretariat was born to be a champion, Chenery was thrust unexpectedly into the world of horse racing.

She grew up riding horses on her father’s horse farm, Meadow Stable, though she steered clear of being involved as anything but a board member. She followed the “traditional” path for women of her time, becoming a housewife and mother to four children. However, Chenery was forced to take control of Meadow Stable after her father became ill. She learned on the job, and thanks to the fame and success of Secretariat, she became known as “The First Lady of Racing.”

The film was written by Mike Rich (“The Rookie”), and will be directed by Randall Wallace — which is a bit of a change-up since he’s better known for writing screenplays such as “Braveheart” and “Pearl Harbor” than he is for his directing. Knowing Wallace, “Secretariat” will be heavy on the heartwarming stuff and a bit loose with the facts. Hey, this is horse racing we’re talking about — not politics or religion. I can forgive it… and you’ll probably find me in the back row of the theater, pretending I’ve got something in my eye when Secretariat and his record-setting 22 pound heart crosses the finish line.

Are there any horse-crazy readers out there who want to see a Secretariat movie? Can the lovely Diane Lane lure you in if the Triple Crown winner can’t?