Did you catch the Kentucky Derby? I think we may have another Triple Crown winner on our hands with Justify! I sure hope so! Gosh, I have watched every race in the Triple Crown for as long as I can remember. You want to hear what kind of goofy kid I was? In the ‘70’s, I used to clip the TV Guide articles about each race! I was obsessed with the sport and the majestic horses. I even wanted to become a jockey, until my height and weight vetoed that ambition.

Every time the first weekend in May arrives and it’s Kentucky Derby time, I can’t help but think back to the greatest of them all—Secretariat. I witnessed him win every race of the Triple Crown. I can still visualize Secretariat moving so far ahead of the other horses before crossing the finish line that it almost seemed like it was a race of one. Incredible!

The photo here is from 2012 when I participated in the Western States Horse Expo Book Corral in Sacramento, California. I met Kate Chenery Tweedy (of Secretariat fame) in the Pomona Book Corral at Western States Horse Expo a few months earlier in 2011 as she was promoting her newly released book Secretariat’s Meadow. I witnessed Secretariat win the Triple Crown and I couldn’t believe that I was shaking Kate’s hand! A pinch me moment! She was the nicest lady.

Because each Expo was a three-day event, we all became quick friends. The coolest thing for me was to hear Kate say my name! What? Pinch me again. The Belmont Stakes was happening on the second day of the Sacramento Book Corral and a potential Triple Crown winner was on everyone’s mind. Here we were, gathering around watching another historic horse race on TV, with the famous Kate Chenery Tweedy among us. It was surreal!

Denise Lee Branco
May 6, 2018