Secretariat’s Virtual Birthday Celebration Scheduled For March 26, 27

Online Gathering to Honor Birth of 1973 Triple Crown Champion

For the second consecutive year the Secretariat Birthday Celebration at the Meadow will not take place due to the continued COVID challenges. However, we are delighted to announce a virtual gathering via Zoom and Facebook will take place March 26-27 to continue our tradition of honoring the birth of a racing legend. 

Co-hosts for the online festivities will be Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of the Meadow’s Penny Chenery, and Leeanne Meadows Ladin, former tourism manager at Meadow Event Park and co-author along with Ms. Tweedy of the award-winning book Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend and Riva Ridge – Penny’s First Champion.

The Birthday Celebration will offer a selection of activities for all Big Red fans beginning with a virtual Secretariat Julep cocktail party to kick off the festivities on Friday, March 26 and followed by the Celebration’s main activities on Saturday, March 27, including a selection of Fan Forums and special appearances with jockey Ron Turcotte, Lucien Laurin assistant Steve Jordan, and other distinguished guests.

Celebration highlights include the viewing of rare lost film footage of Secretariat and the public debut of a never-before-seen photo of the champ as yearling, a visual history of several of the Meadow Stable’s most accomplished stars, a Florida Derby/Kentucky Derby Rankings preview with acclaimed sports journalist Steve Haskin, a tribute presentation to the entire Meadow Team, and the opportunity to bid on an amazing collection of memorabilia from the Secretariat/Meadow Stable Archives.

Don’t get left at the gate, purchase your All-Access VIP Birthday Celebration Pass now and receive a free commemorative color foal print created specifically for this year’s event. A collectible keepsake when you join us and your fellow Secretariat fans for this joyful virtual event!

Penny Chenery is shown with Secretariat.

Friday, March 26 – Secretariat Birthday Celebration Virtual Kickoff Julep Party (Free)
The Secretariat Birthday Celebration begins with a virtual Kickoff Party on Zoom where Big Red fans can see old friends and meet new ones. From 7 to 8:30 p.m. EDT, Kate Chenery Tweedy and Leeanne Meadows Ladin will host a get-together that will be highlighted by a Secretariat Julep toast that is sure to taste better when sipped from your own commemorative Birthday Celebration Julep Cup. Activities planned include a trivia contest and individual breakout rooms with some of our distinguished guests, and perhaps a few other surprises!

The Kickoff Julep Party is a free event, but capacity will be limited and space will be filled on a first-come basis. To guarantee your participation, please sign up for the All-Access VIP Birthday Celebration Pass now available for purchase. Otherwise, we are now accepting Julep Party Registration, while space is still available. 

Saturday, March 27 – Secretariat Virtual Birthday Celebration 
We are delighted to present our ticketed virtual Fan Forums through the electronic meeting technology of Zoom and free Birthday Celebration video premieres throughout the day on our Facebook page at @SecretariatOfficial. Please review our selection of virtual activities below:

Fan Forums on Zoom: Our popular limited capacity Fan Forums will provide fans access to discussions with our hosts and special guests along with the opportunities to ask questions and hear insiders’ perspective on many Secretariat-related topics. Listed Fan Forum times are Eastern Daylight and may be subject to minor changes, and we encourage you to confirm the schedule prior to the event. We recommend downloading the Zoom app on your phone, tablet or desktop prior to the event. Fan Forums require pre-registration and registrants will receive an access link by email prior to the event. For technical assistance, please email

Secretariat shown in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. Photo courtesy of AP.
  • (TICKETED) “Meadow Stars” 11:30 a.m. – In addition to Secretariat and Riva Ridge, the Meadow racing stable was represented in winner’s circles across the country dating back to late 1930s. Learn more about some of the most accomplished Meadow horses, both in the breeding shed and on the racetrack in this illuminating visual history presentation. Horses to be discussed include Hill Prince, First Landing, and Cicada, as well as blue-hen broodmares like Hildene, Imperatrice and Somethingroyal. As an added bonus, jockey Ron Turcotte will join in providing his experiences aboard Secretariat’s and Riva Ridge’s younger brothers Capital Asset and Capito. Approximate length 40 minutes with Q&A to follow. Advance ticketing to guarantee your space in this Forum is now available for purchase through an All-Access VIP Birthday Celebration Pass. Individual tickets on sale now for $25, while quantities last.
  • (TICKETED) “Secretariat Virtual Vault” 1:00 p.m. – This highly anticipated event includes rare and never-before-seen Secretariat film footage and photography, including the public debut of the only known image of Secretariat as a yearling that was recently discovered in one of the original Meadow Farm files dating back to the early history of Penny Chenery’s management of the renowned farm. Among the historical treasures to be viewed are period film commercials of Secretariat produced by the New York Racing Association and First & Merchant National Bank as well as outtakes and photography associated with their filming. Approximate length 40 min with Q&A to follow. Individual tickets on sale now for $40, while quantities last.
  • (TICKETED) “Florida Derby Preview and Derby Rankings” 3:00 p.m. – Hall of Fame racing journalist, handicapper, and historian Steve Haskin will host this discussion that coincides with the running of the Florida Derby later in the afternoon on Celebration Saturday. This Forum will provide an in-depth analysis of the important prep race as well as a look at the key contenders for the 2021 Kentucky Derby. As a live video extension of his weekly Derby Rankings column, the forum promises spirited discussion, candid predictions, prognostications, and perhaps even a wagering suggestions. Leeanne Meadows Ladin will join in the fun, identifying the horses who trace back to Secretariat and other horses associated with the Meadow. Approximate length 50 minutes with Q&A throughout. Individual tickets on sale now for $15, limited space available. 

To guarantee your space in all three Fan Forums as well as the Kickoff Julep Party, a convenient All-Access VIP Birthday Celebration Pass is available for purchase. 

Facebook Premieres: Posting throughout the day on our Facebook page at @SecretariatOfficial Facebook page  (You will need a Facebook account to access the page.) For technical assistance, please contact @SecretariatOfficial via Facebook Messenger.

  • (FREE) Meadow Farm Foaling Shed and Yearling Barn Virtual Tour Posting– While Meadow Event Park remains closed to the public, join us for a virtual tour with host and Meadow Stable historian Leeanne Meadows Ladin. Peek into the foaling shed where Somethingroyal gave birth to Secretariat as Leeanne recounts the story, and enjoy other snippets from the pastoral farm. Approximate length is 10 minutes.
  • (FREE) Meadow Team Tribute Posting – Though many of the key figures who comprised the Meadow Team have left us over the years since the glory days of the stable, time has not diminished their impact on racing nor their fans’ admiration. From visionary founder Christopher Chenery to the First Lady of Racing Penny Chenery to all who helped raise and race the Meadow champions and run Meadow Stable, we will never let them be forgotten. It has been said that “the land made them all,” and together they made history with the greatest racehorse of them all. This presentation will highlight their contributions. Approximate length is 20 minutes
  • (FREE) Collectors’ Chat – Posting throughout the day – Kate Chenery Tweedy and Leonard Lusky will host a series of short discussions sharing backstories and their personal insights for several artifacts originating from the personal residence of Penny Chenery and the Secretariat Meadow Stable Archives that are currently being offered for auction at

We look forward to returning to the Meadow one day to celebrate the birthday of Secretariat. But this virtual format affords fans opportunities and experiences that we would not be able to share at an in-person event. We hope that you will join us for this celebratory spring weekend — no matter where you are!