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Secretariat was her life’s mission. On Monday, they honored her legacy.

Friends, family remember Secretariat owner with honest words, funny stories

At the celebration of life ceremony for Penny Chenery, owner of Triple Crown winner Secretariat, friends and family of Chenery spoke about the life of the horse racing pioneer.
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At the celebration of life ceremony for Penny Chenery, owner of Triple Crown winner Secretariat, friends and family of Chenery spoke about the life of the horse racing pioneer.

The life of Helen Chenery, the owner of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat, was celebrated Monday in a public ceremony at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington. Among the speakers were children John Tweedy and Kate Tweedy and jockey Pat Day.

Secretariat literally ran away with the Triple Crown, winning the final race, the Belmont Stakes, by an astonishing 31 lengths.

When Secretariat died at 19 in 1989, Chenery, known as Penny, recalled how the champion horse won the hearts of the American public during its Triple Crown campaign.

“In 1973, the country was in an emotional slump,” she wrote in The New York Times. “It was the time of the Watergate and Nixon scandals, and people were looking for something wholesome to admire. I’ve always felt that because he was a chestnut horse and our stable colors were blue and white, he was running in red, white and blue.”

Chenery died Sept. 16. She was 95.

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