As the next Kentucky Derby hopefuls get ready to run for the roses, the legend of Secretariat stays fresh on the minds of race lovers in Derby city with a special dinner and art exhibition at Avalon restaurant in Louisville. The evening pays homage to the storied superhorse with an intimate dinner on May 1 at 7 p.m. Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, will be on hand to discuss the life and success of the 1973 Triple Crown champion. She will be joined by exercise rider Jimmy Gaffney, Triple Crown winning jockey Jean Cruguet, and author and handicapping expert Bill Doolittle.
Chenery, also known as the First Lady of the Turf, will be in Kentucky to make a rare public appearance as part of Secretariat's induction into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame May 2. Secretariat will be the first animal to receive this honor.
The art exhibition will display many pieces of previously unseen photography and artwork, including work by Ken Regan (known for the 1973 TIME magazine cover photo of Secretariat). Other featured artists include Richard Stone Reeves, LeRoy Neiman, Edwin Bogucki, James Archambeault, Bob Coglianese; Katie Upton; Kitty Cantrell; and Caroline Boydston.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Secretariat Foundation, a charitable fund established by Chenery that makes contributions to equine-related organizations. The mission of the Secretariat Foundation is to assist and support various charities and causes within the Thoroughbred racing community including veterinary research, thoroughbred retirement and rehabilitation facilities and higher education scholarship in equine-related fields of study.
Reservations for the Secretariat event can be made by calling Avalon Restaurant (502) 454-5336 or secretariat.com at (502) 473-1036. Tickets are $150, which includes a three-course dinner prepared by chef Chip Lawrence and a special Big Red cocktail created by Brown-Forman master distiller Chris Morris. Reservations can also be made online at www.secretariat.com.