This image in Steve Haskin’s collection of never-before-offered photography, "Sunrise Symmetry" captures the calm and beauty at the beginning of a new day at the Belmont Meadow Stable barn.
I have taken many photos of Secretariat -- on the track, in the paddock, being saddled at Pimlico, at his barn, playing games with me at Claiborne Farm, etc. But this photo is different from all my other photos of Big Red, because it takes me back to a special moment in time with him; not one of awe, watching him run, nor one of idolatry, watching his fans cheer, shake and sob just being in his presence. This was a brief moment of pure tranquility in an almost pastoral setting, as the mighty Secretariat with Ron Turcotte aboard strolled around the walking ring outside his barn prior to a workout, followed by his illustrious stablemate Riva Ridge.
Watching them, with the morning sun outlining Secretariat's crimson coat and no one else around, it was as if there wasn't a care in the world. It was just me, Red, Riva, and a warm morning sun in the quiet of the backstretch. Somehow the photo unfolded with the two big horses perfectly framing Charlie Davis aboard stable pony Billy Silver, who were like statues in a flawless pose, all casting their elongated shadows on the grass inside the walking ring. Just in front of Secretariat a red water bucket added a touch of color as the sun was just about to rise over Lucien Laurin's office.
I normally never shoot into the sun, especially in the morning. But this was a moment, a scene, an image I couldn't resist. This one was different and personal, and nearly 50 years later I admit I still love looking at this photo for the simple reason that it makes me feel good, as good as when I first took it. ~ SH
Measures 8” x 10” and limited to 50 total pieces available on a first-come basis with the options of being matted and hand-signed by Ron Turcotte.