Walt Disney Studios is filming scenes in town this week for its upcoming film Secretariat — about the horse that won thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and whose record runs in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes still stand. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.
The production, with cast members Diane Lane and John Malkovich, will film at Churchill Downs all this week. To prepare, the track has undergone changes, says track senior director Darren Rogers.
“We’ve had a little bit of a transformation of the paddock to make it look more like it was in 1973,” Rogers says. “Of course, there was a completely different paddock back then, but they’re doing their best to recreate it.”
Rogers says all the action won’t detract from everyday business at the track.
“We’ll have regular training hours take place with the horses that we have here on the backside; betting going on Wednesday through Friday,” he says.
Officials from the Kentucky Film Office say the producers had planned to shoot the movie mostly outside Kentucky until the state passed legislation offering tax breaks for filmmakers in June. The project has projected $4 million in expenditures, which would make the production eligible for $800,000 in tax credits.
And Disney Studios is looking for people of any age who want to be an extras. The filmmakers request that they come to the track by 8 a.m. and tomorrow— wearing 1970s-style clothing, of course. More details are here.