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Sculpture of legendary racehorse Secretariat nears finish

March 9, 2019

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A flamboyant sculpture of a renowned racehorse is entering the final stretch of completion in Norman.

The legendary Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths in 1973, set the record time and went on to become the first Triple Crown champion in 25 years.

There are five known Secretariat sculptures, but wildlife sculptor Joecelyn Russell’s piece will be the biggest.

Russell said the resulting sculpture stands about 11 feet tall from “hoof to helmet,” The Oklahoman reported .

“The biggest challenge is capturing the spirit of the horse, the stride, the conformation, his face, the connection with the jockey,” she said.

Russell and her husband, a master welder, came to Norman in 2018 to create Secretariat out of foam and clay.

The monument will be cast in bronze at The Crucible foundry, in Norman.

Mark Palmerton, co-owner of The Crucible, said the finished product will stand around 1 1/2 times the size of the flesh-and-bone Secretariat, and weigh around 4,000 pounds.

“Then we’ll drive it down the highway on a big semi,” Palmerton said. “We’ve done seven or eight Triple Crown winners, but this is the biggest. All of them are great, but Secretariat was the master.”

Russell’s version of Secretariat will eventually stand in the horse racing hub of Kentucky.

The privately-funded Triangle Foundation in Lexington has not disclosed how much the project costs.

The sculpture is expected to be totally bronzed this fall.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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