Teche News: Some of the actors were on site, obviously. Who’d you meet?
Credeur: I met Diane Lane and John Malkovich, which are the two main actors. [here, he chuckles] It was interesting, I tell you that.
TN: In what way?
Credeur: Just the way they do things, the way the movie was shot. It’s amazing how it takes so long. They may set up for four hours just to get ready for 10 seconds of film.
TN: What did they film here at the training center?
Credeur: The races at Churchill Downs, the Belmont, the Preakness. If you look at the racetrack itself (in the film) you’ll swear they’re at Churchill Downs. They took that whole Churchill grandstand and incorporated it here.
TN: I was always told that the track itself was one of the best in the state.
Credeur: It’s one of the best in the nation. In fact, I’ve got quotes in the “Horsemen’s Journal” from (famous trainers) who say it’s one of the best tracks in the country.
TN: What was your role in the film?
Credeur: They had asked me to play parts in the movie, but I had too much stuff to worry about. I had to make sure things were going smooth and not interfering with our clients here. We still had 1,100 head of horses here. I had to make sure the track was in good shape. It was a tough little job to maintain everything. We spent some long hours here for three months, let me tell you. Really more than three months, because they came and did a lot of construction work ahead of time. They stayed from the end of July to the first week of December.
TN: Did they use the same horse for Secretariat, or different horses?
Credeur: They had four horses they used for Secretariat. He was chestnut, red-colored, with three white stockings. They didn’t use ours; they had their own horses. But Secretariat – he was beautiful.
TN: Did you ever see the real Secretariat?
Credeur: In Kentucky, sure did. This is when he was a stallion; he was standing at stud (in the 1980s). He was beautiful; he was gorgeous. I even went and visit his grave afterwards, too. (Secretariat died Oct. 4, 1989.)
TN: As a young kid, I remember that Belmont race in 1973 where he won by, 25 lengths, I think?
Credeur: Thirty-one lengths. That was the Belmont Stakes. He still holds several records.
TN: So, you were an unofficial consultant.
Credeur: Well, the production guys called me up once and said they needed a van that looks like the old days, one that Secretariat would have rode in. I called a friend of mine in Henderson (Jessie LeBlanc with Rocking Horse Transportation) who had a van that was pretty close to what they were looking for. He came an hour and a half later and we were sitting here with the van when he (the production crew member) drove up. He said, “Damn, A.J., I came down the service road and I saw that van and I caught the goosebumps. I was waiting for something newer.” Then he opened up a book, a picture of Secretariat’s van, and, I swear, you would think it was the same van that he rode in back in the ’70s.