Equine Artist, Racing Legends Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Secretariat’s Juvenile Races at Saratoga

Equine Artist, Racing Legends Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Secretariat’s Juvenile Races at Saratoga

Spa Fine Art Gallery in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is hosting a month-long exhibition entitled, “Big Red, White and Blue,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of Secretariat running his 2-year-old races (1972) in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The rare collection features a brand-new collection of Secretariat paintings by Lisa Palombo, and hand-signed photography by Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery, affectionately known as “the First Lady of Racing” as well as Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte.

Select memorabilia and historical pieces from the Secretariat/Meadow Stables Archives will be on display and available for sale. The special exhibition kicks off with an opening champagne reception on Fri., Aug. 5, 2022 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the gallery with appearances and signings by:

  • Contemporary American Impressionist Lisa Palombo
  • Hall of Fame Horse Racing Journalist Steve Haskin
  • President of Secretariat.com Leonard Lusky, and
  • other surprise guests

“We’re thrilled to offer such an amazing collection and body of artwork by Lisa Palombo celebrating the legendary Secretariat and his legacy of excellence,” said Alyson Stryker, gallery manager of Spa Fine Art. “We’re also proud to be representing equine artist Lisa Palombo for over 10 years now. Her recognition and base of collectors worldwide only continue to grow.”

Secretariat is widely considered to be the greatest racehorse of all time and the most recognizable name in Thoroughbred racing. “Big Red” as he is most often affectionately referred to, became America’s Horse after his historic Triple Crown win in 1973, winning the Belmont Stakes by an unimaginable 31 lengths (in world record time) in what stands today as perhaps the single greatest horse racing performance ever.

Steve Haskin, whose vintage photos of Secretariat will also be on display during the event, added, “Most people remember Secretariat from his historic Triple Crown campaign, but many forget that some of Big Red’s most memorable moments came at Saratoga, both at 2 and 3. This is where the legend was born. In the span of 27 days, Secretariat ran three times at the Spa. Big Red never looked back after that and ended the year as North America’s ‘Horse of the Year.’ ”

Secretariat returns to Saratoga in a dazzling display of color from the brush strokes of talented artist Lisa Palombo who has made Big Red one of her favorite subjects and has shown him from every angle, from his magnificent stride and powerful shoulders to his alert eyes peering through his blinkers in classic headshots and drawing off to his five-length victory in the Hopeful Stakes.

All these and her other paintings come alive in splashes of bright colors that enhance Secretariat’s overwhelming presence. As a change of pace there is an intimate black and white image of Big Red and exercise rider Charlie Davis on the track walking toward you with a blinker-free Secretariat showing off his exquisite face with its familiar markings that makes you feel as if you are right there watching him.


Lisa Palombo is a renowned Contemporary American Impressionist known for her expressive brushwork and fearless use of color. Her equine, polo and horse racing paintings are especially masterful, capturing the elegance, motion, and thunder of these magnificent animals. Lisa began her formal art education at the age of nine while spending summers at the acclaimed Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She later graduated from RISD with honors and has been painting professionally for over 30 years. Her awe-inspiring artwork adorns the walls of private collectors and corporate collections worldwide.