Alternate TIME cover with Secretariat, Chenery up for auction

BOURBON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Whether a sports memorabilia buff, horse racing fan or just want a piece of special history, a sports collectible auction might be of interest.

A Secretariat unique alternate TIME magazine cover, from the personal collection of Penny Chenery, is up for bid in the Lelands Spring Classic Auction, which runs through April 2.

In early June 1973, history was made when the soon-to-be legendary Triple Crown champion Secretariat, who was trained at the famed Claiborne Farm just south of Paris in Bourbon County, was featured in the same week on the covers of the three most important national weekly magazines: TIME, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated.

Not only was this massive publicity and media attention extraordinary in the annals of horse racing, but it was also unprecedented for any sports figure — before or since. It was the TIME cover in particular that drew the most attention with the “superhorse” wearing the Meadow Stable’s famous blue and white checkered blinkers in a striking portrait that is now iconic.

However, few people know that an alternate cover design was also considered, one that featured Secretariat’s illustrious owner Penny Chenery. The only documented proof of this unpublished cover resided in her personal collection — until now.

“We are proud to offer this truly unique piece of racing history that represents the never-before publicly seen conceptual design for the cover of the iconic publication,” Lelands said in describing the piece.

Featuring the familiar TIME font in bold red lettering, the alternate layout of the cover features the smiling portrait of Ms. Chenery alongside a head-on view of Secretariat racing with jockey Ron Turcotte aboard. And even though the concept never made it into public view, the alternate cover manifests the fascination, admiration, and respect the nation held for the woman who has come to be known as the “First Lady of Racing.”

The cover, displayed in a simple brown hardwood frame measuring 12.5″ x 15.5″ in total, was provided to Ms. Chenery as a gift and to our knowledge is the only known example to exist.

“A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a priceless piece of racing history representing a once-in-a-lifetime horse and the woman who was his voice during his racing career and beyond,” Lelands said, noting the alternate cover has been officially catalogued in the Secretariat/Meadow Stable Archive Registry and is accompanied by its own individual letter of authenticity from the Chenery/Tweedy family.

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