The 1940´s was the golden age for the Triple Crown as no less than four horses managed to capture this elusive title during that decade. This era was followed however by two decades of absolutely no Triple Crown winners. So, when Secretariat managed to win the three Triple Crown races in 1973, the media attention was dazzling. As if being a Triple Crown winner wasn´t enough, Secretariat also managed to set new speed records for all three races, and his time of 2:24 for 11⁄2 miles in the 1973 Belmont Stakes was a new world record for that distance. What is even more remarkable is that Secretariat still holds the speed records for the three stakes, as well as his world record för 11/2 miles.
Short info about Secretariat
Died: 1989. He was euthanized after developing laminitis.
Breeder: Christopher Chenery
Owner: Christopher Chenery, Penny Chenery
Trainer: Lucien Laurin
Record: 21: 16-3-1
- As a two-year-old, Secretariat was named American Horse of the Year.
- ESPN put Secretariat on their list of the best athletes of the 20th century. (He was placed on spot #35.)
- Blood-Horse Managzine named Secretariat the second best horse of the 20th century. (Man o´ War got spot #1.)
- Disney released a live action film about Secretariat in 2010.
Pedigree of Secretariat
Secretariat participated in 21 races and won 16 of them. During his racing career, he earned $1,316,808 in prize money.
Examples of notable Secretariat wins
Sanford Stakes (1972)
Hopeful Stakes (1972)
Futurity Stakes (1972)
Laurel Futurity (1972)
Garden State Futurity (1972)
Bay Shore Stakes (1973)
Gotham Stakes (1973)
Arlington Invitational (1973)
Marlboro Cup (1973)
Man o’ War Stakes (1973)
Canadian International (1973)
Kentucky Derby (1973)
Preakness Stakes (1973)
Belmont Stakes (1973)
Earning the Triple Crown title
The Kentucky Derby
Secretariat was a favourite going into the 1973 Kentucky Derby and didn´t dissapoint. He won the race with a time of 1:592⁄5, setting a new record for the Kentucky Derby – a record that stands to this day.
The runner-up was Sham, a very capable horse whose performance in the race would have been enough to win the Kentucky Derby in many other years.
The Preakness Stakes
Once again, Secretariat finnished first and Sham came in second. This was a clear win for Secretariat, as he had over two horse lenghts to spare between him and Sham.
After some controversy, the race time was declared to be 1:53 – a new record for the Preakness Stakes. So far, this record has never been broken.
The Belmont Stakes
Only five horses entered the Belmont Stakes this year, and the only real threat to Secretariat was Sham. The other three horses were never expected to come even close to this dynamic duo.
Secretariat won the race at 2:24 – a new (and still undefeated) record time for the Belmont Stakes. This is also the still-standing record pace for 1 ½ mile on dirt.
At the age of 3, Secretariat retired from the race course and launched a second career as a stud. In total, he sired 600 foals.
Secretariat was not good as sireing succesfull sons, but seemed to be able to pass his amazing abilities to his daughters who in turn could pass them to their offspring of both sexes. Secretariat sired several succesfull fillies and also damsired a number of accomplished stallions.