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The champion thoroughbred race horse Secretariat was foaled in Virginia in 1970. His pedigree was quite impressive as he was the sired by the great Bold Ruler out of the Princequillo mare Somethingroyal. His size was impressive as well as he stood over 16 hands tall.
Secretariat's owner was Penny Chenery's Meadow Stable. Back in Secretariat's day, she was known as Penny Tweedy. He was trained by Canadian Lucien Laurin. While Secretariat's magic year was 1973, Meadow stable had a really big year in 1972. They won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes with Riva Ridge while Secretariat was beginning his career as a two year old. Secretariat went on to win several stake races that year and went on to win America's Horse of the Year, the only time that a two year old had won the honor.
In 1973, Secretariat had created such a buzz with his two year old success that the hope was that he could become the first triple crown winner in twenty five years. Citation last accomplished the feat in 1948. He began the year by winning his first two races (The Bay Shore and The Gotham). In a shocking upset, he was defeated in the Wood Memorial by his stablemate Angle Light which seemed to diminish his star, at least for the time being.
Secretariat went on to win the 1973 Kentucky Derby as the favorite. His winning time of 1:59 2/5 was a record that still stands today. Incredibly, he ran every quarter of the race faster than the previous one. The runner up in the race, Sham, remains a footnote in thoroughbred horse racing history as one the the best three year olds never to win a triple crown race.
Secretariat went on to win the Preakness and Belmont and became the first thoroughbred in twenty five years to win the Triple Crown. His Belmont performance is considered by many to be the greatest performance by a thoroughbred race horse in American History. It was so special that thousands of Secretariat winning tickets went uncashed as fans kept them as souvenirs.
After his incredible Belmont win, Secretariat raced six other times. He actually lost twice, both to Allen Jerkens trained horses (Prove Out and Onion). Ironically, all of Secretariat's 1973 stakes losses where in races that begin with the letter "w" (Wood, Whitney, Woodward).
Secretariat ended his career with two wins over turf courses in New York and Toronto. For most of his career, he was ridden by jockey Ron Turcotte. But in his final race, he was ridden by Eddie Maple. Eddie Sweat was Secretariat's longtime groom.
Secretariat was named Horse of the Year in 1973.
His breeding record is open to debate. He did sire one horse of the year (the Oklahoma bred filly Lady's Secret in 1986). Secretariat's offspring never quite matched his greatness but there is no question about his sparkling success as a broodmare sire. Many of his female progeny produced several champions.
He was euthanized in 1989 after contracting laminitis. Secretariat's grave is at Claiborne Farm in Lexington Kentucky.
Secretariats racing record was 16 wins, three seconds, and a third in 21 starts. He finished unplaced in his maiden debut.
Events that have been occurred since Secretariat's Death:
Belmont has a Secretariat statue that was unveiled in 1978.
In 1999 the United States Postal Service honored Secretariat with a thirty-three cent stamp.