This year marks the 46th anniversary of the great Secretariat’s record-breaking performance in the 1973 Belmont Stakes, a race that earned the flashy red son of Bold Ruler his Triple Crown, which was in a 25-year drought at the time. The colt’s victory made him and his joyful owner Penny Chenery national heros and they appeared on several prominent magazine covers after the win, including Time and Sports Illustrated.
Secretariat’s Belmont Stakes performance remains the gold standard for all horses in any race anywhere and in addition to establishing a record for margin of victory when he crossed the wire 31 lengths ahead of the field behind him, Secretariat also set the North American record for 1 ½ miles in 2:24, a mark that still stands today.
Virginia-bred Secretariat, who was campaigned by his Chenery’s Meadow Stable, was trained throughout his career by Lucien Lauren and ridden in all but three of his of his 21 career starts by Ron Turcotte. Both jockey and trainer are members of racing’s Hall of Fame. Secretariat was retired at the end of his 3-year-old season to Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, with a record of 21-15-3-1, $1,316,808. He was honored as the 1972 and1973 Horse of the Year, as well as champion 2-year-old, 3-year-old and male turf horse, and was the leading broodmare sire in 1992. He was inducted into Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1974.