Skip to comments.June 9, 1973 - The Belmont Stakes - Secretariat
Posted on 01/14/2014 12:21:54 PM PST by NKP_Vet
Secretariat raced into the ever glow of immortality in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. His victory, by one of the widest margins in the history of the American turf 31 lengths ahead of his nearest challenger and in a world record time for the 1 1/2 miles distance 2 minutes 24, remains one of the most memorable in sports history. At any moment, a racing fan who might have seen a thousand races, or ten thousand races, or just ten races, can think of those winning numbers 31 and 2:24 and be transported instantly back in time. Back to one of the landmark achievements of a sport as old as horse and man.
The numbers 31 and 2:24 merely trigger the REAL memory of a horse running as no horse had ever seemed to run before or since.Secretariat ran more powerfully, and with more fluid skill than one could ever hope from a horse. And humans hope for much from horses. To feel the glory of Secretariats Belmont is to be flooded with emotion of having seen something of true wonder.
The most lasting image, in fact, is probably not in the numbers at all. Those numbers came later, after Secretariat crossed the finish line. Only those who have seen countless races would instantly know what the time on the teletimer meant. Few of us know the record times for horse races of various distances at different tracks, even though a possible track record was part of the talk leading up to the 1973 Belmont Stakes. For most of us, it took an expert announcer to explain that Secretariat had just run the fastest Belmont in history.
(Excerpt) Read more at secretariat.com ...
I was stationed in Germany in 1973 and saw the race on a little black and white TV in the NCO Club. I still get the same goose bumps when I see the great Secretariat demolish the field on the way to a a still standing world record. As a matter of fact he set records in all three races. What a beautiful, once in a lifetime racehorse.
The Belmont Stakes! Not States.
I was in the infield for the Preakness. Secretariat paid 2.10 to win for 2.00 played.
Your ticket would be more valuable if you didn’t cash it.
I have it “saved” as one of my YOUTUBE favorites......it never fails to give me goosebumps...*smiles*
But what’s the occasion for posting this today?
I have this photo hanging on my wall Supposedly Turcotte said he turned around and looked back because he could not hear the other horses behind him no pounding of hooves he became curious and looked back to see what was going on the jockey said he did not really know how fast he was traveling, since Secretariat was running so easily he was thinking about asking him to run!
Greatest horse ever.
1978’s Belmont for the triple crown when Ayder picked up the pace just before mid race and dueled Affirmed to the end has got to be in the top 5 races ever. These two horses knew what it was all about.
“More than three thousand years ago a man named Job complained to God about all his troubles and the Bible tells us that God answered. Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? He paused fiercely, rejoicing in his strength and charges into the fray. He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing, He does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground. He cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds”.
I would say one of the greatest ever...he was 16 for 21 which is indeed outstanding and a triple crown winner.
Just before his day, there was a horse I believed would have been his equal: Hoist the Flag. Would have loved to see them race above 3 yo’s at equal weights. J. Cruget was the jockey on Hoist who went 7 for 7 but was disqualified at the same race as was Secretariat later: the champaign stakes. Hoist set the 3yo 7Furlong record of 1.21 at the BayShore at Aquaduct. Cruget who later raced Seattle Slew to the triple crown called Hoist the best horse he had ever ridden. Unfortunately, during a workout the horse broke a leg which was repaired but never ran again.
I saw both horses in person on more than a few occasions. Secretariat was relentless. Hoist had a quirk where he would actually look back and taunt the followers before picking up the pace and putting them away. Too bad he never had the chance to show his greatness.
I agree with your assessment of that race. It was remarkable.
Won that limited edition photo at a silent auction.
Not sure how “limited edition” works in this case....but...
I watched it live. It gave me goose bumps.
I dont know how much of this is hearsay, or just what I remember from the book. But when Secretariat died his heart and lungs was twice as size as normal race horses. They consider it a regressive gene for horses. And most, if not all of Secretariats sires have failed to come even close to his achievements, it may be a few more generations until we see that again. And when it does happen, the horse may tweak his stride as a young Colt and we never see his potential.
But I also remember Secretariat wasnt such a great horse as a 2 year old. Some horses are like that. They peak at the right time. Some peak at 2, others at 6.
Thats why horse racing is a gambling game. It isnt a true sport at all. You never know when a great horse just wasnt in the right mood to race that day.
Secretariat’s record is on dirt, still the world record ran on dirt.
Dupont’s Kelso deserves mention anytime great racing horses are discussed. As a gelding, he raced till he was 9 I believe and virtually owned the jockey cup gold cup in NY for a few years.
I had forgotten about Dr. Fager. Horse carried unbelieveable weights and just loped along. Set the mile record carrying 134 I think and breezed with a hand ride at the end.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.