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June 9, 1973 - The Belmont Stakes - Secretariat
http://www.secretariat.com ^

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 Secretariat’s 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 ...


TOPICS: History; Music/Entertainment; Sports
KEYWORDS:
"He's moving like a tremendous machine."

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfCMtaNiMDM

1 posted on 01/14/2014 12:21:54 PM PST by NKP_Vet
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To: NKP_Vet

The Belmont Stakes! Not States.


2 posted on 01/14/2014 12:23:43 PM PST by NKP_Vet ("Rather than love, than money, than fame, then give truth" ~ Henry David Thoreau)
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To: NKP_Vet

I was in the infield for the Preakness. Secretariat paid 2.10 to win for 2.00 played.


3 posted on 01/14/2014 12:24:33 PM PST by AU72
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To: AU72

Your ticket would be more valuable if you didn’t cash it.


4 posted on 01/14/2014 12:30:03 PM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: NKP_Vet

5 posted on 01/14/2014 12:31:18 PM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: NKP_Vet

I have it “saved” as one of my YOUTUBE favorites......it never fails to give me goosebumps...*smiles*


6 posted on 01/14/2014 12:36:44 PM PST by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: NKP_Vet

Totally cool.

But what’s the occasion for posting this today?

Just reminiscing?


7 posted on 01/14/2014 12:36:56 PM PST by ifinnegan
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To: Moonman62

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!


8 posted on 01/14/2014 12:43:30 PM PST by ObeahByCyane
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To: NKP_Vet

Greatest horse ever.


9 posted on 01/14/2014 12:45:39 PM PST by Resolute Conservative
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To: Moonman62

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.


10 posted on 01/14/2014 12:54:51 PM PST by Usagi_yo
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To: Resolute Conservative

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iH7OxBQsJYM#t=55

“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”.


11 posted on 01/14/2014 12:55:37 PM PST by NKP_Vet ("Rather than love, than money, than fame, then give truth" ~ Henry David Thoreau)
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To: Resolute Conservative

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.


12 posted on 01/14/2014 1:02:16 PM PST by Mouton (The insurrection laws perpetuate what we have for a government now.)
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To: Usagi_yo

I agree with your assessment of that race. It was remarkable.


13 posted on 01/14/2014 1:05:34 PM PST by Mouton (The insurrection laws perpetuate what we have for a government now.)
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To: NKP_Vet

Won that limited edition photo at a silent auction.

Not sure how “limited edition” works in this case....but...


14 posted on 01/14/2014 1:16:35 PM PST by G Larry
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To: Resolute Conservative
Greatest horse ever.

Maybe.

But I believe 4 y o Dr Fager might have beaten 3 y o Secretariat at a mile in the autumn, and I personally saw 3 of Secretariat's races.

Secretariat's Belmont Stakes was incredible, but credit must go to where it is due: it is not the world record time for that distance or even the American record. That belongs to Kelso, set in 1964 when he won the Washington DC International, on turf, back in the days when they still started the race with a starting tape since the overseas entries were not gate-trained. Racing on Laurel's inner turf course, with turns much tighter than Belmont's dirt course, Kelso ran a 3-turn race in 2:23 4/5.
15 posted on 01/14/2014 1:21:42 PM PST by Nepeta
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To: NKP_Vet

I watched it live. It gave me goose bumps.


16 posted on 01/14/2014 1:29:32 PM PST by hadaclueonce (Because Brawndo's got electrolytes. Because Ethanol has Big Corn Lobby)
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To: Nepeta

I don’t 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 wasn’t 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.

That’s why horse racing is a “gambling” game. It isn’t a true sport at all. You never know when a great horse just wasn’t in the right mood to race that day.


17 posted on 01/14/2014 1:36:26 PM PST by skinndogNN
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To: Nepeta

Secretariat’s record is on dirt, still the world record ran on dirt.


18 posted on 01/14/2014 1:40:29 PM PST by NKP_Vet ("Rather than love, than money, than fame, then give truth" ~ Henry David Thoreau)
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To: Nepeta

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.


19 posted on 01/14/2014 1:43:34 PM PST by Mouton (The insurrection laws perpetuate what we have for a government now.)
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To: NKP_Vet
Yes, it's on dirt, but Kelso set his record going around 3 tight turns. Belmont's turns are huge and sweeping compared to Laurel's turf. I am familiar with both tracks. Kelso was not a turf horse at all; dirt was very much his preference.

Secretariat was a wonderful horse; I do not believe that I will live to see another one like him.

Find the video of Dr Fager on the dirt at Arlington Park in 1968, and see if you think anything would have ever beaten him. He won carrying 130 pounds, and he did it easily and could have gone faster.
20 posted on 01/14/2014 1:52:34 PM PST by Nepeta
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To: NKP_Vet
Yes, it's on dirt, but Kelso set his record going around 3 tight turns. Belmont's turns are huge and sweeping compared to Laurel's turf. I am familiar with both tracks. Kelso was not a turf horse at all; dirt was very much his preference.

Secretariat was a wonderful horse; I do not believe that I will live to see another one like him.

Find the video of Dr Fager on the dirt at Arlington Park in 1968, and see if you think anything would have ever beaten him. He won carrying 130 pounds, and he did it easily and could have gone faster.
21 posted on 01/14/2014 1:54:48 PM PST by Nepeta
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To: NKP_Vet

I was in high school at the time and remember watching the race with my family in my parents living room. What a race, it was almost surreal. Even though I didn’t know much about horse racing, I loved Secretariat followed him through the Triple Crown. I agree, we will never see the likes of Secretariat again.


22 posted on 01/14/2014 2:04:12 PM PST by nicksaunt
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To: NKP_Vet

I was on the rail in Saratoga when Onion beat Secretariat, I think it was in the Whitney stakes. I have a great picture of the post parade.


23 posted on 01/14/2014 2:06:46 PM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: 1Old Pro
Arriving at Saratoga in the summer of 1973, Secretariat was the Conquering Hero returning home. The Big Red colt had won his first stakes race at Saratoga the previous summer. Even then, as a two-year-old rookie racehorse, knowledgeable observers were beginning to hail him as something special. Now, he was the Triple Crown champion, the first to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes since Citation, 25 years before. As many of the top horses and stables in the country arrived in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., for the famous summertime race meeting, Secretariat stood at the top of the world of sports stars, and few thought he would ever lose another race. But he did. In the Whitney Stakes, before another huge throng of adoring fans, Secretariat ran second to a little-known horse named Onion. Secretariat had lost races before. But that was then, and this was now. The defeat stunned everyone. There is a reason they call Saratoga the “Graveyard of Champions.” The list of famous racehorses who have lost at Saratoga is almost as long as the list of famous horses who have won there. In fact, there is a race at Saratoga called the Jim Dandy, which is named in honor of a horse called Jim Dandy, who once upset Gallant Fox (another Triple Crown winner) at odds of 100-1. It was at Saratoga, in 1919, that the word “upset” entered the American sports lexicon. That’s when a horse named Upset beat the mighty Man o’ War. It was the original Big Red’s only defeat. In those days, the word upset had a more literal meaning, along the lines of tip over, or capsize. But it had no particular connection with sports. Then came Upset’s victory over the seemingly invincible Man o’ War. So shocking was Upset’s triumph over Man o’ War, that sports scribes began to describe unexpected outcomes in other sports like football and basketball by saying so-and-so “pulled off an Upset.” Eventually, the capitalized “U” in Upset became lower case as upset became a part of regular usage, and a word we know well today. Of course, the word onion never has gained as clear a usage as upset, but Onion’s upset victory over Secretariat on Aug.4, 1973 will long be remembered as one of the most startling upsets in sports. There really was little remarkable about Onion’s victory over Secretariat. It happened in the same way as do many races every day: a speed horse gets a clear lead, has a chance to pace himself, and finds enough gas left in the tank to hold off his challengers. On this day it was jockey Jacinto Vasquez delivering a perfectly-judged ride aboard Onion. And Onion was a sharp racehorse for the Whitney. He had just set a new track record for 6 1/2 furlongs 11 days before at Saratoga. The footnotes from the Daily Racing Form’s chart of the Whitney tell the story: “ONION sprinted away to a clear lead around the first turn, made the pace under good rating, and while remaining well out from the inner rail, responded readily when challenged by SECRETARIAT at the far turn, lugged in slightly just inside the final three sixteenths, was quickly straightened away and proved best under brisk urging. “SECRETARIAT,” the Form continued, “knocked open the stall doors before the start, came away in good order, ducked to the inside after entering the backstretch, went up after ONION at the far turn, continued to race along the rail while dueling with that rival until the final sixteenth and weakened.” At the betting windows, the track offered “win” wagering only, and Onion paid a nice $13.20, with Secretariat losing at odds of ten cents on the dollar. Onion’s victory brought considerable attention to that horse’s trainer, Allen Jerkens, who handled the horse for the Hobeau Farm, a prominent New York-based stable. It was the first of several notable upsets for Jerkens, who soon was being called “The Giant Killer.” The upset of Secretariat, incidentally, was not the only surprise of that week at Saratoga. Three days earlier, Secretariat’s stable-mate, Riva Ridge was upset in a minor race by a 51-1 shot named Wichita Oil. At the time, advertising men with Phillip Morris Co. had been discussing a special match race called the Marlboro Cup between Secretariat and Riva Ridge, the two Kentucky Derby winners from the same barn. After both were beaten in the same week by unknowns, one wag suggested the Marlboro match race should pit Onion versus Wichita Oil. Very funny. But the special Marlboro race idea wasn’t dead.
24 posted on 01/14/2014 2:12:37 PM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: NKP_Vet

This screams inequality! Shouldn’t the other horses have time subtracted from their runs so they can better compete and make it a fairer race? The President needs to issue an executive order doing this.


25 posted on 01/14/2014 2:20:53 PM PST by kaehurowing
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To: 1Old Pro

Especially in horse racing.

Even when you know, you never know.


26 posted on 01/14/2014 2:29:39 PM PST by skinndogNN
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To: AU72
...paid 2.10 to win...

I can't help but remember a now dead friend of mine once eyeing up the tote board at the track and exclaiming, "1 to 20 odds?!? F*** that horse! I'd rather lose 10 bucks than win a dime!".

27 posted on 01/14/2014 5:37:10 PM PST by Rodamala
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To: nicksaunt
Lost in all the excitement of his surreal performance in the Belmont Stakes was his record setting performance in the Kentucky Derby. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretariat_%28horse%29 "On his way to a still-standing track record (1:592⁄5), Secretariat ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it. The successive quarter-mile times were 251⁄5, 24, 234⁄5, 232⁄5, and 23. This means he was still accelerating as of the final quarter-mile of the race. No other horse had won the Derby in less than 2 minutes before, and it would not be accomplished again until Monarchos in 2001. Sportswriter Mike Sullivan said, in admiration: I was at Secretariat's Derby, in '73. . . That was...just beauty, you know? He started in last place, which he tended to do. I was covering the second-place horse, which wound up being Sham. It looked like Sham's race going into the last turn, I think. The thing you have to understand is that Sham was fast, a beautiful horse. He would have had the Triple Crown in another year. And it just didn't seem like there could be anything faster than that. Everybody was watching him. It was over, more or less. And all of a sudden there was this, like, just a disruption in the corner of your eye, in your peripheral vision. And then before you could make out what it was, here Secretariat came. And then Secretariat had passed him. No one had ever seen anything run like that – a lot of the old guys said the same thing. It was like he was some other animal out there.[16]" Secretariat set track records in all three Triple Crown races in 1973. 41 years later he still holds the records. Their will never be another Big Red.
28 posted on 01/14/2014 6:58:23 PM PST by NKP_Vet ("Rather than love, than money, than fame, then give truth" ~ Henry David Thoreau)
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To: Rodamala

Best three minutes in sports history.


29 posted on 01/14/2014 6:59:52 PM PST by EQAndyBuzz ("The GOP fights its own base with far more vigor than it employs in fighting the Dims.")
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To: 1Old Pro
I was on the rail in Saratoga when Onion beat Secretariat, I think it was in the Whitney stakes. I have a great picture of the post parade.

I was on that rail that day, too.
30 posted on 01/14/2014 7:02:12 PM PST by Nepeta
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