Updated: Mar 30
When Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes in extraordinary fashion, he broke a long Triple Crown drought. The last Triple Crown winner had been Citation 25 years earlier.
Secretariat broke records at Belmont Park on both dirt and turf. His time of 2:24 set a record in the Belmont Stakes, a 1 ½ mile race on dirt. His time of 2:24 ⅘ set a record in the Man o’ War stakes, a 1 ½ mile trek on turf.
When Secretariat entered stud at Claiborne Farm, he took the stall of his sire Bold Ruler. Bold Ruler had passed away when Secretariat was just one years old.
Not many people were impressed with Secretariat when he was young. His groom Eddie Sweat said that when he first saw Secretariat, he thought he was a big clown, clumsy, and a bit on the wild side.
Secretariat had a half-brother named Straight Flush. Straight Flush was sired by Secretariat’s stablemate Riva Ridge.
Secretariat’s debut race did not go as planned. He was bumped very hard at the start of the race. At the top of the stretch he was in 10th place, but closed extremely fast to get to 4th place.
Secretariat’s daughters produced some of the industry’s best sires. His daughter Terlingua was the dam of Storm Cat and his daughter Weekend Surprise was the dam of A.P. Indy.
In order to save her father’s Meadow Stable, Penny Chenery syndicated Secretariat for $6 million with the promise to Claiborne Farm that he would retire after his three-year old year. This is why Secretariat did not race as a four-year old.
When Secretariat first entered stud, he was bred with three non-Thoroughbred mares to test his fertility levels. His first foal was an Appaloosa cross named First Secretary.
Secretariat was euthanized at 19 years old due to laminitis, a hoof-disease that has also claimed the lives of great horses like Barbaro.
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