With the Gotham Stakes (G3) coming up this weekend, horse racing fans will reflect on some of the great horses who won this race in route to doing even greater things. One of those horses was Secretariat.
Secretariat came into the Gotham Stakes off of an outstanding victory in the seven furlong Bay Shore Stakes (G3). The huge chestnut colt was not yet the racing icon that he would become after sweeping the Triple Crown in 1973, but he was already developing into one of the sport’s superstars. He had already been crowned 1972 Horse of the Year and Champion Two-Year Old Colt.
Trainer Lucien Laurin had Secretariat on a conditioning path that was slowly bringing him up in distance. The one mile long Gotham Stakes (G2) was to be the colt’s stepping stone onto the 1 ⅛ mile Wood Memorial Stakes. The Wood Memorial would prep Secretariat for his run in the 1 ¼ mile Kentucky Derby.
Bettors sent Secretariat off as the 1-9 favorite in a field of six horses. He typically sat off the pace, but this time jockey Run Turcotte put the big chestnut much closer to the lead and much closer to the rail. As the field of six started around the far turn, Secretariat was in front and lengthening his margin.
Only one horse, Champagne Charlie, had enough in him to chase after Big Red. Champagne Charlie actually got quite close to Secretariat in the stretch, but Secretariat had already beaten Champagne Charlie in the Bay Shore Stakes and this time would be no different. Secretariat won the Gotham Stakes by three lengths. Though beaten, Champagne Charlie finished ten lengths ahead of third place finisher Flush.
Secretariat would go on to finish third in the Wood Memorial before sweeping the Triple Crown.
This 2020 Gotham Stakes is on Saturday, March 7th at 5:42 p.m. ET. Tune into to TVG or your favorite streaming service to watch! The race is a Kentucky Derby prep that awards 50 points to the winner.
[Video: Watch Secretariat win the Gotham Stakes in 1973]
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