Best All-Time Race Horse
The best all-time race horse is Secretariat. No one who watched him race can forget his beauty and his flowing stride. In 1973, he won the Triple Crown of racing. The Triple Crown is the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes. In two of the three races he set records that still stand today. The impressive chestnut colt was nicknamed "Big Red."
Secretariat was born on a thoroughbred horse ranch in 1970. On the track, he didn’t just win, he won in a big and impressive way. As a three-year-old he ran the Kentucky Derby in record time. Each quarter mile of the race was faster than the one before. He won by two-and-a-half lengths.
In the Preakness, Secretariat won again by two-and-a-half lengths. He did this by passing up the pack on the clubhouse turn. There was a problem with the timer for the race and some controversy over whose time to use. When that was settled, Secretariat began training for the Belmont Stakes. In addition to the training, there was the posing for the covers of Newsweek, Time, and Sports Illustrated. There was a lot of pressure on him to win the Triple Crown.
He did it! He won the Belmont and became the ninth horse in the industry to accomplish winning The Triple Crown. No horse had done that since Citation in 1948. It’s not an easy feat to complete three long races in five weeks. Many horses have won two of the three and faltered on a third. At the Belmont he won by an amazing 31 lengths. TV cameras found it difficult to get Secretariat the the number two horse in the same picture.
It was here, on June 9, 1973, that Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes in dominating fashion to become the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple Crown. Thanks to wallyg on flickr.com for the picture.
Secretariat’s career on the track lasted about 16 months. When Secretariat retired, he sired approximately 600 foals. None of them could match the qualities of their father. The winner of the 1930 Triple Crown, Gallant Fox, has been the only horse in history to father another Triple Crown winner, Omaha in 1935.
In 1989, Secretariat became ill with a crippling disease and was euthanized. During his career he was honored with things from awards to other honors like being named one of the top athletes of the 20th century. Secretariat’s name is still the first name that comes to mind for a whole generation of race watchers when they consider the top race horse in history. There will never be another horse like “Big Red”.
NY - Long Island: Belmont Park - Secretariat Statue. Thanks to wallyg on flickr.com for the picture.
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