Sunday, June 9, 2013
June 9 - Secretariat's Triple Crown
40 years ago: On June 9, 1973, Thoroughbred racehorse Secretariat won the Triple Crown of horseracing in the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park, Long Island. The large chestnut stallion, nicknamed “Big Red,” set records that stand today in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont. In the Derby, he ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it, winning by 2½ lengths. In the Preakness, he made an amazing, last-to-first move on the first turn and won unchallenged by 2½ lengths. In the running of the Belmont, with only four horses competing against him, Secretariat opened a gaping lead (1/16 mile) in the stretch and won by 31 lengths, a record-breaking margin-of-victory (pictured). He had run the fastest 1½ miles on dirt in history (2:24 flat). In 1989, afflicted with laminitis, a hoof condition, he was euthanized and afforded the rare honor of being buried whole (usually only the head, heart and hooves of a winning race horse are buried). A necropsy showed that Secretariat had one of the largest hearts ever known in a racehorse (estimated at 22 pounds).