There will be no Triple Crown picks this year, but with the Belmont Stakes running this Saturday, it has us reminiscing about Secretariat’s 1973 victory.
He was the horse of a lifetime, and although it would take a while for his winning times to be accepted, those times have yet to be matched, even with modern technological advancements.
If we had odds of Secretariat’s feat being achieved again, the sportsbook would be offering +10,000.
It Started in the Derby
The Triple Crown starts with the Kentucky Derby, and that’s where Secretariat made everyone stand up and take notice.
He was already an impressive Thoroughbred in the lead-up, and all the Triple Crown news was about Secretariat, but his win in front of 134,476 horse racing fans was outstanding.
He scored a gutsy 2½-length win, and although the winning margin wasn’t amazing, it’s still one of the best wins of all time.
The winning time of 1:59⅖ stands to this day, which is hard to fathom. Record times are usually beaten as technology and training methods improve, which goes to show how quick Big Red was.
Many sports writers at the time couldn’t believe the way he won. It was arrogant, and something rarely seen on the track, which is why sport betting odds made him the skinny favorite to win the Preakness Stakes.
“Everything was perfection…” 🙌
SECRETARIAT’s 31-length Belmont Stakes win, told by the man who rode him, Ron Turcotte… 🟦⬜️👇 pic.twitter.com/nticoobJbN
— World Horse Racing (@WHR) June 7, 2023
Second Leg Down
Winning the Preakness Stakes seemed like a formality for Secretariat, and it proved that way.
The 3-year-old didn’t jump well in the race, but he made a swooping run around the outside to put himself in the race, and the rest is history.
Jockey Ron Turcotte had this to say about the move.
“I let my horse drop back, when I went to drop in, they started backing up into me. I said, ‘I don’t want to get trapped here.’ So I just breezed by them,” Turcotte said.
It’s good to have a horse that can make the move, which is what made Secretariat so daunting to face. Many runners wouldn’t enjoy making such a quick move, but he had a bigger motor than most.
He again won by 2½ lengths, but despite the margin not being huge, he was never in danger of winning, and the racebook was never in danger of having to pay out on an outsider.
Triple Crown Beckons
The Belmont Stakes is arguably the hardest of the Triple Crown races to win, but Secretariat made them look silly.
There wouldn’t have been any Triple Crown predictions not including Secretariat to win, and his 31-length victory is stuff that boggles the mind.
It was arguably the greatest moment in Thoroughbred racing history as the champion made the field look second-rate, which wasn’t the case. Compared to Secretariat they were, but it was a quality field.
It was the biggest winning margin since 1943 when Count Fleet won by 25 lengths, and it was a machine-like performance from the 1-10 favorite.
With the win, he became the ninth Triple Crown winner, and in our opinion, the best to do it.