Secretariat: Triple Crown Winner
Secretariat was an American Thoroughbred racehorse that achieved legendary status by winning the Triple Crown in 1973, setting records that still stand today and becoming one of history’s most famous and beloved racehorses.
Secretariat was foaled on March 30, 1970, at Meadow Farm in Virginia and was owned by Penny Chenery, who took over the family’s thoroughbred racing and breeding operation after her father’s death. The chestnut colt was sired by Bold Ruler and out of the mare Somethingroyal, making him a product of a strong racing pedigree.
Trained by Lucien Laurin and ridden by jockey Ron Turcotte, Secretariat began his racing career in 1972, showing immense promise from the start. He won the Eclipse Award for American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse that year, setting the stage for his remarkable three-year-old season in 1973.
In 1973, Secretariat became the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 25 years, which consists of three prestigious races for three-year-old Thoroughbreds: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. He won the Kentucky Derby on May 5, setting a new track record with a time of 1:59 2/5, which remains unbroken. On May 19, he claimed victory in the Preakness Stakes, and on June 9, he delivered a jaw-dropping performance in the Belmont Stakes, winning by an astonishing 31 lengths and setting a world record time of 2:24 for 1 1/2 miles on dirt, a record that still stands.
Secretariat’s Triple Crown win captured the public’s imagination and solidified his status as a true racing icon. The media widely covered his accomplishments, and he appeared on Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated covers. After his racing career, Secretariat was retired to stud at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, where he sired several successful racehorses. He was euthanized on October 4, 1989, due to laminitis, a painful and debilitating hoof condition.
Secretariat’s enduring legacy can still be felt in the horse racing world today, and his incredible achievements continue to inspire awe and admiration among fans and professionals alike.