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09.10.2015
I had some time to spare, and I thought, "why not?" I'm here and when will I ever pass this way again and have a chance to meet him?
At the top of the hill was a barn, and inside the barn were some of the greatest racehorses ever -- Tom Rolfe, Nijinsky, Round Table and Riva Ridge, Secretariat's stablemate and winner of the Kentucky Derby the previous year. They walked slowly toward me, and I was struck by how much smaller Secretariat seemed in real life. I reached out to touch Secretariat's on his hindquarters, and just as I did, he wheeled his head around as if to bite me.
But Secretariat hardly moved a muscle, not even acknowledging that I was holding him with another attempt at a bite. After a few more pleasantries, and a last look at the great horse, he led Secretariat back to his stall and I walked back down the hill. Shirley Povich was on hand at the Belmont Stakes in 1973 to see Secretariat, considered the greatest racing thoroughbred of all-time, complete his record-shattering win to capture the Triple Crown.
Secretariat was so charged up that Turcotte had him under a bit of restraint after nailing down his spot on the rail, and Sham, the one to fear, actually stuck his nose in from midway of the turn. This was Secretariat running the race on this own terms, with Turcotte laying no demanding whip on hsi flanks and still riding high in the saddle. As they turned for home, Turcotte gave one more look over his shoulder at what might be behind, and this time he needed his distance goggles because it was 28 lengths now back to the second horse. There has been no private life for Secretariat after winning the Derby and Preakness, and today in Belmont’s big goldfish bowl, 69,136 fans were measuring him for greatness.
Educators, challenge your students to learn vital Web research skills and study an event in history with the On This Day Challenge.
Associated Press Ron Turcotte hangs on as Secretariat romps along the final stretch just before the finish line and a victory in the 105th running of the Belmont Stakes, June 9, 1973.


On June 9, 1973, Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths, becoming the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple Crown.
In 1972, Secretariat won seven of nine starts as a 2-year-old to win the Horse of the Year award.
Secretariat was the son of 1957 Preakness winner Bold Ruler, a prolific sire whose offspring are fast, but unsound.
The findingDulcinea Web Guide to Horse Racing features links to racing history and news, plus information on betting and getting involved in racing. Secretariat, winning the dash to the first turn, reduced the rest of the distance to a showpiece of a Triple Crown winner in action, 24 feet to each stride. Secretariat had saved for the Belmont, the race rated the toughest hurdle for Triple Crown aspirants, a performance that was more smashing than either of his victories in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness. But Turcotte and Secretariat were keeping Sham safely on the outside and their own track open, and the next nose to poke in front was Secretariat’s as the small field of five squared away for the run down the backstretch. It was Secretariat giving his boy a joy ride with no opening to look for, no tight quarters anywhere. It was an exhibition by Secretariat of the Bold Ruler family’s thirst for running, and when they turned in on the home stretch the big horse, the one they called Big Boy as a yearling at Meadow Stud, was an incredible 20 lengths in front of the nearest horse on the track. Sham, the one that was supposed to finish second and thus rack up a Triple Crown record for running second in all three races, was now receding to fourth place on his way to finishing last.
It was in the jockey’s lounge where the unemployed riders were watching TV that little Jorge Velasquez picked the exact point at which the race was won. Participating classes will be eligible for prizes and could be featured on findingDulcinea. Breeder Christopher Chenery, operating under the theory that the key to breeding is to cancel out the flaws of the dam and sire, bred Bold Ruler with Somethingroyal, daughter of the durable Princequillo.


In 1979, Spectacular Bid appeared ready to make it three straight Triple Crowns, but lost in the Belmont. 5, tried to take the track away from Secretariat and Ron Turcotte who were breaking from the rail stall. Turcotte did steal two looks at the lollygaggers far behind and liked what he saw, returning to the small job of keeping his mount in rhythm. He was  reading the fractions on the infield time clocks he said after the race and he wanted the world record for the horse of this age. But Turcotte was having none of that and asked for an early lick from the big copper-red son of Bold Ruler lest he be pocketed behind from runners. Secretariat appeared to want it, too, as if aware that this was Triple Crown day unlike Sir Barton, the first winner on the Triple Crown in 1919 when Sir Barton, poor colt, didn’t know he had won it. It was three years later that Charley Hatton, of the Racing Form, in a burst of lyrical prose, invented the term Triple Crown. He also sired Lady's Secret, 1986 Horse of the Year, and Risen Star, 1988 Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes winner. Even more impressively, Secretariat's daughters produced a slew of graded stakes winners and influential stallions, including A.P.
At the start, under instructions to run head-to-head with Secretariat, jockey Laffit Pincay rode Sham stride-for-stride through the fastest fractions in Belmont Stakes history.



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