SECRETARIAT

April 25, 2015
By AspenF, Robertson, Wyoming
AspenF, Robertson, Wyoming
0 articles 8 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
" All I have to say is that DRAWING IS MY LIFE "-Aspen


THE SUPER HORSE ---- SECRETARIAT

The story of Secretariat began with the toss of a coin in 1969 between Penny Chenery of Meadow Stable and Ogden Phipps of Wheatley Stable. The coin toss was the idea of Phipps, owner of Bold Ruler, and "Bull" Hancock of Claiborne Farms as a way to get the very best mares for Bold Ruler, and when the toss went their way, to add well-bred fillies to their own broodmare band. Bold Ruler was considered one of the important stallions of his time. He had a fine balance between speed and stamina, and though he finished fourth in the 1957 Kentucky Derby at a mile and a quarter, he won the Preakness two weeks later at a mile and three sixteenths, and went on to win three major stakes at the Derby's 10-furlong distance.

After his racing career, Bold Ruler was retired to Claiborne Farms, but was still controlled by the Phipps family. This meant that he would be bred mainly to Phipps's mares and that few of his offspring would find their way to the auction ring. Phipps and Hancock agreed to forgo stud fees for Bold Ruler; instead, they would claim one of two foals produced by the mare he bred in successive seasons or two mares he bred in the same season. Who obtained which foal or even received first pick would be decided by a flip of a coin.

In 1968, Chenery sent two mares named Hasty Matelda and Somethingroyal to Bold Ruler, and in 1969, a colt and filly were the result. Chenery and Phipps's coin toss was held in the fall of 1969, in the office of New York Racing Association Chairman Alfred G. Vanderbilt II, with Hancock as witness. As stated in the original agreement, the winner of the coin toss would get first foal pick in 1969, and second foal pick in 1970. Phipps won the toss and took the weanling filly out of Hasty Matelda. This resulted in Chenery getting the colt out of Somethingroyal.

In 1969, Hasty Matelda was replaced by Cicada, but she did not conceive. Both parties assumed Somethingroyal would deliver a healthy foal in the spring of 1970. This left Chenery with the unborn foal of Somethingroyal On March 30, at 12:10 a.m., Somethingroyal foaled a bright-red chestnut colt with three white socks and a star with a narrow blaze. By the time the colt was a yearling, he was still unnamed. Meadow Stable's secretary, Elizabeth Ham, had submitted five names to the Jockey Club, all of which were denied for various reasons. Approval finally came with the sixth submission, a name Ham herself picked from a previous career association, "Secretariat".

The Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs bettors made the entry of Secretariat and Angle Light the 3–2 favorite in the 1973 Kentucky Derby. (Sham was next at 5–2.) Secretariat broke last, but gradually moved up on the field in the backstretch, then overtook Sham at the top of the stretch, pulling away to win the Derby by 21⁄2 lengths.

Our Native finished eight lengths further back in third.On his way to a still-standing track record (1:592⁄5), Secretariat ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it. The successive quarter-mile times were 251⁄5, 24, 234⁄5, 232⁄5, and 23.

This means he was still accelerating as of the final quarter-mile of the race. No other horse had won the Derby in less than 2 minutes before, and it would not be accomplished again until Monarchos in 2001.
The thing you have to understand is that Sham was fast, a beautiful horse. He would have had the Triple Crown in another year. And it just didn't seem like there could be anything faster than that. Everybody was watching him. It was over, more or less. And all of a sudden there was this, like, just a disruption in the corner of your eye, in your peripheral vision.

And then before you could make out what it was, here Secretariat came. And then Secretariat had passed him. No one had ever seen anything run like that – a lot of the old guys said the same thing. It was like he was some other animal out there.


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