On March 30, 1970, exactly 13 years to the day before I was born, the greatest racehorse of all time was born. The big red colt named Secretariat is probably one of the most well-known thoroughbred racehorses of all time, even now, 35 years after he won the Triple Crown.
We are currently in the “Run for the Roses,” where dozens of talented young thoroughbreds are competing for their own chance to run in the Kentucky Derby on May 3. Two of the front running contenders are War Pass and Pyro, who have both put in an impressive displays in their races to date (search for their names on You Tube to see some of their races). But just like with any professional sport, the Kentucky Derby really is any horse’s race to win. And each year I watch the winning horse at Churchhill Downs draped in the blanket of roses and wonder if this is the year that I’ll get to see a Triple Crown winner.
Secretariat is one of just 11 horses who have won this top honor since 1919. Before his winning year in 1973, it had been 25 years since Citation ran away with the title. Seattle Slew was the next Triple Crown horse in 1977 followed by Affirmed in 1978.
And now, it has been 30 years since any Thoroughbred has raced to victory in the industry’s top honor.
Will it be Pyro? Will it be War Pass? Will it be another up and coming star?
Either way, I’m pretty convinced that no horse will ever surpass Secretariat’s phenomenal performances in racing’s Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, or especially the Belmont Stakes.
I wasn’t even a twinkle in my parent’s eyes (of course, they hadn’t even met yet) when Secretariat won the Triple Crown. I’ve read all about his entire life and each race in detail. I’ve seen pictures of him winning the Belmont by 31 lengths. But today is the first time I’ve actually seen the races. (Go You Tube!)
And he took my breath away.
If you’ve never seen this footage, you need to watch it right now. Or if you have, watch it again!
Secretariat Winning The Kentucky Derby
The race that started it all, Secretariat comes from behind to run away with it.
Secretariat Winning The Preakness Stakes
The big red horse comes from dead last to the front in a sudden burst of speed, moving away at the wire. He set a record for this race that has since been matched, but never beaten.
Secretariat Winning The Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown
Secretariat heads to the lead by the first turn and never gives it up, winning by an almost-unbelievable 31 lengths. He sets a record for the Belmont Stakes to which no other horse has even come close.
I’m ready for the Kentucky Derby now, are you?