Thoroughbred Racing Stallion : Secretariat
Race Horse Secretariat
Secretariat was a good looking thoroughbred colt , bright red with a thick neck and deep shoulders. He had wide sprung ribs giving plenty of room for heart and lungs and a powerful rear end .
Overall he was well balanced and his legs were straight . You couldn't really fault his conformation. To make him even more handsome he sported a white star and strip on his face and three white stockings.
His first race was on 4th July 1972 finishing 4th. He then won a maiden race and an allowance race before being moved up in class to run in the Sanford Stakes which he duly won. He finished the year by winning the Hopeful Stakes , Belmont Futurity , Laurel Futurity and Garden State Stakes. He only lost one other race as a 2 year old ( a disqualification for interfering with another horse ) . He had seven wins from nine starts with prize money of $456,404 . He became only the third two year old horse to be named Horse of the Year and the first to ever be voted Horse of the Year unanimously.
Secretariat won his first two starts as a
three year old easily but just before the start of the Wood Memorial
Stakes he was found to have an abscess on his gums. He was run
anyway coming in third. He was entered into the Kentucky Derby as
the 3 / 2 favourite but people were not sure if he was the same
horse as a year ago following his defeat in the Wood Memorial
Stakes. Their fears were unfounded however as he won going
away by two and a half lengths running the first and only Derby in
less than two minutes , ( 1min 59 and 2/5 secs. for the 1 and 1/4
mile ) . Secretariat's quarter mile times were astonishing : 25 and
1/5 secs. : 24 secs. : 23 and 4/5 secs.
: 23 and 2/5 secs. : and 23 secs. He ran
each quarter faster than the previous one . No horse had ever
achieved this in a mile and a quarter race before.
The morning of the Belmont , Secretariat was so fit , rearing and bucking in the parade ring , with his eyes rolling and ready to run. There were only 5 horses entered that year including Secretariats main rival Sham. The dual between these two horses ended with Sham being injured , coming in last and never to race again. Secretariat won the race by 31 lengths , an all time record , whilst knocking 2 and 3/5 seconds off the 1 and 1/2 mile track record in a time of 2 minutes 24 seconds .
Secretariat was the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 25 years.
Secretariat raced nine more times winning six , coming in second twice and third in his last race. He retired to stud at Claiborne Farm , moving into his sire Bold Ruler's stable. He sired 41 stake winners and became a noted broodmare sire. However , he never achieved the success at stud that he had on the track.
At the age of 19 he was struck with laminitis. Everything possible was done to remedy this serious hoof ailment but regrettably he could not be saved. He was humanely put down and buried at Claiborne Farm. A necropsy was performed on his body. All of the horse's vital organs were normal in size except for the heart .The professor who carried out the autopsy was astounded at what he found. The heart of an average horse weighs about nine pounds. Secretariat's heart was almost twice the average weight and a third larger than any equine heart that the professor had previously seen. It wasn't pathologically enlarged , all the chambers and valves were normal. It was just larger !
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