The name Secretariat is well known among horse racing fans of all ages.  For racetrack veterans, they know him as the horse that won the Triple Crown in 1973.  For children, they remember him from the self-titled biographical Disney movie in 2010.    

But there is more to this stunning horse racing champion than a movie or his Triple Crown win.

Secretariat’s Origin 

Secretariat was born on March 30, 1970, in Doswell, Virginia. His sire was the thoroughbred Hall of Fame racehorse Bold Ruler and his dam was Somethingroyal, who was titled Kentucky Broodmare of the Year in 1973.

Secretariat’s owner, Penny Cherney, claimed Secretariat through a coin toss with Ogden Phipps in 1969. Cherney lost the coin toss and claimed the colt by Bold Ruler and Somethingroyal, while Ogden Phipps won the filly by Bold Ruler and a mare named Hasty Matelda.

How Secretariat got his name was through the secretary of Meadow Stable, Cherney’s thoroughbred racing and breeding business. She submitted the name Secretariat from a past career.

Secretariat’s Career on the Racetrack

Secretariat started his career on Independence Day on 1972, which resulted in his first race loss at the Aqueduct Racetrack. Despite this loss, Secretariat continued an impressive winning streak and earned the title of American Horse of the Year in 1972.

After his two-year campaign ended, Secretariat began his Triple Crown career and broke records. His first Triple Crown race was the 1973 Kentucky Derby.  He won and completed the race in 1 minute and fifty-nine seconds, a record that still stands today.     

His second Triple Crown race was the Preakness Stakes in 1973.  He won the race and later in 2012, it was decided that he broke the original record of 1 minute and fifty-four seconds with a 1 minute and fifty-three seconds.

The final Triple Crown Race he competed in was the Belmont Stakes in 1973.  He won and completed the race in 2 minutes and twenty-four seconds, a record that like the rest still holds today.

After his win in 1973, Secretariat became the night Triple Crown winner.

Secretariat Final Years

Secretariat continued racing until his final race on October 28, 1973. His breeding rights were sold to a stud farm to produce horse racing offspring. Altogether, Secretariat won $1,316,808 in career earnings.

Secretariat died on October 4, 1989. He was listed 35th of the 100 greatest North American athletes of the 20th Century.

Today, no one except, perhaps Man O’ War, eclipses Secretariat in popularity and talent. His records still stand in the Triple Crown.

Come See a Champion in the Making

If you want to see champions on their way to the Triple Crown, come down to Ellis Park Racing today. Whether watching live horse races, playing on the historical horse racing machines or snacking on the delicious food, there is something for everyone of all ages. For more information on the upcoming races or other services offered at Ellis Park Racing, come on down and raise the stakes.