It’s subjective, but, in my view, Secretariat is the greatest race horse of all time.

The just completed Triple Crown race season also marks 50 years (1973) since Secretariat defeated Sham three straight times in the:

  • Kentucky Derby
  • The Preakness
  • The Belmont Stakes

Secretariat set three consecutive records that still stand today. There has not been a Triple Crown winner for 25 years before Secretariat.

Secretariat lost to Sham a few weeks before The Kentucky Derby, but, only because of an abscess and an infected wisdom tooth.

More than 3 decades after Secretariat’s death, eight of his descendants ran in this year’s Kentucky Derby,  including the early 3-1 favorite Forte.

Forte was scratched on Kentucky Derby race day … didn’t run for 10 weeks and still finished second in yesterday’s The Belmont Stakes … hard charging down the final stretch.

Before Secretariat’s magical 3-year-old season, in the final race of his juvenile season, Secretariat raced at the original Garden State Park in New Jersey.

Secretariat raced in New Jersey on November 18, 1972 in “The Garden Stakes.”

It turned out to be a typical Secretariat race, starting from last place and winning the race easily in the end.

Garden State Park closed for good in 1977, when the  grandstand burned down.

The following Triple Crown Winners raced at Garden State Park:

Secretariat, (1973), Citation (1948), Assault (1946), and Whirlaway (1941).

Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew also raced in New Jersey (1977) at The Meadowlands.

These are all of the race tracks where Secretariat ran:

  • Aqueduct
  • Arlington Park
  • Belmont Park
  • Churchill Downs
  • Garden State Park
  • Laurel Park
  • Pimlico Race Course
  • Saratoga
  • Woodbine

Secretariat won at each of these race tracks.

I had the privilege to interview Secretariat’s Jockey, Ron Turcotte about 12 years ago.

Secretariat is far and away my favorite race horse of all time. It was an incredible experience to interview the jockey who rode the greatest race horse of all time.

We regaled about Secretariat, also known as “Big Red.”

And, yes, I asked Ron what it was like to ride Secretariat and be such a big part of horse racing history.

Turcotte called it “a privilege and magical.” Turcotte told me that he “never before or after rode a horse, who loved and lived to run like Secretariat.”

Turcotte continued his legendary racing career after Secretariat … until he broke his spine during a racing fall in 1978.

Secretariat finished his magical 1973 season with four more victories after The Belmont Stakes.

Secretariat retired to The Hancock's Claiborne farm in Kentucky where he sired more than 600 foals.

SOURCE:  My 2012 interview with Ron Turcotte.

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