Secretariat's Triple Crown - Part 2 - Belmont Stakes





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Published on Apr 12, 2007

Part 2 of 2 of Secretariat's Triple Crown run. Segment on Belmont Stakes.

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This race was 3 months before I was born and every time I see it I get teary eyed. I'm a huge sports enthusiast and have witnessed many great moments but none better than Secretariat at the Belmont via footage and youtube. As they say in the piece, PERFECTION, and the only athlete who can actually really claim absolute perfection.
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To me the most astonishing aspect of that horse is he wasn't even at full speed yet. Every quarter mile he was getting faster.
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I still get goosebumps whenever I watch the 1973 Belmont - which is widely available here on YouTube. This may have been the most remarkable performance turned in by any athlete (human or animal). To run a 1.5 mile race in 2;24 is beyond description. Especially when you consider that today, over 40 years later, no other horse has even come close to running that time. For example, I am writing this in June 2015, only a few days after American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, completing it with a Belmont run of 2;26, which is an excellent and typical time for 1.5 miles. Secretariat demolished that record and the other horses that day. What makes it even more remarkable is that Ron Turcotte (his jockey) has stated many times through the years that Secretariat barely worked up a sweat and was never seriously challenged at any time during that race and indeed in all 3 of the TC races. Turcotte noted that he could have won both the Derby and the Preakness with the same domination as he did in the Belmont Stakes. When viewed from this perspective, it's almost frightening to think what Secretariat might have done if Sham had continued to push him instead of fading after the first half of the race, or if the other horses had challenged him. We might have seen 2;20 or even less. And as I noted in a Reply here, I have heard unconfirmed reports that as Turcotte eased up Secretariat after the race, he was still running so fast that he broke the world records for 1.75 and 2 mile runs. I recall from that CBS 1973 broadcast that after the race, one of the commentators called Secretariat a "heavenly horse". He was right. The greatest horse of them all - even if they are still running horse races 10,000 years from now no one will ever top Secretariat. We will never see his like again.
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"This horse was an athlete."
Makes me cry every time.
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After Secretariat was euthanized veteranarians did a necropsy on him and found he had a heart estimated to weigh approximately 21 POUNDS--AND IN PERFECT CONDITION!! The normal heart size of a thoroughbred is about 10 pounds--so this heart was more than TWICE the size of a normal racehorse! Bottom line--all of the other horses had a Volkswagen motor while Secretariat had a Ferrari motor!!
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Gives me chills everytime. The best athlete ever.What A Freight Train.
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Tektoniks Architects
Sham and Secretariat dueling stride for stride until the backstretch.....and then its as if a switch has been flipped, and Sham has to return back to the pack with the rest of the normal horses.....while Secretariat taps into the universe, and becomes the myth.
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Walton Neal
I watched the race as it happened in 1973 from my living room.  I remember the announcer commenting "he's moving like an incredible machine!"  just about same time my dad,  a long time horse racing fan,  grew quite in the room.  They both knew what as going to happen, they both knew they were watching history. I get goose bumps now as I watch it and remember.  Secretariat's name is revered, spoken with the highest respect, but I don't know if even that pays respect to the performance this horse turned in that day to any appropriate degree.
John Jordan
chic anderson's call added SO MUCH to the race itself.  its as if he's the soundtrack to this masterpiece.
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