Topics: Secretariat, Ron Turcotte, Belmont Stakes Pages: 9 (3571 words) Published: August 24, 2013
Secretariat (March 30, 1970 – October 4, 1989) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse that in 1973 became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in 25 years. He set race records in all three events in the Series – the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5), the Preakness Stake (1:53), and the Belmont Stakes (2:24) – records that still stand today. He is considered to be one of the greatest Thoroughbreds of all time. In 1999, ESPN ranked Secretariat the 35th best athlete of the 20th century, the highest-ranking racehorse on the list. He ranked second behind Man o’ War in The Blood Horse 's List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorse of the 20th Century. Bold Ruler sired secretariat out of something royal, by Prince Quillo. He was foaled at The Meadows in Caroline County, Virginia like his famous predecessor Man o’ War. Secretariat was a large chestnut colt and was given the same nickname, "Big Red." Secretariat's grandsire Nasrullah, is also the great great grandsire of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. Owned by Penny Chenery, also known as Penny Tweedy, he was trained by Lucien Lauren, and mainly ridden by Canadian jockey Ron Turcotte, along with apprentice jockey Paul Feliciano (first two races), and veteran Eddie Maple (last race). He raced in Chenery's Meadow Stable's blue and white-checkered colors. His groom was Eddie Sweat and exercise rider was Charlie Davis. Secretariat stood approximately 16.2 hands  (66 inches, 168 cm) tall, and weighed 1,175 pounds (533 kg), with a 75-inch girth, in his racing prime. Background

The story of Secretariat began with the toss of a coin in 1969 between Penny Chenery of Meadow Stable and Ogden Phipps of Wheatley Stable. The coin toss the idea of Phipps, owner of Bold Ruler, and "Bull" Hancock of Claiborne Farms as a way to get the very best mares for Bold Ruler, and when the toss went their way, to add well-bred fillies to their own broodmare band. Bold Ruler was considered one of the important stallions of his time. He had a fine balance between speed and stamina, and though he finished fourth in the 1957 Kentucky Derby at a mile and a quarter, he won the Preakness two weeks later at a mile and three sixteenths, and went on to win three major stakes at the Derby's 10-furlong distance. After his racing career, Bold Ruler was retired to Claiborne Farms, but was still controlled by the Phipps family. This meant that he would be bred mainly to Phipps's mares and that few of his offspring would find their way to the auction ring. Phipps and Hancock agreed to forgo stud fees for Bold Ruler; instead, they would claim one of two foals produced by the mare he bred in successive seasons or two mares he bred in the same season. Who obtained which foal or even received first pick would be decided by a flip of a coin. In 1968, Chenery sent two mares named Hasty Matelda and Something royal to Bold Ruler, and in 1969, a colt and filly were the result. Chenery and Phipps's coin toss was held in the fall of 1969, in the office of New York Racing Association Chairman Alfred G. Vanderbilt II, with Hancock as witness. As stated in the original agreement, the winner of the coin toss would get first foal pick in 1969, and second foal pick in 1970. Phipps won the toss and took the weanling filly out of something royal. This resulted in Chenery getting the colt out of Hasty Matelda. In 1969, Cicada replaced Hasty Matelda, but she did not conceive. Both parties assumed something royal would deliver a healthy foal in the spring of 1970. This left Chenery with the unborn foal of something royal. On March 30, at 12:10 a.m., something royal foaled a bright-red chestnut colt with three white socks and a star with a narrow blaze. By the time the colt was a yearling he was still unnamed. Meadow Stable's secretary, Elizabeth Ham, had submitted five names to the Jockey Club, all of which were denied for various reasons. Approval finally came with the sixth submission, a name Ham herself picked from a previous career...
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