(photo via Championsgallery.com)
Sire: Bold Ruler
|Jockey ||Trainer ||Owner
|Ron Turcotte ||Lucien Laurin ||Meadow Stable
We all know the story about Secretariat; it's even been made into a movie. Along with Man o' War, he is considered to be the best horse of all time. Even ESPN counted Secretariat as on of the Top 50 Athletes of the 20th Century during their countdown in 1999.
As a two-year-old, he won six of eight starts, with one being via disqualification at the Champagne Stakes.
As a three-year-old, he lost to Sham at the Wood Memorial and many started considering Sham as the top pick for the Derby.
But when the Derby came along, Secretariat turned in the most impressive race in Derby history. He broke the distance record and did it after running each quarter-mile faster than the previous one.
That record still stands today, and as a matter of fact only Monarchos in 2001 has been able to crack the two-miute barrier.
At the Preakness, Secretariat once again beat Sham who finished second. The final time on this race sparked controversy as there was a difference between DRF clockers, the hand-time and the teletimer. At the end the hand-time of 1:54.40 was the official one.
Then in the Belmont Stakes, with only four challengers including Sham, Secretariat went for the lead alongside Sham. By the half-mile pole Sham was out of it and Secretariat started widening his lead.
At the end he would win by 31 lengths (breaking Count Fleet's margin-of-victory record set in 1943, when he won by 25 lengths), and also ran the fastest 1.5 miles in 2:24 flat, which breaking the stakes record by more than two seconds.
To this date, his performances on the Triple Crown remain the highest standard for excellence.