Secretariat - Belmont Stakes June 9, 1973, Greatest Horse Race Ever
Secretariat, the greatest horse ever to race, not only won the Triple Crown in 1973, but still holds the current official record for the fastest time in all three Triple Crown races.
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June 9, 1973 ~ Belmont Stakes ~ 1 ½ mile ~ Belmont Park
Secretariat raced into the ever glow of immortality in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. His victory, by one of the widest margins in the history of the American turf - 31 lengths ahead of his nearest challenger and in a world record time for the 1 1/2 miles distance - 2 minutes 24, remains one of the most memorable in sports history. At any moment, a racing fan who might have seen a thousand races, or ten thousand races, or just ten races, can think of those winning numbers 31 and 2:24 and be transported instantly back in time. Back to one of the landmark achievements of a sport as old as horse and man.
The numbers 31 and 2:24 merely trigger the REAL memory of a horse running as no horse had ever seemed to run before or since.Secretariat ran more powerfully, and with more fluid skill than one could ever hope from a horse. And humans hope for much from horses. To feel the glory of Secretariat's Belmont is to be flooded with emotion of having seen something of true wonder.
The most lasting image, in fact, is probably not in the numbers at all. Those numbers came later, after Secretariat crossed the finish line. Only those who have seen countless races would instantly know what the time on the teletimer meant. Few of us know the record times for horse races of various distances at different tracks, even though a possible track record was part of the talk leading up to the 1973 Belmont Stakes. For most of us, it took an expert announcer to explain that Secretariat had just run the fastest Belmont in history. Probably after a moment of research it was noted that the winning time was not merely the fastest 1 ½ miles at Belmont Park, but also the fastest 1½ miles-time ever recorded in America. Maybe even in the world...
Secretariat - Kentucky Derby May 5, 1973 (3:02)
Secretariat - Preakness Stakes May 19, 1973 (3:03)
Secretariat by ESPN Sports Century (39:57)
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