Secretariat - Kentucky Derby May 5, 1973
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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May 5, 1973 ~ Kentucky Derby ~ 1 1/4 mile ~ Churchill Downs
Secretariat would join an elite list of immortals on that First Saturday of May in 1973 when he got his Kentucky Derby. All hats were off to him for an electrifying performance that included a new track record of 1:59 2/5. But racing fans will always talk about Secretariat’s Kentucky Derby time. First, because his final time of 1:59 2/5 broke the track record for 1 1/4 miles in the world’s most important horse race. And second, because The Big Red Horse ran faster every quarter mile of the race, just building power like a locomotive and finishing like a jet.
Secretariat - Preakness Stakes May 19, 1973 (3:03)
Secretariat - Belmont Stakes June 9, 1973, Greatest Horse Race Ever (5;12)
Secretariat by ESPN Sports Century (39:57)
The Second-Fastest Derby
Everybody knows Secretariat ran the fastest Kentucky Derby in history, timed in 1:59 2/5 (1:59.40 by today's standards). But who ran the second fastest?
Watch out -- this is a tricky one.
The obvious answer has always been Northern Dancer, whose 1964 time of 2:00-flat was the Derby record until Secretariat bettered it. Then in 2001 Monarchos won the Kentucky Derby in 1:59.97. So Monarchos has the second fastest Derby time.
Not so, say some.
More than a few bucks have changed hands in this ancient "bar bet." The wise guys say the second fastest Derby was actually run by Sham!
They say that since Sham finished just two and one half lengths behind Secretariat, his time in the 99th Derby is judged to be 1:59.90.
The old rule of thumb was that a length equates to 1/5 of a second in time, or .20 seconds. Sham finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Secretariat, which means Sham ran the Derby in 1:59.90.
I agree, it was Sham at 1:59.90.
Yes, the two fastest horses ever to run in the 146 Kentucky Derby races, were both in the same race, 1973.
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