The Legacy Of Secretariat

Discussion in 'Sports' started by TruthSeeker56, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. TruthSeeker56
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    TruthSeeker56 Silver Member

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    I'm sure most of you have at least heard of Secretariat, and some of you are old enough to remember 1973 and Secretariat's road to horseracing's Triple Crown.

    Secretariat's accomplishments were revisited when the movie "Secretariat" hit the theatres a couple of years ago. It was a wonderful movie, and although many important facts were omitted or "embellished", it was very well-done.

    Over the years, I have read just about every book ever written about Secretariat, and have amassed a nice collection of Secretariat memorabilia and horse racing memorabilia in-general.

    Most of you will say that Secretariat was "just a racehorse", and he was no big deal. Some of you will say, "What about Seattle Slew or Affirmed? They also won Triple Crowns in the 1970s, after Secretariat."

    What makes Secretariat so very special to many people, is where this country was in 1973, and how badly this country needed a HERO in 1973. Who would have ever imagined that the HERO this country needed would end up being a HORSE?

    1973 was a year that started with Nixon and Watergate and the Vietnam War and an American economy in distress and many other social and national issues. People needed SOMETHING to put a smile on their face, SOMETHING to be proud of again, SOMETHING to cheer for, and SOMETHING to admire.

    That "something" was Secretariat, and that "something" became the greatest racehorse in the history of thoroughbred racing. Secretariat turned into a "rock star". He was beautiful. He was muscled. He was fast. He was intelligent. He LOVED the attention he received. He was the most dominant horse in Triple Crown history.

    Secretariat's Kentucky Derby and Belmont race times are STILL records, almost 39 years after he ran in them. Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by 31 (thirty one) lengths. The words of announcer Chic Anderson describing Secretariat as "moving like a tremendous machine" as he pulled away from the other horses, still echo in my ears. Secretariat became the first Triple Crown in 25 years.

    Secretariat was the PERFECT horse, who arrived at the PERFECT time in American history. I only wish I had had the chance to see him in-person.

    Secretariat only raced in 21 races, and was retired to stud at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, after his 3-year-old season. He was syndicated for over $6 million, a record at the time. We will never know how great he would have been had he been allowed to continue racing. For the next 16 years, over 10,000 admirers a year came to Claiborne Farm to just SEE "Big Red", and maybe get a chance to touch him.

    Secretariat contracted laminitis in all four of his hooves, and was euthanized in October of 1989, at the age of 19. He was buried, intact, at Claiborne, and to this day, his grave is visited by thousands of people every year.

    I would love to hear from those of you who remember Secretariat, and share your thoughts. I'll also be happy to answer any questions anybody might have about Secretariat and "behind the scenes" stuff about Secretariat and the people who were closest to him.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  2. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    A horse is a horse of course of course...

    When I read biographies, I like people biographies. I have two on Margaret Thatcher, two on Disraeli, three on Kipling, two on Menken, three on Bismark......

    Cool you like horses. I think it kind of odd you would read the life story of one, let alone several.
     
  3. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    How do you look at Secretariat vs Man o War who won 20 out of 21 races?
     
  4. TruthSeeker56
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    TruthSeeker56 Silver Member

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    It's not just about horses. It's about the people who take care of the horses, their relationships, the love they have for the horses, and the love the horses have for the grooms and the hot walkers and the practice riders and the jockeys and the trainers and the owners. Horses have personalities. Horses have emotions.

    I would rather be around horses and dogs more than I would 99.999% of all human beings.
     
  5. TruthSeeker56
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    TruthSeeker56 Silver Member

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    That will ALWAYS be the biggest question in horseracing history. The Secretariat and Man O' War comparison. Who was better?

    Secretariat and Man O' War were similar physically. The only "fair" comparisons that can be made would be their race times, using the common denominators in those races...........same distance, same (or as close as possible) track conditions, same (or very close) carrying weights, etc.

    From everything I have read and researched, Secretariat was the greatest thoroughbred racehorse of all time. I can only submit the fact that his race times in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont have never been equaled in the almost 39 years since.

    There have been so many great racehorses over the years, but Secretariat stands alone.

    Thanks for the question. So what is your opinion?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  6. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    It is difficult to compare athletes from different generations. Different science, different training, different track surfaces

    It was 50 years between the horses and they said there would never be another Man o war. It is almost 50 years since Secretariat...are we due for another super horse?
     
  7. Peach
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    Peach Gold Member

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    I've only read about Man 'O War of course but remember Secretariat from my childhood, not quite 40 years ago. Some factors to debate: tracks, training, owners, money....but in the end, both were products of their times and faced horses with the same advantages and disadvantages.
     
  8. TruthSeeker56
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    TruthSeeker56 Silver Member

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    Believe it or not, training methods have not changed much at all. What racehorses are fed has not changed much at all. Some medications are available, and/or allowed, today that were not available 50 or 100 years ago. The best racetracks in the United States have not changed that much, as far as surface conditions, except for the new artificial surfaces that are now in use at some racetracks.

    What has really changed a lot are the number of races that horses run today, as compared to 50 or 75 or 100 years ago. Today's horses don't run anywhere near as many races as horses from yesteryear. That is probably the biggest reason why we haven't had a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Today's horses don't have the experience and "racing maturity" that yesterday's horses had.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  9. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Man o War won 20 out of 21 races. His only loss was he came in second by a neck to a horse ironically named........Upset
     
  10. ginscpy
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    ginscpy Senior Member

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    Seattle Slew wasn't any chump either.

    Won the Triple Crown UNDEFEATED, which Secretariat didn't.

    Won each TC race convincingly -got overshadowed by Sec and (lucky) Affirmed.

    Historic few years even though I have never been to a horse race in my life.
     

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