The most amazing performance by a thoroughbred in racing history
Today in New York is the 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown that began with the Kentucky Derby and included the Preakness Stakes.
No racing fan, or no one, period, will ever forget the greatest Belmont Stakes in history, and the greatest performance by a thoroughbred in the history of racing.
It was the 105th running of the Belmont on June 9, 1973, and a three-year-old stallion known as Big Red was about to run the race of a lifetime.
Secretariat had won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and was the favorite to win the Belmont, although there were some who doubted if he could go the grueling mile-and-a-half, the longest of the Triple Crown races.
In an amazing show of stamina, in front of a crowd of 70,000 wildly cheering fans, Secretariat, with jockey Ron Turcotte aboard, ran away from the field and won by 31 lengths, the largest margin of victory in Belmont history.
Secretariat’s winning time of 2 minutes and 24 seconds still stands as the American record for a mile and a half on dirt.
IN MEMORIAM: Secretariat died on October 4, 1989, at the age of 19. Big Red was buried at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky.
Today’s Belmont Stakes brought the crowd to its feet for an exciting stretch duel between the two favorites, Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie, with Essential Quality passing the post first by a length and a half. Preakness winner Rombauer ran third.