Secretariat was a Thoroughbred racehorse who won the Triple Crown in 1973, setting records in all three races. He was voted Horse of the Year twice and inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He is widely considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time, winning 16 of his 21 races and setting multiple track records.


Secretariat was born on March 30, 1970, at Meadow Stud in Caroline County, Virginia. He was bred and owned by Christopher Chenrey’s Meadow Stable; Penny Chenrey was the owner and breeder of Secretariat and Lucien Laurin was his trainer. He made his racing debut as a two-year-old in 1972 and quickly made a name for himself by winning six of his nine starts, including the Sanford Stakes, the Futurity Stakes, and the Laurel Futurity.


Secretariat was one of the fastest horses in the world due to a combination of factors. One of the main reasons was his powerful conformation, which allowed him to generate a lot of power and speed from his hindquarters. He also had long, strong legs and a deep chest, which helped him to maintain his speed over long distances. Additionally, Secretariat had a unique stride that allowed him to cover a lot of ground with each step, which made him even faster. His pedigree also played a role, being a son of Bold Ruler, a leading sire at the time, and his dam, Somethingroyal, was a daughter of Princequillo, a leading sire of broodmares. All these factors combined made him a truly exceptional racehorse.


In 1973, Secretariat became the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple Crown, which consists of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. He won the Derby by a then-record margin of 2 1/2 lengths and set a new track record at the Preakness, winning by an impressive 2 3/4 lengths. However, it was at the Belmont Stakes where Secretariat truly cemented his place in racing history. He broke the longstanding track record by an astounding 31 lengths and ran the 1 1/2-mile race in a time of 2:24, which still stands as the record for the fastest Belmont Stakes ever run.
In addition to his Triple Crown victories, Secretariat also won the Wood Memorial Stakes, the Blue Grass Stakes, and the Whitney Stakes in 1973. He was named Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old Colt and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1974, just one year after his retirement from racing.


Secretariat was known for his large, powerful build and his distinctive white blaze, and three white socks. He had a calm, intelligent personality and was well-liked by his handlers and trainers. His popularity extended beyond the racetrack, and he was featured in numerous magazines and television programs. He was even given the nickname “Big Red” by some fans due to his chestnut color but it was not official and the nickname was originally meant for another fabulous horse “Man O’ War”.

Post Retirement Status

After retiring from racing, Secretariat was used as a breeding stallion at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky. He was sold to a breeding syndicate for $6.08 Million!! He sired over 600 foals and became a Leading Sire in North America in 1976 and 1977. He was also the Leading Broodmare Sire in North America in 1991 and 1992. Today, there are only two living offspring of  Secretariat all over the world; 34-year-old “Border Run” and 33-year-old “Trusted Company”.


Secretariat was euthanized on October 4, 1989, due to complications from laminitis, a painful and often fatal hoof disease. He was just 19 years old at the time of his death and was buried at Claiborne farm in Paris. He was buried as a whole and to make it more unique Secretariat was embalmed as well which is extremely rare. Hundreds of people, to be more specifically horse people, visit his grave every year.

secretariat horse


Despite his untimely demise, Secretariat’s legacy lives on. He is remembered as one of the greatest racehorses of all time and his impressive racing record and charismatic personality have made him a fan favorite for generations. In 2010, a statue of Secretariat was unveiled at the Kentucky Derby Museum, and a film about his life, “Secretariat,” was released in Theater that year.
Secretariat’s memory is honored each year at the Secretariat Vox Populi Award, which is given to the horse that is deemed to have had the most significant impact on the sport of horse racing. Cody’s Wish won the Secretariat Vox Populi Award last year. ( 2022)

Overall, Secretariat was an exceptional horse who left an indelible mark on the world of racing and will always be remembered as a true champion.

Fun Fact

Secretariat was a large horse, standing at 16.2 hands (about 66 inches) and weighing around 1,175 pounds. He was able to carry a lot of weight due to his size and strength. In his races, Secretariat typically carried around 126-132 pounds, including the jockey and equipment. His heart was 2.5 times larger than a regular horse’s due to a rare genetic mutation and it was also advantageous for speed. And the last thing, this horse was buried whole which is very rare.

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