Secretariat Winning the 1973 Belmont Stakes by 31 Lengths

79| Teletimer Photograph

Secretariat Winning the 1973 Belmont Stakes by 31 Lengths

Auction Expired

Signed by Penny chenery

Photo, 11" x 96"

Auction Expired because there were no bids

$2000 - $3000

Provenance: signed by Penny Chenery

Secretariat winning the 1973 Belmont.

Secretariat is the most iconic racehorse of the 20th century. He captured the imagination of the entire racing community and sports fans at large with a Triple Crown bid that remains perhaps the greatest feat in racing history to date. He not only won the Triple Crown, an incredibly rare accomplishment in horse racing, but did so in spectacular fashion—setting record times in all three races—records that stand to this day. Secretariat showed amazing versatility as well, winning all three races from different positions, coming from mid-pack to win the Derby, from dead last to win the Preakness, and from the lead in the Belmont. It was in the 1973 Belmont Stakes that Secretariat delivered a win that will never be duplicated—winning the classic race, the third jewel in the Triple Crown, by an astonishing 31 lengths and setting a track and race record with the unbelievable 1 ½-mile time of 2:24 (nearly three full seconds faster than the previous record). When Secretariat reached the wire, the rest of the field was so far behind they were no longer in the camera’s field of view. The photograph on offer is a rare depiction of just how dominant a performance Secretariat turned in on his way to capturing the Triple Crown.

When describing the race for a project titled, “In Their Own Words,” produced by the New York Racing Association, jockey Ron Turcotte said, “My plan was to sit behind Sham in the early going. That changed when I felt the power beneath me and Secretariat broke sharply. I let him get his feet under him and picked his head up entering the first turn…I never felt such strength under me as I did that day. We were flying along. We covered the opening half-mile in 46 1/5 seconds, three-quarters in 1:09 4/5 and the mile in 1:34 4/5…Lucien and others in the stands thought I was crazy. But I am the one on the horse. I knew he was well within himself. He was doing everything easily. His stride was beautiful. His breathing was good. Everything was going to my liking. My job, as I saw it, was to be a good passenger and stay out of his way. The only encouragement I gave him was to occasionally whisper in his ear. ‘Easy boy,’ I would tell him…I peeked and the other horses must have been 15-20 lengths behind…Now, the only race was against the clock. After the Preakness timing controversy, I wanted Secretariat to set a record that would stand a long time. With 70 yards to go, I chirped to him to make sure he did not lose focus. He responded by finding still another gear…I was able to soak in everything. The crowd that was going wild. The teletimer. Track announcer Chic Anderson’s memorable race call. ‘Secretariat is widening now. He is moving like a tremendous machine!’ When I peeked that last time, it was not to see where the other horses were. I was looking for the time. When I finally pulled up Secretariat and the outrider came to meet us, he said, ‘Do you know how fast you went?’ ‘Yup, 2:24 flat.’ ”

Looking back on the race 40 years later, owner Penny Chenery was asked how often she had watched Secretariat’s Belmont victory. She answered: “Countless. I watch it and I kind of choke up. Even today. It is such a perfect moment.” The photograph, which is signed by Mrs. Chenery, captures just that—a perfect moment.


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