Thursday, March 28, 2013

Secretariat: the Man o' War Stakes

On October 8 of the racing season if 1973,  Secretariat returned to Belmont Park for his second-to-last race. He had yet another chance to prove himself after losing to an unlikely opponent(see Woodward Stakes). Then he would become a stud horse to produce a line of champions.

 The Man o' War Stakes, named for a famous racehorse from before Secretariat's time, was far different than any other race he had run before. Instead of being on dirt, it was turf, like the European tracks.  Secretariat had proven himself in races ranging from 3/4 of a mile to 1 1/2 miles. This grassy, 1 1/2 mile track would only be another test of Secretariat's skill.

 In spite of that, Secretariat did just as well in this race as in many of the others he had run. He easily took the the lead, running on the grass that lined the inside of the Belmont track. It was an easy race for him. His jockey, Ron Turcotte, said that Secretariat was an even better turf horse than a dirt horse.

 After that race, he had just one more to go: the Canadian International. He was going to leave the racetrack forever, but was going to go out in style. His fans, as well as his owner and jockey, were certain of that.

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