1973 Belmont Stakes

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1973 Belmont Stakes
Belmont Stakes
Secretariat in the Belmont.jpg
Secretariat on the final stretch
Location Belmont Park,
Elmont, New York
Date June 9, 1973
Winning horse Secretariat
Jockey Ron Turcotte
Conditions Fast
Surface Dirt

The 1973 Belmont Stakes was the 105th running of the Belmont Stakes and the final race in Secretariat's Triple Crown run. A then-record crowd of 69,138 saw him win by thirty-one horse lengths in a time of 2:24.[1][2][3] With the June 19, 2012 announcement that the Maryland Racing Commission had reviewed the evidence and revised the official winning time for the 1973 Preakness Stakes, Secretariat now holds the record for the fastest time for all three Triple Crown races.[4]

Only four horses competed against Secretariat for the June 9, 1973, running of the 105th Belmont Stakes, including Sham, who had finished second in both the Derby and Preakness, and three other horses thought to have little chance by the bettors: Twice A Prince, My Gallant, and Pvt. Smiles. With so few horses in the race, and with Secretariat expected to win, no "show" bets were taken. Secretariat was sent off as a 1–10 favorite to win as a $2.20 payout on a $2 ticket and paid at 20 cents more – $2.40 – to place.[5] Secretariat and Sham set a fast early pace, opening ten lengths on the rest of the field. After the six-furlong mark, Sham began to tire, ultimately finishing last. Secretariat continued the fast pace and opened up a larger and larger margin on the field. CBS Television announcer Chic Anderson described the horse's pace in a famous commentary: "Secretariat is widening now! He is moving like a tremendous machine!"[6]

In the stretch, Secretariat opened a 1/16 mile lead on the rest of the field. At the finish, he won by 31 lengths (breaking the margin-of-victory record set by Triple Crown winner Count Fleet in 1943, who won by 25 lengths), and ran the fastest 1½ miles on dirt in history, 2:24 flat, which broke the stakes record by more than two seconds.[7][8] This works out to a speed of 37.5 mph for his entire performance. Secretariat's record still stands; no other horse has ever broken 2:24 for 1½ miles on dirt. If the Beyer Speed Figure calculation had been developed during that time, Andrew Beyer calculated that Secretariat would have earned a figure of 139, the highest he has ever assigned.[9] Bettors holding 5,617 winning parimutuel tickets on Secretariat never redeemed them, presumably keeping them as souvenirs (and because the tickets would have paid only $2.20 on a $2 bet).[10]

Secretariat became the ninth Triple Crown winner in history, and the first in 25 years since Citation.


The June 9, 1973 results were as follows:[11]

Finish Post
Horse Jockey Final Odds
(to 1)
1 1 2 Secretariat Turcotte, RonRon Turcotte   0.10 $90,120
2 4 5 Twice a Prince Baeza, BraulioBraulio Baeza 17.30 $33,044
3 3 4 My Gallant Cordero Jr., AngelAngel Cordero Jr. 12.40 $18,024
4 2 3 Pvt. Smiles Gargan, DannyDanny Gargan 14.30 $9,012
5 5 1A Sham Pincay, Jr., LaffitLaffit Pincay, Jr.   5.10
scratched[12][13] 1 Knightly Dawn[12][13]

Times: 14 mile: :23.6, 12 mile: :46.2, 34mile: 1:09.8, 1 mile: 1:34.2, 114mile: 1:59.0, Final: 2:24.0[13]
Note: times were kept to the fifth of a second.


Pgm Horse Win Place
2 Secretariat $2.20 $2.40
5 Twice A Prince $4.60
  • Exacta (2−5): $35.20

Based on a $2 bet. As only five entries, there were no show wagers.[13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Belmont - Secretariat.com". Secretariat.com. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  2. ^ Hirsch, Joe (June 11, 1973). "Secretariat Achieves 'Triple' Grand Prix Nominations Number 22 - Astonishing 31 Lengths Best In 2:24 Belmont Stakes Romp". Daily Racing Form. LXXIX (139): 1. 
  3. ^ Copper, Bob (June 11, 1973). "Secretariat Defies Description After Record-Setting Belmont Run". The Argus-Press (Owosso, Michigan). Associated Press. p. 14. 
  4. ^ "Secretariat's '73 Preakness time is a record, racing commission rules". CNN. June 19, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Secretariat: A Triple Terror". Ocala Star-Banner. June 10, 1973. pp. D1. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ "This day in history: June 9, 1973". Vancouver Sun. 2012-06-11. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  7. ^ "ESPN.com: Secretariat remains No. 1 name in racing". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  8. ^ "Hollywood Unnecessarily Embellishes the Real Tale of Secretariat". AOL.Original. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  9. ^ Beyer Race Figures - Daily Race Form
  10. ^ "The 10 greatest horse races of all time". Observer.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  11. ^ "Chart of Belmont Stakes". Daily Racing Form. LXXIX (139): 4. June 11, 1973. 
  12. ^ a b SECRETARIAT - 1973 Belmont Stakes - Part 1 (CBS) CBS Sports. June 9, 1973. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d "Secretariat Breezes by 31 Lengths; Wins Triple Crown in Record 2:24". Daily News. June 10, 1973. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  14. ^ McCulley, Jim. 105th Running—1973—Belmont Stakes. Belmont Stakes.com. Retrieved 2015-05-05.

External links[edit]