1973 Belmont Stakes
Secretariat on the final stretch
Elmont, New York
|Date||June 9, 1973|
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. 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.
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. 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!"
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. 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. 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).
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:
|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||−|
Times: 1⁄4 mile: :23.6, 1⁄2 mile: :46.2, 3⁄4mile: 1:09.8, 1 mile: 1:34.2, 11⁄4mile: 1:59.0, Final: 2:24.0
Note: times were kept to the fifth of a second.
|5||Twice A Prince||$4.60|
- Exacta (2−5): $35.20
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