Secretariat Redux, Updated Articles, Videos!

Secretariat needs no introduction.

The images of his glowing copper form streaking past the Belmont Stakes’ finish line, thereby winning the Triple Crown, are forever burnished in our collective minds.

I’ve parsed through countless (it seems) clips, articles and websites covering Secretariat. Here is a selection of my favorites. Enjoy!


Triple Crown 2015: Why Secretariat was the greatest ever” Jerry Izenberg, The Star Ledger

Secretariat birthplace designated historic siteAssociated Press, Virginia Pilot

SI 60 Q&A: William Nack on what ‘Pure Heart’ and Secretariat mean to himTed Keith, Sports Illustrated

“Secretariat’s Jockey on Winning the Triple Crown at Belmont, 40 Years Ago”  Andrew Cohen, The Atlantic Monthly


 Life & Times of Secretariat,, PlanetHorseDVD

New Bonus!!  SECRETARIAT – Heart Of A Champion 13 minute featurette including vintage clips and clips from Disney’s Secretariat film

Penny Chenery, owner of Secretariat, sits down with‘s Lenny Shulman to share her remembrances of Big Red and his legendary career.

The Immortal SECRETARIAT, Enjoy Big Red living large on the farm, with his handlers and admirers remembering his personality and greatness., cf1970

Secretariat, ESPN Classic’s SportsCentury.

Secretariat Didn’t Like Roses!, This is a rare clip of Secretariat after the 1973 Kentucky Derby. After he got the roses, he tried to bolt! Check out how mature he is, a neck like a 4- or 5-year old… YouTube


Penny & Red, The Life of Secretariat’s Owner, 2013

Secretariat, 2010

WEB SITES Out of the gate … and into history

Secretariat’s Meadow Blog

Secretariat. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eddie Sweat. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Secretariat Remains No. 1 Name in Racing” by Ron Flatter, Special to

“Putting A New Light On The Derby” by Whitney Tower, Sports Illustrated, April 30, 1973 Before the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Whitney Tower scrutinizes the Derby field.

“Crunch Went The Big Red Apple” by George Plimpton, Sports Illustrated, July 09, 1973

“Pure Heart”by William Nack, Sports Illustrated, October 24, 1994. In this SI Classic from 1990, Nack relives the greatest ride of his life: Secretariat’s thrilling career as a racehorse.

“Secretariat” by Dan Illman, DRF.Com, September 23, 2010

“To the Swift: Red Smith on Secretariat”by the New York Times, June 6, 2008

Secretariat: The Making of a Champion By William Nack

Secretariat’s Meadow by Kate Chenery Tweedy

The Big Red Horse, The Secretariat Story by Lawence Scanlan, For young readers and up.

Secretariat, by Raymond Woolfe, Jr. and Ron Turcotte

The Horse God Built: The Untold Story of Secretariat, the World’s Greatest Racehorse by Lawrence Scanlan





Alfred Vanderbilt Selected By Racing Hall of Fame

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has announced
the selection of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt to be inducted into the
Pillars of the Turf category

Through his contributions to Thoroughbred racing that resonate to this day, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, 1912-1999, was one of the architects of the golden years of racing spanning the 20th century. The young man who devised the match race of the century between Seabiscuit and War Admiral, and whose homebred Native Dancer influences the pedigrees of Thoroughbreds to this day, became a horseman accepted as a peer by the finicky and fickle population that makes up horse racing.

Whereas Vanderbilt had to earn his racing stripes one at a time, outside of the track milieu his own pedigree from a storied American family gave him advantages in terms of access and wealth. A great-great-grandson of transportation and shipping magnate Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, young Alfred lost his father in 1915 when the Lusitania sank. As an adult, one week might find Vanderbilt sitting outside the Dancer’s stall shooting the breeze with Lester Murray, Dancer’s groom. The next week he might be on safari with Ernest Hemingway.

As a teenager, the racing bug sank its bite into Vanderbilt and never let go. At 21, he was given his mother’s racing stable and its horse farm base in Maryland, Sagamore Farm. Racehorses raised at Sagamore include Native Dancer, Find, Bed o’ Roses and the memorably named Social Outcast. Vanderbilt’s cerise and white silks were immediately recognizable out on the track and in the winners’ circle. Those silks were last seen as his homebred filly Opening Address was sent out alone to gallop over the Aqueduct track as part of Vanderbilt’s memorial service in December 1999.

Alfred Vanderbilt sports illustrated coverVanderbilt’s involvement in racing went far beyond being an owner-breeder. He had a knack for racecourse management and brought his skills to Pimlico, the Westchester Racing Association − the precursor of the New York Racing Association (NYRA). He was chair of the board and CEO of NYRA for four years. Early on in his racing career, Vanderbilt was dissatisfied with the starting procedures of racing so he developed the starting gate; at the other end of a race, Vanderbilt pioneered the use of a photo-finish camera.

In August 1963, Vanderbilt was featured in a Sports Illustrated cover story that outlined his concerns about where racing was headed and what was needed to remedy the situation. The points made in the article concerning industry leadership and uniform standards are as relevant today as they were 52 years ago.

One of Vanderbilt’s roles outside of racing was as an advocate for veterans. He served as a lieutenant on a PT boat in the Pacific in World War II, earning a Silver Star for gallantry. After the war, he was the head of the World Veterans’ Fund.

Racing Heads to Kentucky Derby & Beyond

How can it be? The Kentucky Derby 2015 is upon us. The preps are done and the scores have been racked up to identify the 20 horses that will explode out of the starting gate next Saturday. But wait, there have been some interlopers this year, taking the focus away from the feeding frenzy of Derby fever.

Older Horses Get All The Attention

Last year’s Kentucky Derby winner, California Chrome flew over to Dubai in in mid-March to get ready for the globe’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup. He was a closing second as he ran out of track. Chrome is a colossally game colt and deserves the fervor of his fans, the Chromies.

Racing under the mantle of Dumbass Partners, Chrome’s owners elected for him to stay abroad after Dubai, sending him to Newmarket in the U.K. to get ready to run on the turf in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 17. With Chrome’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness wins last year, the two DAP partners got carried away and started believing their own press. It was ugly. Nevertheless, hats off to them for sending Chrome on the road to face the best in the world. What are the odds we will be seeing a Stetson or two among the requisite top hats mandated by the race meet’s dress code? The prospect of the DAP boys at Royal Ascot is a scenario Mark Twain would relish.

This year, Chrome’s rival from California, Shared Belief won the San Antonio Invitational Stakes–Grade 2 (where he bested California Chrome), and the Santa Anita Handicap–Grade 1. Passing up Dubai or a run at Royal Ascot, Shared Belief was flown to West Virginia to run in the $1,500,000 Charles Town Classic Stakes–Grade 2 on April 18. Out of the gate, jockey Mike Smith felt something awry with the way Shared Belief was travelling and pulled him up. A nuclear scintigraphy scan revealed a non-displaced fracture of his right hip. Shared Belief was flown back to California and will recuperate at Pegasus Training and Equine Rehabilitation Center in Redmond Washington, one of the finest rehabilitation facilities in the U.S.

Back to the Derby

With an expected field of 20, it’s hard to tout a horse until the post positions are drawn. A horse that gets a spot close to the rail has a tough trip ahead, that is unless Calvin Borel is in the irons on El Kabeir, then all bets are off. As for the trainers of the Derby horses, they’ve done their jobs and conditioned their horses to a fine pitch. From hereon in, the trick is to keep their horses sound and well through to the finish of the race. Watch any one of those 20 horses, and you’ll see a thousand pounds of muscle and brawn ready to rumble.

In an interesting twist, South African trainer Mike De Kock has sent a Dubai-based colt to run for the roses. Mubtaahij will likely be the only horse to run without the benefit of the controversial diuretic Lasix, that is believed to prevent pulmonary hemorrhaging. Talk to five horse racing professionals about Lasix and you’ll get five differing opinions, running the gamut from whining to righteous indignation.

Whining, indignation, race day medication? Welcome to America, Mr. De Kock.