Race of the Week 2017

The Belmont Stakes should be renamed The Secretariat

Secretariat 615 X 400


I have held my tongue for 20 years, but it’s finally time to voice my opinion - The Belmont Stakes should be renamed The Secretariat.


The smoke has cleared from yet another uneventful Triple Crown series. It has been 40 years since Secretariat swept through the series setting stakes records in all three Triple Crown races, and all still stand today. We had our typical drama after the Kentucky Derby when Orb was being touted as the next Triple Crown winner - but he clearly benefited from a grueling Kentucky Derby pace set by Palace Malice. We have been so removed from Secretariat’s greatness for so long that we tend to lose our perspective and rush to inflate mediocrity.


Most Americans recognize Secretariat as the greatest racehorse over the last half century. Racing historians recognize Secretariat’s Belmont as the greatest race EVER run by ANY thoroughbred. His performance on June 9, 1973 was almost indescribable and will be forever burned into racing lore. But what is equally impressive is that over the next 40 years no horse who ran in the Belmont Stakes could even get within ten lengths of Secretariat’s final time. This is mind boggling. In an era where sporting records fall like dominoes and the public is eager to create instant legends, Secretariat’s greatness has truly withstood the test of time.  



Now I consider myself among the Triple Crown traditionalists not wanting any schedule or distance changes in the series format. However, changing the name of the race, specifically the Belmont, is where I break from the pack. Corporate sponsors are constantly renaming historic events, sites and stadiums, i.e., the YUMS Kentucky Derby. Leagues continue to rename their most recognizable awards after star players of past eras (i.e. Bill Russell award for NBA Most Valuable Player in Playoffs.)


Each year Secretariat’s legend grows, especially with the futility of shrinking horse populations. It’s hard enough to get horses to compete in all three races in the Crown series, never mind to win and run more impressively in each leg. Only one race is currently named after him: Arlington Park’s graded stakes race for three year olds on the turf course. While it is a good and prominent race, it still falls short of recognizing Secretariat’s greatness. His recognition shouldn’t be just another Stakes race - it should be the Belmont Stakes. Even August Belmont Jr. would have probably been on board.


While thousands have tried to beat Secretariat, NO horse in history has EVER raced faster than Secretariat in any of the Triple Crown races.


~Written by John Doyle



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Older Comments about The Belmont Stakes should be renamed The Secretariat...

Mary,why not rename it Slewmania,to appease the seattle Slew fans.
Name the Belmont Stakes, "Secretariat Stakes"
Did you WANT to be exposed as FOOLISH here, travel_vic?
According to Travel Vic: “All regular track horses delecerate from the 4 furlong time onward”. Really Vic? Do you swear by that? In the 2009 BCC Zenyatta ran her first 4F in 50.09 and her last 4F in 47.21. In the 2008 BCC Raven’s Pass ran his first 4F in 49.39 and his last 4F in 46.35. In Secretariat’s Derby he ran his first 4F in 49 2/5 and his last 4F in 46 2/5.
  • annmatt · Laz, off topic, but I love to run across your comments in cyberspace...you are the master as far as I'm concerned in defending any position you take. In particular, I admire and appreciate your ability to defend in every detail Zenyatta's record to all the Zen haters out there. No one can out-debate you on Z! Thanks always for providing good info and interesting "verbal jousting" rhetoric! :-) · 1535 days ago
Agree with you, Lorraine. In terms of the original point, which was clouded by travel_vic's spewing garbage, I disagree strongly with the notion of changing the name to the "Secretariat".
Agreed with you IHATC - The 3 year old award can be honored in his name. Three race in 5 weeks, 4 record while doing it and to top it off, his competition need a rocket to catch him that day. That in my books is a world class 3 year old.
  • LorraineLloyd · what is the 4th record? He ran 3 races in 5 weeks, that would be 3 records. It can't be the Wood as he lost and he didn't set any records in the Arlingrton which came after the Belmont, so, 4???? You are talking about Secretariat??? · 1536 days ago
What garbage? What ev. I don't see it that way.
Oh, and to add: In all my years invested in this sport, when a horse beats a track record, it is usually by 1/5 to 3/5th's of a second. Secretariat simply demolished the track record in the G1 Belmont Stakes. "Souped up" track or not, the performance was unreal, so was the time. LAZ made a good point about the other dirt races on the card not being that fast, besides the great Forego. Why did Secretariat demolish the Churchill Downs and Pimlico Racecourse records? Was that due to a souped up track, too? Also. Everyone should read the book "Speed", which actually Travel_vic suggested a while back, which explains in depth that the majority of track records nowadays are broken due to the influx of technology (lighter shoes, better nutrition, faster surfaces, etc) rather than the improvement of the breed. With that advantage in modern horse's favor, why does Secretariat still hold the record for ALL three Triple Crown races? How come Easy Goer, arguably Red's greatest offspring, was "close" to Secretariat's record, but still was two seconds short? The garbage Travel_vic is spewing is laughable.
  • suek5961 · Easy Goer was a son of Alydar, not Secretariat. His best offspring, IMO, were Risen Star, General Assembly, and the mighty "Iron Lady," Lady's Secret. · 1537 days ago
  • https://www.facebook.com/cindy.carter.94214 · First, Secretariat holds the records because he was a terrific horse and had a wonderful Triple Crown, but look at the horses for the most part that have come after him, it's not rocket science that he still holds the records. Now, if you want to talk about a horse that broke records, several by over SIX, yes count em 6, Man O' War's your horse!!!!! There were how many Triple Crown winners after him! Horse racing has changed so much, 2 year olds barely race more than 5 times in a season, unlike the "good ole days", it's ashame racing has changed, so we don't have iron horses like Citation or Man O' War who carried 130 pounds at TWO!!! Point of this is your talking about records broken and by how much. · 1536 days ago
Why don't you just change the name of the Mother Goose to the Rachel Alexandra, or the Travers to Man O'War, do you see how stupid this notion is???
That... that was beautiful Rafi. Preach it!
Since you asked, how about this for starters?>> travel_vic · now you change races on me...If you get caught with the wrong information just CLING to it...Debating with incompetent fools is tiresome.
I think yhou are one of those overlydramatic Secretariat fans. You REALLY want to change history for a terrific performance? Why don't we rename it the Count Fleet since he was not pushed in the stretch for a record, and he won by 25 lengths in the Belmont????? Are you serious? You are messing with history, and haven't Leonard Lusky and the team shoved Secretariat down our throats enough?????
Like that laz, lol.
Rafi they call him "dim"wit Yap Crap.
Oh, to add, on a much lighter note: I made a mistake on my original post. I mixed up Easy Goer and Risen Star, like I always do. As "Suek" pointed out, Easy Goer was a son of Alydar, not Big Red. Sorry for the wrong information.
"ACE OF RACE 23 4/5, 47, 1:36, 2:00 and 2:24 4/5 meaning that the animals interrvals were 23 4/5, 23. 1/5, 24 3/5. 24 2/5, 24 and 24 4/5" -travel_vic... How retarded are you, travel_vic? The pace of race was as followed: 23 3/5, 46 1/5, 1:09 4/5, 1:34 2/5, 1:59 4/5, and 2:24 4/5. This means his internal fractions were: 23 3/5, 22 3/5, 23 3/5, 24 3/5, 24 2/5, 25. Excuse me if any part of my math is wrong. You are full of baloney. In your quote, you stated the following: "23 4/5, 47, 1:36, 2:00 and 2:24 4/5" First of all, it is documented his first two quarters were 23 3/5 and 46 1/5. You lised fake, unsourced, terrible, and incorrect information regarding his first 1/2 mile. His first half mile was 46 1/5, not 47 flat. You "forgot" to add the 3/4th's marker, yet still decided to mention an unsourced internal fraction, which is also incorrect. My math maybe wrong, as I did the internal fractions in my head, but regardless, at least I am on the correct page. Secretariat's performance was not impressive because he won by 31 lengths. It was impressive because of the G-d like fractions he put up and was able to sustain. He ran the first half in 46 1/5, completing the latter part in 22 3/5. He only completed one fraction over 24 4/5, which was his last quarter. He ran his last quarter in 25 flat while being geared down by Hall of Fame (in my eyes) jockey Ron Turcotte. He finished in an unheard of 2:24 4/5. His record has not been approached. You say LAZ got information from a misleading source, but I checked for 30 minutes, four sources (in books) an three websites. NONE agreed with your shitty internal fractions. As someone who constantly preaches Secretariat is immortal, which he is (at least you are correct about SOMETHING), you are trying to downgrade his performance. You are the most ignorant wannabe tool I have ever encountered in my life. Oh, and by the way, I was on a track tour a little while ago, actually a good time ago. I went to Woodbine, Churchill, and some others I have not been to. I watched wourkouts at Churchill (no meet at that time) but I watched races and watched workouts at Woodbine. I was with my buddy who works there..... he claims he has no idea who you are. DId I give him wrong info? Your name is Dr. Tim Yatcak... gives seminars? Sartin freak? Self proclaimed wagering guru? Biggest Fraud of the Year, without question, goes to Dr. Tim Yatcak of Ontario, Canada.... if that's your real name.
EARTH TO TRAVEL VIC. We are talking about the 1973 Belmont, the one run here on earth, not the one run on Mars. Not only are your times screwed up, but your race is too. As for timing a race in 100's, I know when they changed the timing format to include hundredths also. Sometimes when I go back before that time I convert each fifth to hundredths so that instead of saying 1/5, it will say .20. It makes it easier to calculate between calls.
now you change races on me...If you get caught with the wrong information just CLING to it...Debating with incompetent fools is tiresome.
Vic I’m also sorry to inform you and your DRF buddies that your Racing manual time is really out to lunch. Your fractions are as follows: <<<23 4/5, 47, 1:36, 2:00 and 2:24 4/5 meaning that the animals intervals were 23 4/5, 23. 1/5, 24 3/5. 24 2/5, 24 and 24 4/5>>>. Sorry but Secretariat’s time was 2.24 flat.
No, I don’t think that I’m off the mark. You are though as you have been so many times before. This just adds to your total. In your running line you don’t even have the three quarter time BTW. You can work with the DRF or NASA or the CIA or whoever you say you work with, but you can’t change recorded history, especially an official document.

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