03/20/12

Secretariat aka Big Red – 1973 Triple Crown Winner

There has never been a horse like him. Secretariat was truly magnificient. Everyone in his entourage adored him and he treated all of them well. It’s said he was a real arrogant ham. Just let a camera be pointed at him and he would stop, puff up like a weight lifter and pose. He set a record in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes and those records still stand to this day. This is a video of Secretariat winning the Belmont Stakes by 30 lengths and becoming the Triple Crown Winner.

Secretariat was named Horse of the Year as a two year old, which just doesn’t happen. I’ve heard it said that a horse that closes like Secretariat isn’t really running that much faster than the leader, the leader is just tiring and slowing. Wrong… Oh, wrong…. Secretariat proved repeatedly, that he could just get faster and faster throughout the entire race.

Secretariat lived to the age of 19 and his blood lives on through his progeny.  It is interesting to note that Secretariat shows up in the pedigree of several of the top contenders for the 2012 Kentucky Derby; namely  Hansen, Union Rags, Creative Cause and Secret Circle..

03/20/12

Barbaro Winning 2006 Kentucky Derby

Barbaro’s 6 1/2 length win of the 2006 Kentucky Derby was the largest win margin since 1946, when Assault won it by 8 lengths. Barbaro was only the 6th undefeated horse in the history of the race to win the Derby. His racing career earnings were $2,302,200.

If you want to know more about Barbaro, click here

On May 20, 2006, Barbaro ran in the Preakness Stakes as a heavy favorite, but, after he false-started, he fractured three bones in and around the fetlock of his right hind leg. The injury ruined any chance of a Triple Crown in 2006 and ended his racing career. The next day, he underwent surgery at the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania for his injuries. In July he developed laminitis in his left rear leg. He underwent five further operations, and his prognosis varied during an exceptionally long stay in the Equine Intensive Care Unit at the New Bolton Center. While his right hind leg eventually healed, a final risky procedure on it proved futile because the colt soon developed further laminitis in both front legs. His veterinarians and owners concluded that he could not be saved, and Barbaro was euthanized on January 29, 2007.

Barbaro was cremated shortly after he was euthanized. On January 29, 2008 it was announced that his remains would be interred in front of an entrance to Churchill Downs, and that a bronze statue of Barbaro would be placed atop his remains. The Jacksons chose to place his remains outside of both Churchill Downs and the adjacent Kentucky Derby Museum to allow his many admirers to pay their respects without having to pay an admission fee.

 

 

I often wonder had he had not broken his right hind leg in 20 places, in the Preakness, would he be held in such high esteem? No doubt he was an extraordinary race horse and had every chance in the world of becoming the Triple Crown winner. He won America’s heart with his gallant struggle to survive all the surgeries with their attendant problems. Barbaro was a gallant lad.

Video of Barbaro Winning 2006 Kentucky Derby

 

If you like this article please share it with your friends.