The fastest time ever run in the Derby was in 1973 at 1:59.4 minutes, when Secretariat broke the record set by Northern Dancer in 1964.
Secretariat set speed records at multiple distances and on different racing surfaces. But the Guinness World Record recognizes Winning Brew as the fastest horse ever. Secretariat is the greatest racehorse of all time; he annihilated his opponents and shattered course records.
Secretariat went on to win the Kentucky Derby, two and a half lengths ahead of Sham, and with a world-record finish time of 1:59 2/5 – “Big Red” cracked the two minute race time, as did Sham as the second place finisher.
Man O' War's record was 20 wins, 1 place. Secretariat had 16 wins, 3 place and 1 show.
Secretariat holds the fastest finishing time at 2:24.00. In 1973, the Triple Crown-winning horse set a world record that still stands for a race on a mile-and-a-half dirt track. The horse reached a top speed of 49 mph.
The closest any horse has come to breaking the record was in 2001, when Monarchos won with a time of 1:59:97. That's more than a half-second slower than Secretariat.
Secretariat died in 1989 due to laminitis at age 19.
Secretariat set records that are still standing today.
Accelerating with each quarter-mile segment, he crossed the finish line at 1:59 2/5th, a new (and still standing) course record. In the 40 years since, only one other horse, Monarchos, has finished in under 2 minutes.
As the builder of Meadow Stud, he left behind hefty estate taxes. His family decided to pay the bill by selling Secretariat to a breeding syndicate that would assume ownership at the end of the horse's racing days. The price tag was a then-record $6.08 million.
He sired 663 foals, including 341 winners and 54 that won stakes races, but his ability as a stallion is still criticized. “Secretariat was a very good sire, but he wasn't the magical sire that people wanted him to be,” says Ed Bowen, president of the Kentucky-based Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
Secretariat's hindquarters were the main source of his power, with a sloped croup that extended the length of his femur. When in full stride, his hind legs were able to reach far under himself, increasing his drive. His ample girth, long back and well-made neck all contributed to his heart-lung efficiency.”
Secretariat was buried in a 6 by 6-foot oak casket lined with orange silk, the color used by Claiborne's racing stables. He was buried near his sire, Bold Ruler, in a small graveyard behind the office at the farm.
Sham (April 9, 1970 – April 3, 1993) was an American thoroughbred race horse and leading three year-old in 1973, who was overshadowed by his more famous peer, Secretariat.
Prospector has sired 81 stakes winners, Secretariat 40. Mr. Prospector's progeny have earned $28 million, Secretariat's $14 million. In the eyes of most breeding experts, Secretariat's performance has not been even as good as those statistics might suggest.
Secretariat was more than 2.6 seconds faster than Pharoah. To put that number in perspective, that's roughly the difference between Pharoah and the fifth-place finisher on Saturday, Frammento, who finished nearly 14 lengths out, according to Trakus, a system that charts horses' speed and distance using GPS technology.
That would be horse racing legend Secretariat, who earned the three-race title in 1973 and holds the fastest combined time for each of the three races. Secretariat still holds the record for the fastest Kentucky Derby-winning time.
More than a few bucks have changed hands in this ancient "bar bet." The wise guys say the second fastest Derby was actually run by Sham! They say that since Sham finished just two and one half lengths behind Secretariat, his time in the 99th Derby is judged to be 1:59.90.
Though Seabiscuit was a valiant competitor, only Secretariat managed to attain Triple Crown glory. Horses who manage this feat not only become the stuff of legends, but they also tend to retire early and enjoy a life of luxury.
We all know the story about Secretariat; it's even been made into a movie. Along with Man o' War, he is considered to be the best horse of all time. Even ESPN counted Secretariat as on of the Top 50 Athletes of the 20th Century during their countdown in 1999.
Secretariat, the 1973 winner (and ultimately Triple Crown winner) was originally credited with a running time of 1:55. Two Daily Racing Form clockers, however, had timed Secretariat's Preakness in 1:53 3⁄5, which would be a new stakes record.
As laminitis is a major life-threatening disease in horses, Dr. Swerczek's research focused on nitrate toxicity as a suspected cause of laminitis, a suspected cause of the very laminitis that affected Secretariat, causing his premature death.
Moderator Nick Clooney's favorite question for each panelist was whether the movie was totally accurate to the real-life story it professed to tell. The prevailing answer was: not particularly. “No,” said Katie Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Secretariat owner Penny Chenery Tweedy.
Every year, hundreds of people come to the Bluegrass to visit a landmark known primarily only to horse people: Secretariat's grave at Claiborne Farm in Paris, just outside Lexington. Claiborne is the Fenway Park of Kentucky horse farms, one of the oldest and most respected operations.