Voting Now Open for 2022 Secretariat 'Vox Populi' Award

Online voting is now open to select the winner of the 13th annual Secretariat Vox Populi Award. Created by Secretariat's late owner Penny Chenery, the Vox Populi, or "Voice of the People" award recognizes the racehorse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the public and gained recognition for the sport during the past year. Fans can vote in the online poll at for one of three nominees selected by the Vox Populi Committee. Voters also have the option to write in a racehorse of their choice. The...

[ Read More ]
Turcotte: Secretariat Was Better

Secretariat vs. Flightline (Tapit): Who was better? "I think Secretariat would have beat him," Secretariat's jockey Ron Turcotte said of a hypothetical match up between the two legendary horses. "That's no knock against the other horse. He's a beautiful horse. Well put together. I can't fault him in any way. But he has hasn't done enough for me to say he is better than Secretariat." That's not to say that Turcotte isn't a Flightline fan. "He's a fabulous horse," he said. "We don't know how fast he could run." Turcotte,...

[ Read More ]
Striking Gold Never a Formality

In this business, simply "doing the math" would stop us right in our tracks. Luckily, we have algebra on our side. A daunting equation can always be rescued by that helpfully vague variable, 'x', the unquantifiable ardor of wealthy people: their competitive instinct, their sportsmanship, or simply their outsized egos. At the top of the market, after all, the dollars they spend are not the same as the dollars used by the rest of us to buy coffee or gas. It's not like "real" money at all. But that doesn't...

[ Read More ]
Letter to the Editor: Mike Sekulic

Was Flightline's Pacific Classic the best performance since Secretariat's Belmont (as Bill Finley asked in The Week in Review in Monday's TDN)? Although it was great, the obvious answer is no, because we have witnessed many incredible races over the last nearly 50 years. But comparing and contrasting racehorses (and their best performances), and wondering how they stack up against each other, is part of what makes horse racing exciting and interesting. Secretariat's stupendous effort in the last leg of the Triple Crown was very likely the best performance by...

[ Read More ]
Was Flightline's Pacific Classic the Best Performance Since Secretariat's Belmont?

The Week in Review, by Bill Finley Some more thoughts on Flightline (Tapit) while trying to come up with the right superlative to describe his win in the GI TVG Pacific Classic. Words like spectacular, stunning, sensational just don't seem good enough. (*) It's tempting to try to compare him to Secretariat. The thing is, that's simply impossible. One has run just five times, the other ran 21 times, won the Triple Crown, was a two-time Horse of the Year and had his picture on the covers of Time, Newsweek...

[ Read More ]
Seven Days: Perfect News For Haggas

Few, if any, trainers have been in more consistent form this season than William Haggas, who now finds himself atop the table in Britain, with a strike-rate of 27% for the season. His earnings of £4,611,340 at the time of writing place him narrowly ahead of reigning champion Charlie Appleby. Top of the Somerville Lodge list of horses, and the earner of roughly a third of the yard's prize-money this year, is of course arguably the best horse in the world, Baaeed (GB), around whom continues to swirl uncertainty as...

[ Read More ]
Why Have Standardbreds Gotten Faster and Thoroughbreds Have Not?

It's been almost 55 years since Dr. Fager set a world record for the mile distance when winning the 1968 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park in 1:32 1/5, a record that has yet to be broken. In 1973, Secretariat won the GI Kentucky Derby, covering the 1 1/4 miles in 1:59 2/5, a record that still stands 49 years later. There are other examples, all leading to the same conclusion--the Thoroughbred racehorse is not getting any faster. Some believe that horses have gotten as fast as they can get,...

[ Read More ]
Fifty Years Ago, the Secretariat Saga Began With a Loss

As the 42,329 fans that attended the races at Aqueduct on July 4, 1972 made their way to the exits and to the parking lot and the A train after the day's last race, it's doubtful that anyone among them realized they had just witnessed the debut of one of the greatest horses who ever raced. For Secretariat, it began 50 years ago from today with a bad trip and a fourth-place finish in a maiden special weight race with an $8,000 purse. It would turn out to be the...

[ Read More ]
This Side Up: Horses, Not Humans, Back At The Epicenter

First things first: let's give their chance to the guys off the bench. Okay, so there are going to be plenty of eyeballs rolled now that three of Bob Baffert's four Derby migrants are joining a former assistant, on the same circuit, with a total of 38 starters to his name this year—especially as it was the handling of another Baffert medication violation that reportedly caused the scuffle between this same gentleman and a fellow trainer at Clocker's Corner one morning last April. (Both were fined $500.) The wiseguys will...

[ Read More ]
From The Real To The Magical: The Power Of The Thoroughbred 

Racing is famously described as living in its own little bubble. (People often say this crossly, with exasperation.) And it is, in many ways, a world of its own. It is so specialised and so absorbing and so difficult to understand for those outside it. It even has its own language - arcane technical terms and ancient slangs which few people beyond Newmarket and Lambourn understand. Yet racing people are also human people. They do live in the real world. They watch the news. They feel the terrifying clashes of...

[ Read More ]
This Side Up: The Heart of the Matter

You would think the heart has enough on its plate. It literally never gets a break, not for one second, never mind a vacation. Never a morning's fishing, a bourbon after dinner. Yet somehow we have ended up charging this most vital of our organs with a second burden, figurative but scarcely less momentous, as the vessel of love. So when the tireless engine of life finally fails, in one we cherish, we speak of our own hearts as being "broken." And there were many such, in Lexington on Friday,...

[ Read More ]
'22 Secretariat Calendar Supports Charities

The 2022 Secretariat's Legacy calendar, which features the Triple Crown winner's legendary daughter Weekend Surprise and her descendants, is now available at for $25. Proceeds from the sale of the calendars goes to Bright Futures Farm, an equine rescue and sanctuary accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance; Old Friends, another TAA-accredited organization; and Victory Alliance Ranch, an equine rescue and sanctuary supporting veterans and special needs children. The calendar series was launched in 2018 and has raised more than $22,000 for charities. "Racing fans, especially Secretariat fans, have loved...

[ Read More ]

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.