Secretariat

Longtime Claiborne Manager Gus Koch Dies at 74

Robert "Gus" Koch, died Saturday, March 20, 2021, at his beloved Mt. Carmel Farm, after a 24-year battle with cancer. He was 74. The retired longtime manager of Claiborne Farm, Koch was a Marine and a Vietnam veteran. Koch was the subject of one of the TDN and Keeneland's Life's Work Oral History project, and Chris McGrath's story on him may be read here. Hired when Seth Hancock took the reins at the farm, Koch was at the helm at Claiborne for 31 years, running perhaps the best lineup of...

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Holthaus Wins Eclipse 50 Contest

Mary Holthaus was selected as the winner of the NTRA Eclipse 50 Contest, which asked fans to choose their top 10 favorite Eclipse Awards champions, along with their favorite champion jockey and trainer, from the past 50 years. Holthaus, who resides in Easton, Maryland, was randomly selected from the participants who submitted a ballot. The longtime racing fan won a trip for two to Lexington to spend a day at the races at Keeneland, tour the Four Roses Bourbon Distillery and visit historic Spendthrift Farm. In the same contest, Secretariat...

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This Side Up: Honor Abides in Pegasus of Clipped Wings

It's the obvious question in South Florida this week. Back in January 2017, everything was henceforth going to be different. The language was brash, it was immoderate, it certainly wasn't to the taste of traditionalists. But like it or not, it looked a game-changer. Yet here we all are, four years on, asking whether the whole project has failed; or whether, despite its apparent humiliation, it retains enough momentum never to permit a return to the old ways? No, we're not talking about the latest senior citizen to retire to...

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The Eclipse Award Winners, Rating the Best of the Best

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Eclipse Awards, the NTRA is holding a promotion in which fans will be asked to chose the top 10 horses and the top jockey and trainer during the five-decade era. Click here to play. Here are this writer's picks. It wasn't easy. Horses: Secretariat: Champion 2-Year-Old Male (1972); Champion 3-Year-Old Male (1973); Champion Male Turf Horse (1973); Horse of the Year (1972, 1973). Could be the best horse who ever lived. What more needs to be said?   Seattle Slew: Champion 2-Year-Old Male...

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From Maine to California, These Tracks Are Gone, But Not Forgotten

Do you remember Bowie? The Marshfield Fair? Or, how about Liberty Bell? I do. I've been to them all. Someone sent me a link the other day to a list of all the defunct racetracks in the country and it got me thinking how sad it was that I had been to so many that have disappeared into the ether. That and whether or not I hold some sort of unofficial record of having attended more former racetracks than anyone else. I have been to 28 North American tracks that...

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2021 Calendar Celebrates Secretariat's Last Living Sons and Daughters

Continuing a series celebrating Secretariat's legacy through his remaining offspring, a 2021 calendar featuring the last living sons and daughters of the legendary 1973 Triple Crown winner is now available. It's the fourth annual fund-raising calendar in what has become a tradition of generating revenue for equine charities, a group that now includes Bright Futures Farm, Old Friends, and Victory Alliance Ranch. "It is humbling to see how the racing industry, and Secretariat fans in particular, have embraced this calendar series," said writer/photographer Patricia McQueen, whose creative project is part...

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Letter From Royal Ascot…From New York: Day 2

Are you lucky enough to be a real fan of the industry you live and work in? I am. And my new hero is Ian Bartlett. Never met the chap, but he is a well traveled race commentator for more than 31 years, with stints in his native England for the BBC, and for races in Ireland, France and Dubai. And now he is the voice of Royal Ascot. I urge you to listen to his outstanding race calls at The Royal meeting, which is just a five-day stand through...

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Who's Your Favorite Horse?: Davant Latham

Favorite Horse: As a kid from a non-racing family in Memphis, I became infatuated with Thoroughbreds while at UVA. In 1982 the Champion 2-Year-Old was Roving Boy (Olden Times), who dominated the stakes on the West Coast. Being a direct male line descendant of Man O'War, Roving Boy was not only brilliant but also romantic as the horse that would continue the Man O'War sire line. Roving Boy fractured a cannon and missed all of the 3-year-old classics, but came back in October to run second in an allowance and...

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Secretariat Favored in KY Derby: Triple Crown Showdown

Secretariat has been established as the horse to beat in Saturday's Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown by odds maker Mike Battaglia. The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown is an animated race created by Inspired Entertainment Inc. using computer-generated imagery that will feature the 13 past Triple Crown winners in a 1 1/4-mile race at Churchill Downs. The virtual race will air around 5:45 p.m. as part of NBC's broadcast of "The First Saturday In May: AmericanĀ  Pharoah's Run to the Triple Crown" Saturday from 3-6 p.m. Secretariat landed post position...

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Favorite Horse: Marette Farrell

Favorite: My all-ime favorite was Triptych (Riverman). She was nicknamed the "Iron Lady" like Maggie Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of the U.K. (and the longest serving). She won 14 times. She frequently took her game to the boys, by accelerating from a position of power close to the pace, and was relentless all the way to the line. Triptych won the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac as a 2-year-old and ran in every major race as a 3-year-old. I was at The Curragh when she won the Irish 2,000...

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Who's Your Favorite Horse? with Julien Leparoux and John Fulton

JULIEN LEPAROUX, JOCKEY Favorite: My favorite racehorse is Tepin (Bernstein). What she accomplished in her career was amazing and it was an honor to be a part of it. She was also a sweet filly to be around, very playful. She loved to play with my whip when I put it in my back pocket, taking it from me and chewing it. Best: The best horse for me that I watched was Frankel (GB) (Galileo {Ire}). The way he won his races against very good fields was just amazing. JOHN...

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Who's Your Favorite Horse? Evan Ferraro, Alan Carasso

EVAN FERRARO, RECRUITING & MARKETING MANAGER, FASIG-TIPTON Favorite: Songbird The two-time Fasig-Tipton sales graduate has been a personal favorite of mine since first seeing her as a yearling. Back in 2014, my friend and Fasig-Tipton colleague Dennis Lynch returned from a yearling inspection trip in California raving about a Medaglia d'Oro filly he had accepted for our Saratoga Sale. Whenever Dennis talks up a horse, you better listen, as he is one of the best judges around. That filly turned out to be Songbird. Songbird was easy to fall for,...

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