Secretariat's 1973 Belmont is arguably the greatest Belmont Stakes run.
There are a few special moments in sports history that will never be forgotten because they demonstrated true greatness. When it comes to great moments in equestrian sports, for many equestrians there is one that tops all others. Secretariat's running of the 1973 Belmont Stakes was arguably the greatest Belmont Stakes -- and maybe horse race -- ever run.
After winning both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, on June 9, 1973 Secretariat faced his biggest rival, Sham, once again in the Belmont, in front of a crowd of 69,138 spectators. Though Sham stuck with him throughout the first part of the race, the two horses set a blazing pace, and Sham began to tire by the backstretch.
Secretariat, however, did not. He began to pull away, increasing his lead right up until the wire. When he hit the finish line, he won by 31 lengths, the largest margin of victory in Belmont history. His win time of two minutes and 24 seconds set a new American record for the mile and a half, and has not been broken since.
Watch "Big Red" gallop from history straight into legend in this footage, and listen for announcer Chic Anderson's famous call:
"Secretariat is widening now! He is moving like a tremendous machine!"
When Secretariat passed away in 1989, an autopsy found that his heart was twice the size of a normal horse. To his fans, it comes as little surprise.
Many great races dot horse racing's long history, but it was that one day in 1973 when Secretariat demonstrated, once and for all, the meaning of greatness.
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