And Down The Stretch He Comes!

And Down The Stretch He Comes!

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This autographed photo Ron Turcotte on Secretariat is on every horse race lovers' wish list!

American Thoroughbred racehorse Secretariat who, in 1973, became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years shattered all records before him with a victory in the Belmont Stakes and made a name for himself in the horse world. Won by 31 lengths, it is widely regarded as one of the greatest races of all time.

Ron Turcotte on Secretariat: 
I knew the 1973 Belmont Stakes was going to be a special day for Secretariat. The only question was how special.

He had won the Kentucky Derby with a phenomenal performance, traveling faster every quarter in tearing through the mile and a quarter in a track-record 1:59 2/5 to defeat Sham. I made sure to give him an easy race in the Preakness; he was still 2 ½ lengths better than Sham. It definitely could have been much more, but my thought was to save as much as possible for the Belmont.

Trainer Lucien Laurin worked Secretariat hard for the last leg of the Triple Crown, leaving nothing to chance. I was aboard for those drills and liked everything about them. He was thriving on a heavy workload, eating everything put in front of him and he was loaded with energy.

The morning after his final workout, he was so much on the muscle we decided to put the tack on him and walk him around the shedrow to settle him down. Then the morning of the Belmont, when we walked him again for 30 minutes, he was rearing on his hind legs and trying to get away from exercise rider Charlie Davis, who was doing his best to hold onto him. That was the fittest I had ever seen him and we knew he was eager to run.

I know strange things can happen in a race, but I could not have been more confident. After the last work, I told Lucien, “If he gets beaten in this race, I'm going to hang up my tack.”

I always looked at the Belmont as the easiest of the three legs. If your horse stumbles, if he gets shut off, the mile-and-a-half distance gives you time to recover. That being said, I sure hoped for a clean trip.

Lucien did not give me any instructions in the paddock before the race. He never did. All he said was, “Ronnie, you know the horse. You know what to do.”

8x10 photo autographed by Turcotte, framed and matted 16.5x18.75
Donated By: Great Moments, Inc