Updated on 06/22/2012 12:58PM

Secretariat awarded Preakness record at 1:53 after review

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Penny Chenery (center), Secretariat's owner, at the hearing Tuesday when his time for the 1973 Preakness Stakes was recognized as 1:53.

The Maryland Racing Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to change the official time of the 1973 Preakness Stakes won by Secretariat from 1:54 2/5 to 1:53, a time that will give the two-time Horse of the Year the record in all three of the Triple Crown races.

The commission approved the change after two hours of testimony at a meeting at Laurel Park, the sister track of Pimlico Race Course, where the Preakness is held. Penny Chenery, the late horse’s owner, requested the hearing on the basis of analyses conducted by companies she had hired to review the videotapes of the race.

The vote resolves a controversy that has dogged the race since Secretariat crossed the Preakness finish line more than 39 years ago. The official electronic teletimer clocked the race in 1:55, one second slower than Canonero II’s record for the race at the time, but that time was revised after a review of the film determined that the timer had malfunctioned. Two timers employed by Daily Racing Form had hand-timed the race in 1:53 2/5, three-fifths of a second faster than Canonero II.

DRF , which had officially recognized the 1:53 2/5 mark for the race since it was run, will now recognize the 1:53 mark established by the commission. In addition, Mike Gathagan, a spokesman for Pimlico’s operator, said that the track would adopt the new time as the official mark for the 1973 Preakness.

Since Secretariat won the 1973 Preakness, three horses – Tank’s Prospect in 1985, Louis Quatorze in 1996, and Curlin in 2007 – have run the race in the 1:53 2/5 mark previously recognized by the DRF . Secretariat will now be the sole Preakness record holder, although the record for the 1 3/16-mile distance at Pimlico will remain in the sole hands of Farma Way, who won the 1991 Pimlico Special in time of 1:52 2/5.

Prior to the hearing, representatives of Chenery had said that they had hired three separate companies to perform “forensic analyses” of the videotape of the race. According to the representatives, the companies had established a time for the race within an accuracy of 0.03 of a second, but the representatives at that time declined to provide a specific time they would seek to establish during the review.

Leonard Lusky, one of Chenery’s representatives, said after the hearing that they were “very pleased” with the ruling.

“We had five analysts look at the video, and all five said that it was 1:53 flat,” Lusky said. “We are cautiously optimistic [the new mark will be recognized]. We definitely felt fortunate that everyone was saying the same thing.”

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After watching much television and movies, I have definitely decided the greatest 6 racehorses of all time. Here goes 1. Secretariat...needs no explanation and Maryland confirmed my belief that was based on the movie 2. Sham...he was in the movie and gave secretariat fits 3. Phar Lap....I sure enjoyed that movie although it could of ended better 4. Seabiscut...Tobey Mac is a great jockey 5. Casey's Shadow....Alright, I know he was a quarter horse, but he sure looked like he could get more distance in the movie if not for the darn leg 6. The Black Stallion...I don't know his real jockey club name, but boy could he run
Alex More than 1 year ago
Now this I did enjoy.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Sundowner from the movie The Sundowners was in those other movie horses ballpark.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Trigger was pretty fast Silver was a runner too, no denying that. When it comes to distance horses NONE of those guys can touch Hidalgo. I can't remember what Hoss's horse name was ,buttZ... would anybody here care to dispute the fact that he was a helluva weight carrier. :-) Bonfire & Flicka were champion caliber . Quickdraw McGraw was awfully quick you know what I mean Babalouie. BSB
neigh sayer More than 1 year ago
You need to watch National Velvet too. I'm pretty sure The Pie would be very high on your list. Who knew Elizabeth Taylor was such a good jockey.
Tom More than 1 year ago
Your method of determining greatness is just as good as all of The Secretariat Groupies, in fact maybe better. Although I'd rank Mr. Ed in 3rd place along with a few other changes, mainly I'd drop Secretariat behind Black Beauty as far as greatness, but I did not seen either movie. Tom.
Tom More than 1 year ago
typo: seen should be see.
Cynthia Morton More than 1 year ago
The black stallion's registered name was Cass ' Ole owned by a heart surgeon and his daughter in San Antonio, Texas. A great movie and a great horse. Cass 'Ole like Secretariat imparted his intelligence and gentle spirit to his offspring.
Andy More than 1 year ago
Secretariat's certainly is the greatest Triple Crown winning horse we've ever had.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now I know one of you is just a salty old fisherman, but guys, Tom... Why is it so personally offensive if other people want to believe one horse or another is the greatest? That is a subjective determination no matter how many facts for or against the assertion. Considering the variety of surfaces, distances, and places around the world racing thoroughbreds, the "greatest of all time" conversation is not simply to assign a numerical value to an animal to represent its greatness, but it exists for people to solidify opinions, have debates, etc. Add to that the fact that there are myriad characteristics that make a great racehorse (speed, stamina, heart, intelligence, turn of foot, personality, running style...) and you realize that while you may favor some of those characteristics, others may favor different ones. "Who was the greatest?" is an impossible question. I like tough, old horses that can run long, carry weight, and are versatile; Kelso, John Henry, and Yeats are some personal favorites. I don't like these horses for any real rational reasons, but I am just drawn to them organically. I don't care if someone likes a horse for its name, its color (The Tetrarch!), or for no reason at all. What I'm trying to say is, if you want to disagree with someone's opinion, that's great. Debate is a cornerstone of an intelligent society. But if you want to take the high road, in which you have the knowledge to back things up (which is not in dispute), then there's no need to be condescending, right? Can't horseracing allow casual fans? I for one like to take their money. I also like to go to the track and see young people and women there, which is understandably rather rare considering the poor treatment they evidently receive by many of the game's older male segment (i.e. 90% of fanbase). People think drugs are killing the public perception of this game? No, it is the old a-holes who staff and occupy most of our countries' tracks. I roll my eyes when people stand for a routine fly ball at U.S. Cellular Field, but I don't eviscerate those people for not being hardcore baseball fanatics. I don't care if you think Mantle was better than Mays. I don't understand the need, which seems inherent only to this game, to make new/casual fans feel so alienated.
Tom More than 1 year ago
Dear Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous Why is it so personally offensive if other people want to believe and actually know that Secretariat was not all that he is cracked up to be. Why is it so personally offensive if 3 or 4 of us state irrefutable facts about his loses, and don't believe the fiction about his loses and the newly made up Preakness time???? TOM
Alex More than 1 year ago
I am not personally offended by people wanting to "actually know" whatever they want to know/believe about Secretariat. I am equally not offended by people stating facts. What I am offended by is the manner and attitude in and with which facts/beliefs are stated. I think this whole time reevaluation is a bit silly, but I certainly wouldn't belittle anyone for thinking Secretariat was a great racehorse. There is a chance you missed the jist of my post... Also, I had no intention of being Mr. Anonymous. I was, as always, logged in. I posted under my own name, as I am now. DRF's fault, not mine.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
He misses 'the jist' of a lot of posts.
Tom More than 1 year ago
Kalary Walters misses the jist of everything that refutes her mantra of being a groupie / zombie.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
I believe I can guess who this particular Anonymous is :-) If I'm right and I believe I am he is one of the most astute horseplayers I' ve never met and he makes some good points. If I'm correct who this is than I can say he is definitely not a Zombie Groupie . LOL. I forgot to mention The Spotted Wonder you old Sea Dog. :-) nice call ! In racing Good Yankees are harder to find than I thought . :-)
VanSavant More than 1 year ago
blackseakreskin; Yes sir, you are right. He is "Mr. Anonymous". I'm just sorry I didn't figure this out before you did...but how could I have, when you already knew, and you knew that I would know, but after you, of course. Rats!
Alex More than 1 year ago
This is only a guess, but I think you guys might be mistaken.
Tom More than 1 year ago
PS Why did you single me Tom out, the nasty one on here is Karla Weathers? Also you were right about Kelso, he is #2 on my list of all time greats. Plus I did not like or understand the fisherman comment.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
This interesting anonymous expert. (no sarcasm) REAL expert was referring to me Tom when he said fisherman. Nothing nasty in there. He was having some fun with me . The Tetrarch comment was for me as well. He's a good man & has been known to have a strong opinion himself on occasion. His advice is always worth listening to even if you disagree with it. I for one have missed him. BSB
Tom More than 1 year ago
Ok if you say so then he is alright with me, plus he likes Kelso.
Alex More than 1 year ago
Man, I really appreciate the compliments... Although I know they're intended for someone else... The Tetrarch was for me my man! That was a cool f-in horse. Wish I could've seen him.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Here, here!!! ♥
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
My bad.... Hear, hear!! :}
k k More than 1 year ago
I anyone still doubts the validity of Secretariat's altered Preakness time, read this NY Times article which explains the video evidence in detail: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/sports/secretariat-rides-advances-in-technology-to-preakness-record.html?pagewanted=all
Tom More than 1 year ago
Why were the times of other Preakness' not re-examined? Because that would not be beneficial to Secretariat. Tom
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
"Ms Nasty" here, the 'other Preakness' owners can pay to call in experts and have their times re-evaluated. No one is tieing anyone's hands.
neigh sayer More than 1 year ago
Nothing nasty about that statement Kalar. This lastest effort to lower his time came from Leonard Lusky, President of a marketing complany that handles publicity and licensing for Secretariat and Chenery.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
I was referring to Tom's comment a few comments above where he says "the only nasty one here is..." and proceeds to either purposely butcher or diguise my name but failing miserably. Thanks for the info. I 'know of 'Leonard Lusky.' :)
Tom More than 1 year ago
You got it right, he markets her bobbleheads for her so he has a vested interest.
Tom More than 1 year ago
Yes DRF Please add a way to delete Kalar Walters' commets. The liberals love censorship. TOM
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
My intent was to have some sort of option to correct typos if the option is selected within a few seconds of posting. Deleting one's own personal comments...as somehow one of yours was deleted and a particulary snarky one at that....is not censorship. The only time I would like to have that option is if I accidentally comment on the wrong thread like I did last night. But having a 'window' to edit one's own comment would be nice.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Oh, right. You don't give a hoot about typos or anything else that might show a little intelligence and/or heart.
Tom More than 1 year ago
You mean the one where you drug your personal life into the mix about being a single mom, and your ex husband is lucky to be rid of you?
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
I'm amazed DRF hasn't banned you. If I had anything to say about it, I certainly would. You're an agitator; rude, crude, and socially unacceptable.
k k More than 1 year ago
This is SA-WEET! ALL 3 Triple Crown races with the fastest time that still stands after 39 years! Big Red was the greatest and his performance in the Belmont stakes is arguably the greatest athletic feats of all time.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Okay. Some of you guys, and you know who you are, are at the verge of 'winning.' That's what you want, isn't it? To run people off? To be disrespectful, verbally abusive, 'historically accurate' to the point of nausea? Great way to turn people off to the sport. When you get right down to it, why can't you let people have their illusion if they want it? What's it to you? It's your stinkin' egos, that's what it is. Your know-it-allness. Your perverse pleasure. Pitiful.
Frank Altieri More than 1 year ago
Kalar these, for lack of a better word, idiots, have won nothing. There is no illusion, Secretariat is the greatest racehorse of all time. These people are fans of other horses that were terrific horses as well. But there isn't another sport where one individual has so clearly, risen above all others. Line up any horse against Secretariat on June 9, 1973 and I'll take my red comet over any other. The best thing to do is not to engage them, because if they can bully women, as they pathetically have here, or get the last word, they have won the argument. Go on feeling good about Secretariat. If he has a place in your heart, inspires you, gives you chills, don't let a few miserable old men spoil that.
neigh sayer More than 1 year ago
If you want to believe the made up stuff and myth that's fine frankey. But now you make up stuff about what people have said on here regarding facts? For me and a few others, changing history to get what you want just because you want it just doesn't seem right for a hundred reasons. And it's so cute that you call him the red comet. Is that becuase he's now so fast that he's faster than anything on earth? Since he's now so fast that he can break records 39 years after the race and 23 years after his death, I heard that Chenery wants to have him exhumed and put back in training. "we're after all the records" Chenery said. No need to put him a race, it's expected that he will set a new record in a gallop out after a breeze.
Tom More than 1 year ago
neigh sayer you are still my hero. Tom
Tom More than 1 year ago
Yeah Yeah for Karla & Frank, we are disrespecial because we use facts & stats & truth. You are the pitiful ones who need to grow up and understand that we are not all dumb zombies. TOM
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Tom, you really should stop drinking...and I'm not talking about kool-aid.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Kaylar, I can't deny having an ego. That would be an obvious fib ! LOL. I don't care if they have their illusion ,buttZ... if they express it @ a place like this it should be rebutted with facts. Charles Hatton was a wordsmith. His flowery prose has its own reputation. Its fun to read,buttZ... he wrote fancy stuff about every good horse that came down the pike for 50 yrs. When Secretariat came along he was old & thankful to see one more really good one so he pulled out all the stops ! BSB
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Perhaps if there were more Charles Hattons or Bill Nacks around these days, the sport would be more inviting to the 'poets' among us. I'm all for facts but I enjoy it when the horses are given 'personalities,' and 'color.' I don't really have a problem with you guys addressing a particular statistic but you all seem to want to go 'beyond the goal line' and totally wreck not just the comments but the commenters.
Tom More than 1 year ago
Bsb Jaws you hit the Hatton thing right on the head. Next they will be quoting Bill Nack. tom
russell More than 1 year ago
I never saw him run live. Wish I did. He crushed horses and he had a clunker like the Wood Memorial. If there ever was a stop watch horse it was Secretariat. Once he got clear he kept expanding his lead and wouldn't slow down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bsb Jaws they don't to hear your stinking facts & statistics. I have been fighting these people for 39 years with facts & statistics. They think we are all nuts for not marching to their beat. Tom
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kaley Watters what are you smoking, Secretariat on the hollywood walk of fame. Call your boss Penny Tweedy and tell her your idea.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Tom, you're showing your ignorance and lack of comprehension as well as no imagination and no class....and you can't spell or type either. Just about anyone else reading that comment understood what I meant. I didn't literally mean he should have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was a metaphor.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
btw, that should be *your...not you're.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Damn. I had it right the first time.- *youre - I've been online waaayyy too long.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
DRF, Please add some way to delete one's personal comments. Please? *you're