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Updated on 06/22/2012 1:58PM
Secretariat awarded Preakness record at 1:53 after review
By Matt Hegarty
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.”
watched all 3 Secretariat Triple Crown races at the time on TV...it was one of my first memories of a sporting event(s) where I remembered throughout childhood, into my teens, marriage and into the twilight of my life; but then again, it was Secretariat. A horse that had become the most recognized horse in America (and one of greater celebrity and love than most actors/rock stars--he was so well loved, that my dad framed a picture of Secretariat and had it put on our wall with the rest of our family)--the greatest race horse I ever saw and probably ever (which obviously is open for debate)...the fact that he owns all 3 records for the triple crown races is proof enough of his dominance (as it means that no other winner of the KY Derby, Preakness or Belmont has ever gone faster in those races than that Big Red locomotive known as Secretariat)...my daughters were born 19 years AFTER Secretariat died and still watch his old races and cheer--legends never die
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
Secretariat's certainly is the greatest Triple Crown winning horse we've ever had.
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.
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
Yes DRF Please add a way to delete Kalar Walters' commets. The liberals love censorship. TOM
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.
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.
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.
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
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