SECRETARIAT and his painful loss in the 1973 Wood Memorial: Little did we know a Triple Crown would come of this!

SECRETARIAT and his painful loss in the 1973 Wood Memorial: Little did we know a Triple Crown would come of this!

Fans of the great SECRETARIAT recall with great pain that he famously lost the only three races he ever ran in his career that started with the letter "W": The Wood Memorial, The Whitney, and then the Woodward. Detractors of the great Triple Crown winner like to throw that fact in the faces of his fans as proof that he somehow wasn't as great as he seemed. Supporters of the horse point out that each of those losses was explained, not excused, but something very logical. However, because these reasons were not publicly disclosed at the time, the losses were devastating to the betting public and the legions of fans he had thinking that he would never lose again.
The Wood Memorial was then, as it remains to be now, a prestigious Kentucky Derby prep race run about 2 weeks before the big day at Churchill Downs, although in today's time some trainers shy away from it because they prefer their horses to have more time between their final tune up before the Run for the Roses. However, in SECRETARIAT's day, that was not much of a concern.
When Secretariat got ready to run in the Wood Memorial, it is worth noting that he was quite justifiably being touted as a superhorse. There had been no Triple Crown winner in 25 years entering 1973, and the sport was actually talking about changing the parameters to make it easier to accomplish. SECRETARIAT has been a unanimous choice for Horse of the Year in 1972, unprecedented then and now, he was syndicated for a then record $6.08 million before he even ran a race as a 3-year-old, and he had reeled off two emphatic wins in the Bay Shore and the Gotham Stakes on his way to Churchill Downs. The Wood Memorial was considered merely a formality.
However, the colt had painful abscess on the inside of his lip that rubbed against the bit whenever Ron Turcotte took a snug hold of him, which would cause him to throw his head back and lose momentum. For whatever reason, Ron Turcotte was not informed of the injury, and has said many times since then that had he known, he would have simply employed a tactic called loose-reining, and the big red juggernaut would have cruised on home to victory with ease, because Turcotte did say that the horse did, in fact, want to run.
As it happened, SECRETARIAT's stablemate, a horse named Angle Light, would go on to win the race that day, with a hard charging Sham just barely held off at the wire. This was the first time Sham would face Secretariat, and it was the only time that he would ever finish in front of him. Angle Light would never have a bigger win in his life, and in his stallion career he was advertised as a horse that beat SECRETARIAT. If I was a racing fan back then, without knowledge of the horse's injury, I too probably would have bought the whole media creation that he was just another Bold Ruler and couldn't go past a mile and win. But the thing is, he showed conclusively over his next 3 races that that was not the case!




You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
  • socalfan earned 1,000,000 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 1,000,000 Points playing our game.
  • socalfan earned 1,000,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 810,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 528,291 Points playing our game.
  • jobby1958 earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • jobby1958 earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 400,000 Points playing our game.
  • dustyla2 earned 398,970 Points playing our game.
  • gosuper earned 365,079 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 360,000 Points playing our game.
  • xxxjayxxx earned 347,490 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 323,466 Points playing our game.
  • harrylan earned 318,318 Points playing our game.
  • Lear Fan earned 305,019 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 300,000 Points playing our game.
  • yowdvm earned 299,871 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 294,465 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 294,294 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 291,720 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 278,892 Points playing our game.
  • Lear Fan earned 271,128 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 260,403 Points playing our game.
  • harrylan earned 255,255 Points playing our game.
  • jaycat earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • freeder earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • perfectouchnj earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • socalfan earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • pepperkid earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • pack1998 earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • Vicodo earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • tawee57 earned 245,817 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 244,959 Points playing our game.
  • gosuper earned 237,237 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 229,515 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 228,228 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 227,370 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 224,152 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 221,578 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 218,880 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 218,302 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 212,355 Points playing our game.
  • califokie earned 208,065 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 206,778 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 202,702 Points playing our game.
  • califokie earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • jobby1958 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • saratoga95 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • vikinggod28 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • Unstable Stables earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • saratoga95 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • pepperkid earned 196,267 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 195,624 Points playing our game.
  • tawee57 earned 193,479 Points playing our game.
  • conleyj@sbcglobal.net earned 193,050 Points playing our game.
  • jackpotrace earned 189,189 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 182,754 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 181,681 Points playing our game.
  • gosuper earned 181,350 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • MIG70STABLE earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • dahghee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • MIG70STABLE earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • everwild earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • everwild earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • everwild earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • dahghee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • Lear Fan earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • dahghee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • flyingdaaka earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • flyingdaaka earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • bigken earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • jobby1958 earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • flyingdaaka earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • Vicodo earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • Vicodo earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • frelance earned 176,104 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 172,029 Points playing our game.
  • natboy earned 166,881 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 165,945 Points playing our game.
  • scorpion56 earned 165,636 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 163,020 Points playing our game.
  • Vicodo earned 157,950 Points playing our game.