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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 6:31 am 
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It's an interesting tidbit, as Big Brown waxes the Preakness field even more convincingly than he did the Derby, that the great Triple Crown winners Man o' War and Secretariat were both nicknamed "Big Red."

So let's remember the great Virginia chestnut who won the first Crown after a 25-year drought in 1973:

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On his way to a still-standing track record [in the Derby] (1:59 2/5), [Secretariat] ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it. This means he was still accelerating as of the final quarter-mile of the race. It would be 28 years before any other horse would run the Derby in less than 2 minutes [Big Brown's time was 2:01 4/5]


Secretariat's time in the Preakness was also presumed to be a track record, but the official timing device malfunctioned.

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At the finish [of the Belmont] he won by 31 lengths and ran the fastest 1 1/2 miles on dirt in history, 2:24 flat, which broke the stakes record by more than 2 seconds. Secretariat's world record still stands, and in fact, no other horse has ever broken 2:25 for 1 1/2 miles on dirt.


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He then tried grass for the first time in the Man o' War Stakes and won, setting a still standing track record time of 2:24 4/5.


As a 3-year-old, won:

Kentucky Derby (new track record, still standing)
Preakness Stakes (Daily Racing Form clockers claimed he established a new track record)
Belmont Stakes (still stands fastest time in history on a dirt track)
Bay Shore Stakes
Gotham Stakes (tied track record)
Arlington Invitational
Marlboro Cup (new world record)
Man o' War Stakes (new course record)
Canadian International Stakes


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 6:36 am 
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I was a bit too young to remember Secretariat very well, but I do remember Seattle Slew, and even more the epic duel the following year (thirty years ago!) between Affirmed and Alydar. Man, were those races exciting!

I hope Big Brown does it this year. It is time. And it would be a fitting tribute to poor Eight Belles.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 3:18 pm 
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I misspoke: Man o' War, great horse that he was, was not a Triple Crown winner, because he did not run in the Derby. However he subsequently thrashed the previous year's TC winner, Sir Barton, in a match race.


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 3:40 pm 
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Secretariat came so far ahead of the rest of the horses in the Canadian International Stakes that they had trouble measuring it in horse lengths. They just used the old racing term "he won it going away", meaning the distance between him and the other horses was still lengthening as he crossed the finish line, and even as the jockey tried to ease him up!

Many of the punters never cashed their tickets, but kept them as souvenirs. He was such an overhwelming favourite, that the payout on a $2 bet was only a matter of pennies, anyway.

They did an autopsy on him after he died, and found his heart was perfecty normal, but much larger than that of an ordinary horse. This partly explains why he managed to do what he did. His cardio-vascular system was just that much more powerful than the other horses, giving him greater stamina.

I still think the original Big Red was the better horse, though! The top photo was taken when he was well up in his 20's, but just look at those muscles, and the proud way he's holding his head! He sired a Triple Crown winner, which Secretariat never did. The man holding his lead is his lifelong groom, Will Harbut. Man O'War died at the age of 30, just a month after Will passed away. The bond between them was so strong that people were saying Bid Red died of a broken heart.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 4:15 pm 
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You know, in light of poor Eight Belles and Barbaro, it's interesting to observe how stout by comparison Man o' War's legs were- to my eye almost more like a quarter-horse's than a modern thoroughbred's.

Have breeders created dangerously thin legs?


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 4:17 pm 
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I've heard quite a bit of talk about exactly that, soli.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 6:09 pm 
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I think Big Brown has a great chance of pulling off a Triple Crown victory. Watching him in the Derby and Preakness, it was clear that his jockey bided his time, let him pull away with ease, and ended the race with a horse that was not even winded. Still had plenty of energy left. Since the Belmont is longer, you need that stamina to keep it up, and he seems to have it.

The Preakness takes place about 20 min. from my house, so my brother was in the Infield both this year and last year. He had a good time, but his nose is badly burnt (painfully blistered, ewww).

Oh, and speaking of big hearts, the Australian horse Pharlap also had a larger-than-normal (but healthy) heart. He was very good at winning races by pulling from behind, even with significant handicaps. I loved the movie about him as a kid, even though it was rather sad.


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 9:02 pm 
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Secretariat was very muscular, too. But the main problem is they race horses far too young. They start them at 2, when their bones are still not fully formed. It's like expecting a 13 year old to compete in the Olympics! OF COURSE they're going to get injured! :x

Here's something else you may not know about the dark side of racing: what happens to the horses that are injured, or just plain weren't good enough to be kept for breeding?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/17/sport ... tner=MYWAY

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 3:19 pm 
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I remember watching Secretariat in his 3 Triple Crown runs. When it came to the Belmont, and the stretch run, I was standing up in my living room screaming like a madwoman, waving my arms, and had tears running down my face. One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. He was a glorious horse. He had a big heart in both senses.

He was a Northern Dancer horse, although I can't recall offhand if Dancer was his sire or one of his grandsires. Northern Dancer is one of the most influential sires in any animal breeding program, not just race horses. The money in Thoroughbreds is not in prize money, but stud fees. I wonder how many millions Northern Dancer made for his owners? He lived and stood at stud for a very long time. I think he was 29 when he died.

One story about Secretariat: when he died, they buried his whole body, not just one hoof. I cried when I heard he had had to be put down. He just had such style, and it's a mystery how a horse I never saw in person, never touched, could touch my heart and the hearts of millions in the same way.

I don't think horse racing should be stopped, but I do think they shouldn't race 2 year olds. It's barbaric - and all so they can get that horse at stud as soon as possible. It's always a surprise when someone bothers with a filly - a mare can have so few foals, there's no money in that.

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 5:41 pm 
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Quote:
He was a Northern Dancer horse, although I can't recall offhand if Dancer was his sire or one of his grandsires.


Secretariat's line was from Nearco through Nasrullah and Bold Ruler: so he and Northen Dancer were first cousins once removed.
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 6:17 pm 
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What a gorgeous photo, soli.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 6:22 pm 
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What's with the mask on his face?
I never understood those...
:llama:


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 7:58 pm 
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Keeps their hair out of their eyes. :D

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 9:15 pm 
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I thought they were called fly masks? To keep the flies off?

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 9:55 pm 
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Not when they're running. No fly on Earth could have kept up with Secretariat!!! That "mask" is "blinders" and keeps the horse from being distracted by stuff to the side.

That is a fabulous photo, solictr.

Yes, I should have checked before saying he was Dancer's get. But he was related to that great horse.

It actually proves one of my pet points. There are always people talking about how it might improve the intellectual capabilities of the human race if we got sperm saved up from Nobel prize winning scientists and I always thought, no, we want the parents of those bright people.

Mind you, Dancer was a great sire, he passed on a lot of speed. He wasn't a dead end like a lot of great horses are - some of them seem to be the finished product, so to speak.

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 10:30 pm 
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vision wrote:
I remember watching Secretariat in his 3 Triple Crown runs. When it came to the Belmont, and the stretch run, I was standing up in my living room screaming like a madwoman, waving my arms, and had tears running down my face. One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.


Quote:
The Beyer Speed Figure is a system for rating the performance of Thoroughbred racehorses in North America

In 2004, Ghostzapper earned the highest Beyer Speed Figure at 128. ... 2005 ....a speed figure of 120. ... Beyer Speed Figure of 119... which was the highest number assigned to any North American horse in 2006. In 2007 the highest Beyers Speed Figure was 124 .....

Beyer calculated that had the Beyer Speed Figure calculation existed during the proper time frame, Secretariat would have earned a figure of 139 for his 1973 win at the Belmont Stakes.



--------

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In 2005, Secretariat appeared once more in ESPN Classic's show Who's No. 1? In the list of "Greatest Sports Performances" the horse was the only non-human on the list, his run at Belmont ranking second behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game.


And I disagree with second place, because the fourth quarter of that Knicks-Warriors game was a farce, not basketball at all. Nobody (on either team) was doing anything but committing flagrant fouls.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:28 pm 
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Big Brown getting ready to run.

One of my baseball chums is off to New York for the Belmont, he's a racehorse owner and trainer. He says Big Brown could run on 3 legs and win.

I hope it all works out. I still haven't seen this horse run.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:40 pm 
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Vison,

He is really something to see, it seems very easy for him. He's like tra-la-la, oh run sure.


Sunny,

Most horses are at some time put down. You should see what they do with the Mustangs.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:04 pm 
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As a fan of Wild Horse Annie, I know ALL ABOUT what they do with the mustangs, Padme!! :rage: :rage: :rage: :rage: :rage:

Willd Horse Annie, AKA Velma Johnson, became an advocate for the mustangs when she noticed blood leaking out of a stock truck on its way to the slaughterhouse. She followed the truck to its destination and found it was packed with mustangs. Some were wounded and bleeding. Some of the foals had fallen down and been trampled by the older horses.

It was the beginning of Velma's crusade to protect the mustang, and eventually, as a result of her efforts, several refuges for wild horses were established in the States.

As for horese being put down, I don't have a problem with that. I DO have a problem with them being shipped thousands of miles to a slaughterhouse!


Prayer of the Old Horse

See, Lord,
my coat hangs in tatters;
all that I had of zest,
all my strength,
I have given.
Now my poor head swings
To offer up all the loneliness of my heart.
Dear God,
Stiff on my thickened legs
I stand here before You,
Your useless servant.
Oh! Of Your goodness,
give me a gentle death.


Prayers From the Ark ,by Carmen Bernos De Gasztold, (translated from Spanish)

Quote by Margeurite Henry, in Mustangs: Wild Spirit of the West

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Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:06 pm 
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Off Topic, sorry.

Yes the mustangs are treated badly. The worst case I have heard of is Dead Horse Point in Utah. What the 'history' books say is many times the were rounded up and corralled on the point and left to die of dehydration because there was no water. What the history books don't say is many times they were rounded up at Dead Horse Point and driven off the cliff.

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