The Kentucky Derby has been called the most exciting 2 minutes in all of sports. In 1973 Virginia-born Secretariat made it the most exciting 1 minute and 59 and two-fifths seconds.
That record still stands, as do Secretariat’s spectacular times in the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. He remains the only one of the 12 Triple Crown champions in history to break all three track records.
“Now, going on 44 years, those records have endured, and so have his bloodlines,” said Leeanne Meadows Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager at The Meadow Event Park, the champion’s birthplace in Caroline County.
“Once again, Secretariat is well represented in the field of contenders for the Kentucky Derby. Though his name may be four or five generations back in the pedigrees, Secretariat remains at the forefront of Thoroughbred racing through his descendants.”
Sixteen of the 20 horses competing in the “Run for the Roses” on May 6 have Secretariat in their pedigrees. Ladin attributed that to the continuing influence of three Secretariat grandsons: A.P. Indy, Storm Cat and Gone West. On the current Kentucky Derby leaderboard, those 16 horses are Always Dreaming, Battalion Runner, Classic Empire, Cloud Computing, Fast and Accurate, Girvin, Gormley, Gunnevera, Hence, Irap, J Boys Echo, Malagacy, Patch, Practical Joke, State of Honor and Tapwrit.
Ladin also noted that the May 5 Kentucky Oaks, a major race for fillies, is full of Secretariat descendants. Of the top 20 on the leaderboard, 18 have “Big Red” in their lineage.
Ladin, co-author of Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend, closely tracks descendants of the Triple Crown champion and discusses them in her narrated tours of his birthplace at The Meadow. The site is listed on national and state historic registers.
For more information on the Hoofprints of History Tours, visit MeadowEventPark.com.