They say the Kentucky Derby is the most exciting 2 minutes in all of sports. On May 5, 1973, Secretariat made it the most exciting 1 minute, 59 and 2/5 seconds in sports.
Excitement is building for the 2015 Kentucky Derby, with many top contenders carrying the bloodlines of “Big Red.”
Running neck and neck as Derby favorites are American Pharoah, who sailed effortlessly through the Arkansas Derby, and Dortmund, the big undefeated powerhouse who won the Santa Anita Derby. Other winners of major prep races include Carpe Diem, the Bluegrass Stakes; Frosted, the Wood Memorial; El Kabeir, the Gotham Stakes; and Upstart, the Holy Bull Stakes.
Those colts and several other Derby hopefuls can trace their lineage back to Secretariat through his prolific grandsons Storm Cat and A.P. Indy, according to Leeanne Meadows Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. She noted that on the Storm Cat side are American Pharoah, Dortmund, Carpe Diem, El Kabeir, Firing Line and Tencendur. On the A.P. Indy side are Frosted, Upstart, Danzig Moon, War Story and Made from Lucky. Based on points earned in the official prep races, the final field will shake out to 20 Thoroughbreds for the “run for the roses” on May 2 in Louisville, Ky.
“Fans everywhere would love to see a Secretariat descendant win the Derby and go all the way to the Triple Crown,” Ladin said. She noted that only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown—the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes—since 1919. Secretariat remains the only one to break all three track records, which still stand.
“Not only have Secretariat’s track records in the 1973 Triple Crown stood the test of time, but his bloodline continues to be a potent influence on racing well into the 21st century,” Ladin said.
Ladin, co-author of Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend, closely tracks descendants of the legendary champion and discusses them in her narrated tours of his birthplace at The Meadow. As of mid-March, a portion of the property is a Virginia Historic Landmark.
For more information on The Meadow’s Hoofprints of History tours, visitMeadowEventPark.com.