Even though the Triple Crown trophy went unclaimed yet again, the bloodlines of the greatest Triple Crown champion of all, Virginia-born Secretariat, dominated the track throughout the journey.
California Chrome, winner of the kentucky derby and Preakness and the favorite to win the Belmont Stakes, is a great-great-great grandson. He finished fourth in the Belmont, sustaining a foot injury that might or might not have cost him the Triple Crown. Belmont winner Tonalist also is a great-great-great grandson of “Big Red.”
All told, nine of the 11 horses that ran in the Belmont can trace their lineage back to Secretariat. In fact, Secretariat descendants won not only the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont this year, but also other major races like the Tampa Bay Derby, Florida Derby, Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Wood Memorial.
“Secretariat’s grandson, A. P. Indy, is largely responsible for perpetuating Big Red’s bloodlines in racing today,” said Leeanne Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. The venue is on the site of his birthplace, the former Meadow Stable. “Indy’s dam, or mother, was Weekend Surprise, one of Secretariat’s daughters. His sire was 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. Indy himself won the 1992 Belmont and was Horse of the Year.”
Having two Triple Crown winners in his pedigree has proven to be a winning combination for A. P. Indy, now known as a “sire of sires.” His progeny include influential stallions such as Pulpit, Bernardini, Malibu Moon and Tapit. Pulpit was the grandsire of California Chrome, and Tapit is the sire of Tonalist and Untapable, the filly who won the Kentucky Oaks.
Secretariat’s record times for the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont still stand. At The Meadow, his inspiring story lives on through narrated tours and special events. For details, see the Hoofprints of History tour information at MeadowEventPark.com.