Secretariat demolished Belmont field
June 9, 1973 - Only four other horses took on Secretariat at the Belmont for it was expected that the 1-10 favorite would win. What wasn't expected was the performance Big Red would give.
In the most demanding test of his young life, Secretariat rushed to the lead. He was soon challenged by Sham, who had finished second to Secretariat in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. They raced the half mile in 46 1/5, a suicide pace for a mile and a half race.
But then Secretariat began pulling away as he ran the mile in a stunning 1:34 1/5. The Meadow Stable colt reached the mile and a quarter in 1:59, faster than he ran in setting the Kentucky Derby record. Alone, Secretariat wasn't racing against other horses, but against the clock, against history. When he finished the last quarter in a mind-blowing 25 seconds, there wasn't another horse in the same zip code. The magnificent chestnut finished an amazing 31 lengths in front."You couldn't find the other horses with two pairs of binoculars," said columnist Charlie Hatton. In winning the Triple Crown, Secretariat set a world-record 2:24, breaking Gallant Man's Belmont mark by an incredible 2 3/5 seconds. "He's the greatest horse that has yet developed in this century," said Holly Hughes, the senior trainer of America who saw Man o' War run and saddled the 1916 Kentucky Derby winner. "Yes, he's the Horse of the Century."
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