On This Day...
Photo: Paul Schafer/NYRA
March 17, 1973
Secretariat Impresses in 3-Year-Old Debut

Plenty had happened to the previous year's wonder colt Secretariat over the winter. He had been voted 1972 Horse of the Year, the first time a 2-year-old was outright champion since Colin in 1907, and had been syndicated for a record $190,000 per share. Now all he had to do was win the Triple Crown to justify that price.

Secretariat spent the winter in Florida, but never raced there. He arrived in New York March 10, and a few days later worked three furlongs. Trainer Lucien Laurin timed him in :33 3/5, while a Daily Racing Form clocker caught him a full second faster. Either way, it was fast and had him primed for the March 17 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) at seven furlongs at Aqueduct.

Under jockey Ron Turcotte, Secretariat raced in fifth in the six-horse field for the first four furlongs before rallying and taking the lead near the eighth pole. He won by 4 1/2 lengths at the wire. He paid $2.40 to win and caused minus show pools on track and off track.

His supporters, especially those who forked over $190,000, breathed a huge sigh of relief.

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