NMRHOF Press Release
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s historic 1973 Triple Crown sweep, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will present traveling and onsite exhibitions honoring the accomplishments and enduring legacy of the famed Meadow Stable colt from May through October. The exhibitions are underwritten by Churchill Downs, Inc., the Maryland Jockey Club, the New York Racing Association, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the Virginia Equine Alliance, Dean Dorton Equine, and Godolphin.
A Tremendous Machine: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Secretariat’s Triple Crown will journey the same path Secretariat did to become America’s ninth Triple Crown winner. The unique traveling exhibit will open at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., for Kentucky Derby week May 3-6; advance to Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore for Preakness Stakes festivities May 18-20; and conclude its Triple Crown tour at the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, N.Y., June 8-11.
Following its Triple Crown travels, a more comprehensive exhibition of A Tremendous Machine will open to the public July 13 at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, coinciding with opening day at Saratoga Race Course. At the conclusion of the Saratoga racing season, A Tremendous Machine will travel to Colonial Downs in Secretariat’s home state of Virginia for closing weekend at the New Kent-based track Sept. 7-9. The onsite exhibition at the Museum will remain on view through Oct. 29.
The traveling version of A Tremendous Machine will feature Secretariat’s 1973 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and Triple Crown trophies. A video component of the exhibition will take fans through Secretariat’s unique journey in which he set speed records in each of the Triple Crown races and tell the stories of the people who guided the horse through his remarkable career. In addition to the trophies and video components, the onsite exhibition at the Museum will include an extensive array of artwork, artifacts, photography, and pop culture items.
“It is an honor to share the awe-inspiring story of Secretariat and the people around him on this golden anniversary of horse racing’s greatest test, the Triple Crown,” said Jessica Cloer, the National Museum of Racing’s curator. “We hope that everyone will have an opportunity to visit the exhibition at the Museum or at one of the tracks as we bring the incomparable story of the great Secretariat to both longtime and new fans of the sport.”
Bred in Virginia by Christopher T. Chenery’s Meadow Stud and campaigned by Chenery’s daughter, Penny, Secretariat was a chestnut son of Bold Ruler out of the Princequillo mare Somethingroyal. Trained by Hall of Famer Lucien Laurin and ridden primarily by Hall of Famer Ron Turcotte, Secretariat won the Eclipse Awards for Horse of the Year and Champion 2-Year-Old Male in 1972. The following year, he became the first Triple Crown winner since Citation in 1948, setting records in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, all of which still stand a half-century later. Secretariat was retired at the end of his 1973 season with a record of 16-3-1 from 21 starts and earnings of $1,316,808. His sophomore year earned him Eclipse Awards for Horse of the Year, Champion 3-Year-Old Male, and Champion Male Turf Horse.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974, Secretariat stood at the iconic Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky., where he sired 57 stakes winners, including Hall of Famer Lady’s Secret. After a battle with laminitis, Secretariat was euthanized on Oct. 4, 1989. He was buried at Claiborne.