Fifty years ago this March, Secretariat began his 3-year-old campaign in the Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct. Over the ensuing months, the chestnut colt became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years, setting new track records in each of the three races. His 31-length Belmont Stakes victory was the stuff with which legends are made.
Secretariat’s story has been told again and again, and he is still considered by many to be the greatest horse to ever set foot on a racetrack. As a stallion, however, he rarely received the recognition he deserved. After all, he was expected to reproduce himself, a near impossible task.
The new book Secretariat’s Legacy, by award-winning journalist and photographer Patricia McQueen, explores the great horse’s accomplishments as a sire. There are tales of his most important offspring, from his Horse of the Year daughter Lady’s Secret and champion son Risen Star, to the mares who secured his lasting legacy including Terlingua, Weekend Surprise and Secrettame. There’s a look at his top international runners, led by Melbourne Cup winner Kingston Rule, Japanese trail-blazer Hishi Masaru, tough French filly Athyka and even snow specialist Sectori, who twice won the featured event at the unique White Turf meeting in St. Moritz, Switzerland. And there’s so much more, including stories of all of Secretariat’s stakes winners, a close examination of the stallion’s first and last crops, and the impact of his descendants over the decades.
As a stallion, Secretariat ranked in the top 1.5% of all sires in his era based on the Average Earnings Index, was the leading sire of 2-year-olds in 1978 and the leading broodmare sire in 1992. He is the broodmare sire of two of the most influential stallions in history, A.P. Indy and Storm Cat. In fact, based on annual statistics in The Jockey Club Fact Book Racing Chronicle, he is the only stallion since 1950 who is the broodmare sire of two different leading general sires.
Accompanying the detailed research and storytelling in the 298-page coffee table book are more than 280 photos of Secretariat’s sons, daughters and descendants, assembled from around the world.
Secretariat’s Legacy is available now at secretariatslegacy.com, and will soon be available at other online sites and retail outlets.