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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Historic Firsts: Secretariat's First Shoes

On August 3, 1971 a yearling colt in Virginia named Secretariat had aluminum race plates nailed on his front feet for the first time and was transferred down the road to The Meadow's training center for breaking.

Another anniversary is that of Secretariat's defeat at Saratoga on this day in 1973. A few days earlier, he had beaten the track record for a mile, and in the mud, during a morning workout in front of a grandstand full of fans. As many as 5,000 people would show up just to watch him train in the early morning.

But in the Whitney, the 1-10 favorite Secretariat couldn't catch the 10-1 older gelding, Onion.

That loss, coupled with Man 'o War's historic loss at Saratoga years earlier, in which he had been defeated by the aptly-named Upset, earned the racetrack the nickname "Graveyard of Champions".

Above: Secretariat as a weanling as seen on his web site, secretariat.com .

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