Industry Profile: Remembering the greatest horse in racing history – Secretariat

Secretariat was, and still is, considered not only the best in horse racing history, but one of the best athletes in sports history.

Not only did the thoroughbred set the track and stakes record for a mile and a quarter at Churchill Downs in winning The Kentucky Derby (which still stands), but also won the Triple Crown by setting a world record for the mile and a half in the Belmont Stakes which also still stands.

He was truly something special.

Secretariat died in 1989 at 19 years old after losing a battle with laminitis, a painful and debilitating hoof condition.

It’s estimated that Secretariat’s heart was 2.5 times the size of a normal horse. This would account for his historically fast speed at long distances.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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