Those are Some Expensive Horse Shoes

Secretariat’s Shoe Sells

In the days that followed Secretariat’s record-setting win in the 1973 Kentucky Derby, trainer Lucien Laurin presented to the Chenery family one of the very shoes that had carried Big Red to victory in his chase for the Triple Crown. An artifact that still boldly recounts an unforgettable Run for the Roses, Secretariat’s shoe has once again made history, selling for a world-record $80,736 in a sports memorabilia auction that ended late Friday night.

The Great Secretariat

The Great Secretariat. Photo by Rich Nilsen

Secretariat’s time of 1:59 2/5 minutes stands as the fastest Kentucky Derby on record, and his remarkable feat, yet to be replicated, of running each fraction in the 1 1/4-mile race faster than the one before is one that continues to astonish and attract new generations of fans 45 years later.

The auction opened for Secretariat’s Derby shoe on July 15 and continued for a month with almost 6,400 views and 18 separate bids before closing Friday, Aug. 16, near midnight.

“We anticipated a high level of interest in Secretariat’s Derby shoe,” said Mike Heffner, president of “The previous world record of nearly $37,000 was set in an auction we conducted a few years ago. Given the provenance of this particular shoe and historical significance of the 1973 Kentucky Derby, we expected it to do well. However, watching it more than double the previous record was a wonderful surprise. We suspect this impressive price will attract more interest from sports memorabilia collectors to any original Secretariat-related artifact as well as to the sport of racing in general.” is working with the Chenery-Tweedy family to offer additional items from the Meadow Stable archives and personal collection of Penny Chenery in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the Secretariat Summer Auction on is currently open for bidding through Aug. 26, featuring other significant items, including the Chenery-Tweedy family’s original track-used 1973 Kentucky Derby clubhouse box ticket stub, official program, and admission bracelet; an archival photograph containing the extremely rare hand-signed signature of Secretariat’s renowned deceased groom Eddie Sweat as well as his late exercise rider Jimmy Gaffney; and Ms. Chenery’s original and official Jockey Club membership pin that represents the 1983 breaking of a gender barrier in horse racing when she became one of the first women elected membership into the century-old organization.

Proceeds from the Secretariat Summer Auction will benefit the Secretariat Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization created by Ms. Chenery to assist the Thoroughbred industry in the areas of research, rehabilitation, retirement and recognition. Ms. Chenery named the foundation after her great champion to use his enduring appeal to bring greater awareness to the many causes found within the equine-related community. Secretariat Foundation revenue is raised through donations, signing appearances, and the sales of memorabilia and officially licensed products on

Source: Press Release

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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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