May 19, 2008

The sport of kings

So Big Brown is now one victory away from winning the Triple Crown. I hope that he gets it. I remember watching Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed (poor Alydar- would have been a great horse in any other year) all winning the Triple Crown in the 1970s. I got so used to seeing a winner that I forgot how difficult such a feat is. The current period between champions is the longest in history.

Anyway. Everyone raved about Big Brown's huge victory on Saturday. While it was impressive, every race that I've seen since 1973 has been colored by what Secretariat accomplished on June 9 of that year at the Belmont Stakes. I've embedded a video below the fold. For the record, Secretariat won the Belmont by a mind-boggling 31 lengths. Other notable records:

  • Secretariat's Kentucky Derby record of (1:59 2/5) still stands. Also, Big Red ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it.
  • At the Belmont, Secretariat ran the first 1 1/4 mile faster than any horse had run the entire race before
  • Secretariat's record at the Belmont of 2:24 is still the world record for the distance; no other horse has every broken 2:25 at that distance

Posted by Physics Geek at May 19, 2008 07:05 AM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!
Comments

The longest in history? Wow. I remember how big a deal it was when Secretariat won, it had been 25 years, IIRC (since '48?)

And then two more Crown winners close on his.

Posted by: Ken S, Fifth String on the Banjo of Life at May 20, 2008 10:54 AM

Yeah. I kind of thought it would be a biennial event. Lots of 2/3 since then, but cigar. I'm rooting for Big Brown. Hard.

Posted by: physics geek at May 20, 2008 11:35 AM