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Thread: Fame in 1973...Carrera RS and Secretariat

  1. #1

    Fame in 1973...Carrera RS and Secretariat

    We all know that 73 was a breakthrough year for Porsche with the introduction of the Carrera RS and the homologation of the RSR, which won the Constructor's Championship with these iconic race cars in the hands of factory supported teams. But another amazing racing story was written in 73 that lives in the record books 40 years later, the American thoroughbred race series for 3 year olds called the Triple Crown. The record times for these 3 races is still held by one horse...Secretariat, who won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont in ever convincing fashion. The last race, the Belmont is 1.5 miles, and is considered a serious test for many speed horses who often do well in the shorter Kentucky Derby (1 1/4 mi) and Preakness (1 3/16 mi), and Secretariat won the Belmont by 31 lengths in a time (2 min, 24 sec) that beat the record at the time by over 2 seconds.

    It is a truly American sports hero story with a woman (Penny Tweedy, a housewife and mother of 4 kids) owner who believed in Secretariat, and who struggled to get the horse ready for the Kentucky Derby, and juggled family issues while finding a contrversial jockey to ride, and a trainer who was also considered outside the mainstream. And the rest as they say is history....There are very few sports records that stand today from 40 years ago...everything is faster. While we often wax nostalgically about the 73 Carrera RS and RSRs, every winnng record they accomplished in 73 has been exceeded by higher technology cars over the years. That's the way things in life are expected to go...always getting better, faster, and more impressive. But one 3 year old horse from 1973 has topped every effort at modern breeding analysis and scientific nutrition programs to produce a faster race horse.

    It is a story I never tire of thinking about (and now watching on Youtube), as I lived near Lexington, KY in 74, and went to Claiborn Farms to see Secretariat and take a few pictures of this great racing stallion. He was retired to stud after his 3 year old racing year, and was syndicated for $6 million through breeding shares. Today, anyone can watch the 3 Triple Crown races from 73, and experience the thrill of the 'greatest 2 minutes in sports' as each race plays out on the grainy screen. It is worth your time, especially if you like an American story of individuals believing in a dream and making it happen through perseverance, and ending up with an achievement that lives in record book history. For me, these are truly the greatest performances in a series of sporting events ever. They even made a movie about this great horse (titled...'Secretariat').

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74Usj3K4oZ0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eV89InWOENc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V18ui3Rtjz4

    edit: Links should be for each race now.
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    Last edited by letsrollbabe; 05-09-2013 at 08:18 PM.
    Gib Bosworth
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Haasman's Avatar
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    Thanks for this Gib. Truly an amazing animal and story.
    Haasman

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  3. #3
    Senior Member CurtEgerer's Avatar
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    That was fun watching those! Thanks Gib.

  4. #4
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    Gib,

    I am of the same mindset. Big Red was probably the most dominant athlete we have seen in our lifetime and those records bear it out all these years later. I have watched the movie a couple of times and just saw it recently a few weeks ago, just prior to the Derby. Even the movie gives me goose bumps. Thanks for the videos.
    Brian

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  5. #5
    Somewhere, stashed away, I have pictures of the day I visited Claiborne, and shot some wonderful pictures with Secretariat....

    I don't recall if it was the same farm (this was 1982) but I also have pics with another great one....denied Triple Crown fame in the Belmont by a freakin' SAFETY PIN in the hoof....Spectacular Bid....Wow, what a great trip THAT was...

    FYI, I would say 'the Bid' was a pretty amazing animal as well...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectacular_Bid

    Brian, didn't know you were a fan....
    Last edited by 69Sman; 05-09-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member CurtEgerer's Avatar
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    It's fascinating to read the background info on Secretariat. He died at age 19 and a necropsy was performed where they found his heart to be in perfect condition - estimated to weigh 22 pounds and 2.75 times larger than a normal horse. That's a 3.8L twin-plug hotrod!

  7. #7
    I read in article in the New York Times this past Sunday that mentioned the famed horse racing Phipps family, winners of Saturday's 2013 Kentucky Derby, WON a coin toss to choose between two foals and as the winner of that coin toss they chose a fillly. The loser of that coin toss got Secretariat.

  8. #8
    Amazing....goosebumps
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nickb4 View Post
    I read in article in the New York Times this past Sunday that mentioned the famed horse racing Phipps family, winners of Saturday's 2013 Kentucky Derby, WON a coin toss to choose between two foals and as the winner of that coin toss they chose a fillly. The loser of that coin toss got Secretariat.
    Thoroughbred racing has been called the 'sport of kings' because it is not an inexpensive sport to be successful in. The Phipps family won their first Kentucky Derby with Orb last week, but they have been in the thoroughbred business for 6 generations, which shows how hard it is to win one of the triple crown races. Money does not buy success in this business like it does in auto racing...where Penske comes to mind as one who demonstrates that money does make a difference in auto racing. In horse racing, even the oil shieks of the middle east have spent millions chasing these elusive races with no success so far.

    The fact that a small player like Penny Tweedy would end up with a male foal after losing the coin toss (the coin toss takes place before foals are born.) was the beginning of her luck. Only 10 fillies have ever won a triple crown race going back to 1867. Tweedy was able to get Secretariat syndicated by betting that he would win the Triple Crown. She had no takers for 32-$190k breeding shares, but Ogden Phipps helped the effort to attract investors with the performance guarantee of winning the Triple Crown. Tweedy needed the money to pay inheritance taxes on the breeding farm when her father passed away. Phipps offered to buy the horse for $8 million, but Tweedy turned him down, instead betting on the nearly impossible dream and Secretariat.

    Only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown...the first in 1919, 3 in the 30's, 4 in the 40's, 3 in the 70's (Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed) and none since 1978. (22 horses have won the first 2 legs). Secretariat is the fastest of these 11 horses, and no horse over the past 150 years of racing is his equal.

    1973 is a very special year....the Carrera RS and Secretariat...both significantly impacted their worlds of racing.
    Gib Bosworth
    EarlySReg 434
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  10. #10
    Thoroughly enjoyed this!!
    Thanks for sharing Gib.
    Once been to Churchill Downs while on business trip.
    Did the museum tour and really could sense the greatness
    and history. Can't imagine what it would feel like on that race day.
    I guess very much like '73 Lemans or Daytona
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