Past Performances


August 16, 1972 ~ $25,000 Sanford Stakes ~ 6 furlongs ~ Saratoga Race Course

There was a bit of disagreement amongst fans as to which horse would win the Sanford Stakes. Secretariat had his backers at 3-2 in the betting, but undefeated Linda’s Chief, at 3-5, was the odds-on favorite. The race turned out to be all Secretariat as he powered to another open lengths victory in the five-horse field. The race caller saw the Sanford this way: “Secretariat,” he reported in the Daily Racing Form, “sent up behind the leaders approaching the stretch, drove between Trevose and Northstar Dancer to reach the front nearing the final furlong while being ridden out.” The final time for the 6 furlongs (3/4 of a mile) was 1:10 flat. That’s fast.

Linda’s Chief was an excellent racehorse and would go on to have an impressive career, but on this day he finished a distant second. His rider, Braulio Baeza, remarked that the Meadow Stable’s crimson comet “went by me like I was tied up to a pole.”

The term “ridden out” is racetrack vernacular for how a horse that is winning a race is asked to finish the event. Secretariat had reached the lead and was going to win easily, but jockey Ron Turcotte did not ease the horse to the finish line. Nor did he urge the colt to give him more.

Turcotte was then riding at the very top of the horse-racing game. He was probably the most interested observer of all as he let Secretariat do it his own way. Sitting chilly in the saddle throughout the race, he knew there were bigger tests ahead.

Aug. 16, 1972, $25,000 Sanford Stakes, Saratoga


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