American Pharoah no match for Secretariat

Jockey Ron Turcotte rides Secretariat to a 31 length win at the 1973 Belmont Stakes. Photo, Bob Coglianese—MCT/Landov
Jockey Ron Turcotte rides Secretariat to a 31 length win at the 1973 Belmont Stakes. Photo, Bob Coglianese—MCT/Landov

American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 Saturday, joining the elite company of War Admiral and Seattle Slew among the list of now 12 horses who have accomplished the feat.

But how would the newest member of one of sports most revered clubs stack up against the horse many consider the greatest of all time? Not so good according to a video put together by the Wall Street Journal.

Secretariat set track records in all three legs of the Triple Crown on the way to capturing the 1973 title, the first since Citation accomplished the trick in 1948.

But it was his run at the 105th Belmont Stakes on June 9, 1973 that will forever be etched in the minds of sports fans, as “Big Red” topped a field of five by an unmatched 31 lengths in 2:24 and left his chief rival Sham to fade to last after trying in vain keep up with with Secretariat through the backstretch.

American Pharoah certainly set the horse racing world alight with his climactic win on Saturday but even on his best day he would have been no match for the tremendous machine that dominated the Belmont 42 years ago this week.

-Shane Nicholson | @ofvoid

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