Secretariat’s Record Broken By…Secretariat!

On March 2nd when Eric Stemen was asked if he was busy. He had no idea he was going to be traveling back in time and helping change history, going back thirty-nine years to prove conclusively that Secretariat holds the all-time record in each of the three Triple Crown races.

Although Big Red has long held the records for both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes–the first and last legs of racing’s celebrated troika–the colt’s time in the Preakness has long been disputed. Secretariat.com’s Leonard Lusky worked with Videobred’s Jamie Pence and Eric Stemen for several months to provide the Maryland Racing Commission (MRC) with a frame-by-frame video analysis of Secretariat’s Preakness run. Lusky and Pence as well as other racing experts presented the information to the MRC during a two-hour special hearing on June 19.  After a brief evaluation of the the evidence, the Commission voted unanimously to change Secretariat’s time for the 1973 race.

Two previous attempts to re-time the race failed, however a more sophisticated use of video technology made the third time the charm. Lusky and the Videobred team first demonstrated that Secretariat’s original Preakness record time was inaccurate. Second, they presented a frame-by-frame, second-by-second demonstration of the race to prove the actual time. Finally, a split-screen demonstration pitted Secretariat head-to-head with the two horses that set the Preakness in subsequent years with the time played out from zero. This virtual race gave the commission a frame-by-fame, three-horse contest until the fastest horse reached the finish line. Secretariat was the first to cross and his time was shaved down from 1:54 2/5 to 1:53 flat.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this great accomplishment and remember as Jamie Pence stated, “Its not everyday you get to change history.”

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