In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s historic 1973 Triple Crown sweep, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s traveling exhibition honoring the accomplishments and enduring legacy of the famed Meadow Stable colt will visit Woodbine Racetrack and Keeneland Race Course in October. A Tremendous Machine: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Secretariat’s Triple Crown will be at Woodbine in Toronto from Oct. 5-8 and at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., from Oct. 25-29.
Secretariat completed his illustrious career with a win in the Canadian International (G1) at Woodbine in 1973.
A Tremendous Machine: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Secretariat’s Triple Crown is both a traveling and on-site exhibition conceptualized by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame with underwriting support from Churchill Downs, Inc., Keeneland Association, the Maryland Jockey Club, the New York Racing Association, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the Virginia Equine Alliance, Woodbine, Dean Dorton Equine, and Godolphin.
The traveling version of A Tremendous Machine features Secretariat’s 1973 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and Triple Crown trophies. A video component of the exhibition will take fans through Secretariat’s unique journey in which he set speed records in each of the Triple Crown races and tell the stories of the people who guided the horse through his remarkable career. In addition to the trophies and video components, the onsite exhibition at the Museum includes an extensive array of artwork, artifacts, photography, and pop culture items.
“It’s been an honor for the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame to tell the remarkable story of Secretariat through this exhibition and visit several iconic racetracks and visit with fans of the sport,” said Cate Masterson, the Museum director. “We are really looking forward to sharing this exhibition with the great fans at Woodbine and Keeneland.”
Earlier this year, A Tremendous Machine journeyed the same path Secretariat did to become America’s ninth Triple Crown winner, appearing at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., for Kentucky Derby week, Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., for the Belmont Stakes.
Following its Triple Crown travels, the comprehensive exhibition of A Tremendous Machine opened to the public July 13 at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, coinciding with opening day at Saratoga Race Course. At the conclusion of the Saratoga racing season, A Tremendous Machine traveled to Colonial Downs in Secretariat’s home state of Virginia.
The onsite exhibition at the Museum will remain on view through March 2024, culminating in a special event on March 30 in honor of Secretariat’s birthday. More details will be announced about the birthday celebration in early 2024.
Bred in Virginia by Christopher T. Chenery’s Meadow Stud and campaigned by Chenery’s daughter, Penny, Secretariat was a chestnut son of Bold Ruler out of the Princequillo mare Somethingroyal. Trained by Hall of Famer Lucien Laurin and ridden primarily by Hall of Famer Ron Turcotte, Secretariat won the Eclipse Awards for Horse of the Year and Champion 2-Year-Old Male in 1972. The following year, he became the first Triple Crown winner since Citation in 1948, setting records in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, all of which still stand a half-century later. Secretariat was retired at the end of his 1973 season with a record of 16-3-1 from 21 starts and earnings of $1,316,808. His sophomore year earned him Eclipse Awards for Horse of the Year, Champion 3-Year-Old Male, and Champion Male Turf Horse.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974, Secretariat stood at the iconic Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky., where he sired 57 stakes winners, including Hall of Famer Lady’s Secret. After a battle with laminitis, Secretariat was euthanized on Oct. 4, 1989. He was buried at Claiborne.