A Secretariat.com exclusive and absolute rarity in the collector's world. The Oct. 28, 1972 Laurel Futurity was the event arguably marking Secretariat's finest juvenile race. Besides the impressive victory, many other "firsts" took place that day that are of historical merit including his largest margin of victory (eight lengths) and richest purse earned ($179,199) to date. The Laurel Futurity, run in Laurel, Maryland, marked Secretariat's first venture outside the familiar confines of the New York Racing Association tracks. It also marked his first exposure to the conditions of an off-track officially listed as "sloppy" - an anxious moment for the connections of any untested 2 year-old. Finally, it marked the first stakes pairing of Secretariat with his trusted groom Eddie Sweat, who would become the constant companion to the chestnut champion through the duration of Secretariat's racing career. But the Big Red flame handled each of these new experiences to the win 1 1/16 mile race in grand style with a time of 1:42 4/5, just 1/5 off the track mark despite the miserable conditions.
The composite photo features Secretariat with tied tail and the connections in attendance that day including Meadow farm manager Howard Gentry along with Penny Chenery's sister, Margaret Carmichael and her friends Wilma and George Gardner. (Penny was actually in New York that day attending Riva Ridge's unsuccessful Jockey Club Gold Cup effort.) Making the trophy presentation to Gentry and Carmichael were noted Virginia horsemen, Mr. and Mrs. Orme Wilson. Available with the option of being hand-signed by jockey Ron Turcotte. Measures 8" x 10", larger sizes available by special order.
It should be mentioned that all 1972 Laurel Futurity photography is incredibly rare and this image is the cream of the crop. To our knowledge it is the only known color photo of any kind from the race and the first time it has been made available to the general public. A must-have for any Secretariat enthusiast!