Click to enlargeMan o' War Stakes - Oct. 8, 1973

Secretariat's next to last race, the October 8, 1973 Man o' War Stakes from Belmont Park. The 1 1/2 mile $100,000 added race was named for the first Big Red who dominated American racing in 1919 and 1920. To some, the Man o' War may have seemed an odd spot to for Secretariat to run; he had unexpectedly lost the Woodward Stakes just 9 days earlier and he had never run on the turf. But for the Meadow Stable team, the race was a logical step to expand Secretariat's racing reputation. It was certainly a gamble to enter a horse whose syndication literally had millions riding on a successful outcome, but a win would catapult Secretariat to a new level – a horse who could run on any surface.

But Secretariat did not disappoint his fans nor his shareholders. As exercise rider Charlie Davis later explained, "Secretariat did not like losing." According to Charlie, after a loss, the champ would turn his massive backside to all visitors, thinking about his defeat and anticipating his next race. While such intellectual thought by Secretariat can never be objectively verified, the ensuing results are indisputable. As in his performances following the losses in the Wood Memorial and Whitney Stakes, Secretariat not only won but also exacted his redemption in the form of a new track record. His easy five length victory in the time of 2:24 4/5 over the older turf champion Tentam erased any lingering doubt regarding his affinity for the grass.

The scarce official Man o' War winners circle composite features all the key Meadow Stable regulars including jockey Ron Turcotte, trainer Lucien Laurin, and groom Eddie Sweat. Joining owner Penny Chenery in the celebration are husband Jack Tweedy, son John, and longtime Meadow secretary, Elizabeth Ham while acclaimed yachtsman Emil Mosbacher Jr. makes the trophy presentation. Available with the option of being hand-signed by jockey Ron Turcotte. Measures 8" x 10", larger sizes available by special order.


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