The determination of how it must be was a group effort. Marlboro offered $200,000 toward the purse. The NYRA added another $50,000, which will most likely come from the more than $100,000 that CBS is paying the NYRA to televise the four Secretariat races. In addition to the Whitney, the Marlboro Cup and the Woodward, viewers will see The Jockey Club Gold Cup on Oct. 27.
After Secretariat was locked in, the question of a legitimate rival for a true match race had to be solved. NYRA Racing Secretary Kenny Noe was called on, along with Ken Lennox of Monmouth Park and Jimmy Kilroe of Santa Anita. All three selected Riva Ridge.
The heavy schedule of traditional events plus the match race has left a number of syndicate members nervous indeed. Some of them say that things have already been overdone. Secretariat is now partially in the hands of the William Morris Agency. Already in the works are a painting by famed equine artist Richard Stone Reeves from which 750 lithographs will be made to sell at $350 each, and a varied assortment of silver ingots, medallions and posters.
In the weeks before the Whitney, Secretariat very nearly needed an agent as his popularity grew daily. Mrs. Tweedy refused to sell a share of the syndicate for $450,000. At least one service to him for 1974 was being negotiated for $100,000. But after his loss to Onion it is unlikely that Secretariat can still command the following the cigarette manufacturers, television and the New York racing officials presumed he would. Now the question of whether the demanding schedule his owner has set for him is realistic has become more pressing. Only if Secretariat returns to his Triple Crown form will Meadow Stable, the syndicate and the folks from Marlboro Country be left sitting tall in the saddle.