Turcotte, the happy winning jockey, said, "I didn't take chances. Mr. Laurin told me Riva Ridge was the horse to beat, and down the stretch I wasn't about to let him lick me. Today he was the old Secretariat, and he did it on his own. He just pulled out and beat the whole bunch of 'em." And none among the bunch had any excuse. Cougar hit the gate at the start, but he broke no more slowly than usual, and was, simply, outrun. Maple was equally forthright: "I saw a big red head and body coming right at me and there was nothing I could do about it. It was a helpless feeling."
If Secretariat retains his present form, there are going to be a lot of jockeys with helpless feelings, no matter how many more times the Triple Crown winner starts in this, his last season. He and Riva will be worked on the turf course this week. Then a decision will be made as to which will run on Sept. 29 in the Woodward and which will tackle the Man o' War on grass on Oct. 8. "They will never race each other again," says Penny Tweedy, who also announced that the Meadow Stable's share of the $205,000 earned from the Marlboro's gross purse of $250,000 would, as originally pledged, go to charity.
Marlboro cigarettes intends to stay in the business of big-time racing and has hopes of putting up the same kind of money ($200,000) in 1974 for some species of international event. The publicity the company received during the almost two-month-long buildup has interested others in the advantages of sponsoring big horse races. But right now—Mad Avenue-wise—thoroughbred racing is Marlboro country. Marlboro Vice-President Jack Landry, who owns a couple of horses himself, says, "It's too bad we can't change the colors on the Marlboro packages to [Mrs. Tweedy's] blue and white. Unfortunately, they are printed two years in advance."
Injection of fresh money into horse racing can only be good for the industry—as long as the people in charge remember they are running a sport, and not primarily a commerce.