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FROM SPORTS ILLUSTRATED JUNE 4, 1990
During Secretariat's run to the Triple Crown in 1973, writer William Nack had a daily front-row seat as the horse became a cultural phenomenon. Seventeen years later, Nack recounted his unforgettable experience.
ALL YOU had to do was watch the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga. I was at the races that August afternoon with Arthur Kennedy, an old-time racetracker who had been around horses since the 1920s, and even he had never seen anything quite like it. Dropping back to dead last out of the gate, Secretariat trailed eight horses into the far turn, where jockey Ron Turcotte swung him to the outside. Three jumps past the half-mile pole the colt exploded. "Now he's runnin'!" Kennedy exclaimed.
You could see the blue-and-white silks as they disappeared behind one horse, reappeared in a gap between horses, dropped out of sight again and finally emerged as Secretariat powered to the lead off the turn. He dashed from last to first in 290 yards, blazing through a quarter mile in 22 seconds, and galloped home in a laugher to win by six. It was a performance with style, touched by art.
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