Secretariet/ American Pharoah Split Screen Belmont

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hadrianmarcus
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:54 am

On my third visit to a race track, I got to watch a two year old named Secretariat win the Laurel Futurity. Months later, I watched Secretariat win the Preakness Stakes. After completing the Triple Crown, I distinctly remember a collection of older sourpusses opinionating on the radio and in the newspaper that Secretariat was overhyped….Secretariat was no Man of War or Citation, hell, he wasn’t even War Admiral. Then Seattle Slew took the crown. A new collection of sourpusses…citing Seattle Slew was no Secretariat..as though Big Red’s legacy needed defending.

I don’t recall much after Affirmed’s crown because I was in a state of shock (being a massive Alydar fan). But I do recall the sourpusses complaining that all three Triple Crowns were cheapened because it was now apparently so easy to win one.

New Triple Crown winner and new sourpusses feeling the need to defend legacies that are above reproach to begin with. I’ve watched AP, Slew and Affirmed race once in person, Secretariat twice….and I feel AP is an elite horse befitting that small club.

Secretariat was my first and my favorite. But at times, his devoted fan base (and his owner) could display a bit more graciousness and maybe even take off the rose-colored glasses. I found the drive to change the Secretariat’s Preakness time ludicrous after so many years. If every horse ran their absolute best….I truly think Big Red would prevail against challengers. But Secretariat was anything but consistent compared to the other immortals of race horses. And comparing official times in races with different track conditions, different medication rules, different spacing of races, and different training methods of different eras….yeah, there’s an environment for valid comparison.

We could all just enjoy the moment, celebrate the accomplishment and consider ourselves blessed to see such a rarity. But that wasn’t the case in 1977 or 1978….or even in 1973 after such a devastating display of superiority. There will always be defenders of the legacy and a few just plain sourpusses…….
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Sham
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:52 am

dustino140 wrote:So let me try to sum up this gem of a post, which was obviously alcohol induced, with the following -

American Pharoah, a 2yo champion, wins the Triple Crown by beating a decent group of horses with decent times in three races where he (admittedly by the connections) got great trips and you're willing to write that off as a 'staged' Triple Crown win just to appease people.

On the other hand, Secretariat goes out and wins the Belmont about 10 lengths faster than anybody else in the nearly 150 year history of the race, at a time when chemists had a huge foothold in sports, and you'll fight tooth and nail that it's completely outside the real of possibility that anything nefarious could've even possibly happened there.

I think that sums it up, but can you please confirm?
Don't forget the implication that they gave Pharoah a boost to get him a good clocking in the Belmont after the final times in the first two legs were so slow.
Soto, Suni, Sham, whichever.
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Big Ten
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:30 am

If they were going to try to make Secretariat look so superior and make American Pharoah look so inferior, they should do a 12 split screen of every Triple Crown winning Belmont and American Pharoah would still be the closest even slightly ahead of Affirmed. Any Belmont winner from Easy Goer, Risen Star, and Gallant Man would lose by 10+ lengths. What Secretariat did was supernatural. Like scoring 101 points in a Game 7 of the NBA Finals while making 70-90% of your shots to win the championship. Godly. The 1973 Belmont might be the greatest sports performance ever.

I love Secretariat. He is a Top 10 favorite of mines. Way more than Pharoah but let's try not to dampen what AP just did. After finishing the Seabiscuit book on my phone, I will start reading Bill Nack's book on Sec. I know alot of both horses already with documentaries and all, but I would love to go more into detail. Before I started loving Seattle Slew for his bad boy persona, alpha male style, and progeny, Sec was my fav "yesteryear" horse who ran before my time. I wouldn't be loving horse racing without him.

But over the years, I do play devil's advocate. It seems most casual fans who know Seabiscuit only know Secretariat with those three TC races including that showstopper Belmont. Sec did run 21x and did lose 4x legitimately and once DQ. There were still SEVEN other horses who finished ahead of him in four different races. He had his losses just like Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali did. We don't need to keep romanticizing his career with the Belmont Stakes win. He never won a race in double digit margins other than the Belmont. The 2nd highest margin was Belmont follow up race, a 9-length in Arlington. He went 2 for 5 vs his elders and 1 for 3 vs them on dirt.

To me, to do what Secretariat did in the 1973 Belmont would be like speeding up Big Sandy which did happen and having the proper tools and genetics (his large heart) to pull it off. I don't see the Belmont Stakes world record on dirt by him to ever be broken now that races have become shorter. Secretariat is the pinnacle of Triple Crown champions. They put him side by side with Spectacular Bid, Dr. Fager, Kelso, Citation, Man o' War, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Forego, Cigar, Swaps, Ghostzapper, Zenyatta, Ruffian, Easy Goer, and the giant Phar Lap, and Sec would still standout to me with his face and amazing physique and coat. The horse had parents named Bold Ruler and Somethingroyal for goodness sakes! He was a gift from God. Perfectly built racehorse that would make Buckpasser feel jealous. But he had his flaws. And those darker moments need to be pointed out a little more. He didn't have the fighting spirit like some of those horses I listed above. He lost to horses that were nowhere the level horses that Dr. Fager and Zenyatta had lost to.

I've watched the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup and 2010 BC Classic many times more than I would like to. Because even if Slew and Zen didn't win that race, they won our heart. Life isn't perfect and is filled with obstacles. I want to see overcoming adversity like what Michael Jordan did vs the Pistons in 1991, his flu game, or what Muhammad Ali did to George Foreman in Africa. Sec never did that in his career. Not by sheer will. Only human or sick excuses. He was the most perfect-looking racehorse that should've had a perfect record. He had the perfect talent and genes to pull it off but lacked the sheer will to win every SINGLE time to make that perfect record happen. Even Man o War and Native Dancer tried harder in their lone defeat.
Kobe’s caption reads: “Secretariat like focus vs time vs the scar vs
haters #runwithblinders#mambamentality #showuagai

In this analogy, time is the Belmont Stakes record, Kobe’s scar is Sham and the haters are all those people who doubted Diane Lane in that Disney movie.

"I was like a wild horse that had the potential to become Secretariat, but who was just too f***ing wild." - Kobe Bryant


^^ I never liked Kobe. I thought he was an MJ-wannabe and he was a Laker. But like MJ, I could never underestimate Kobe's skills (better outside shooter and left hand dribble than MJ), work ethic, and pure determination. He hated to lose just like MJ. He would do ANYTHING to win. That is why I appreciate his career now even with his bad shot selection. MJ and Kobe had the sheer will desire to win everytime (whether flu or sprained ankle) at all costs which Secretariat lacked for me. NO EXCUSES even if you are having a bad day. You have to show your best to prove you're the best even if you are not having the best day.
Rock Hard Ten. Free House. Soul Of The Matter. Lit de Justice. Zenyatta. Justify. Cigar. Ghostzapper. Lava Man. Silver Charm.
EquineAnne
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:40 pm

Big Ten wrote: Quoting Bret "The Hitman" Hart -
The best there is. The best there was. The best there ever will be.

That's Michael Jeffrey Jordan to me.

Hear, hear.
gravano
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:43 pm

Secretariet's Belmont is largely agreed to be the superlative performance of the modern era.

So it makes sense to use the split against that. If the comparison annoys you that's fine, but you're not going to stop people from trying to find context for how the performance ranks in history; it's earned that right and Sec's Belmont is the standard.

American Pharoah may be the better horse because of lasix, which slows recovery; he also may have overcome more given the different breeding techniques in the eras. I don't like the suggestion that Secretariet was juiced and therefore AP's performance was better because that lacks merit. But I think there are things to compare and contrast from the eras and I'm not annoyed by people doing that even if they sort of steer things towards their argument. I expect biases; it's horse racing.
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Ballerina
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:52 pm

I actually think Big Red's Preakness win was the most spectacular.
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dustino140
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:53 pm

gravano wrote:I don't like the suggestion that Secretariet was juiced and therefore AP's performance was better because that lacks merit.
Who is suggesting that? I don't really think anyone is.
Somnambulist

Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:56 pm

dustino140 wrote:
gravano wrote:I don't like the suggestion that Secretariet was juiced and therefore AP's performance was better because that lacks merit.
Who is suggesting that? I don't really think anyone is.
Consider the source.
Horsebagger
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:07 pm

oye vey....
Horsebagger
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:11 pm

I've started crashing from the Triple Crown high. everyone/everything is annoying me today.
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Ballerina
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:13 pm

It's OY VEY - just saying.
Lord Helpus
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:02 pm

Back in Secretariat's day, instead of Lasix, horses were "drawn up" for races. That is a polite way of saying that they were deprived of water for 24 - 36 hours before a race so they became dehydrated. Lasix makes race horses pee the fluids out of their bodies the morning before a race. Drawing up means they never get the fluids in their bodies in the first place.

I dislike drugs, but when I learned about drawing up, I could see the benefit of allowing Lasix on race days.
gravano
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:45 pm

Somnambulist wrote:
dustino140 wrote:
gravano wrote:I don't like the suggestion that Secretariet was juiced and therefore AP's performance was better because that lacks merit.
Who is suggesting that? I don't really think anyone is.
Consider the source.
Always consider the source that's actually my point.
gravano
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:48 pm

dustino140 wrote:
gravano wrote:I don't like the suggestion that Secretariet was juiced and therefore AP's performance was better because that lacks merit.
Who is suggesting that? I don't really think anyone is.
You stated that you thought AP was the "cleaner" horse, and that would imply that Secretariet ran on drugs?

I'd bet American Pharoah is the 'cleaner' of the two horses

Feel free to nuance that in a way that doesn;t suggest Secretariet took more illegal drugs than American Pharoah.
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War Admiral
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:50 pm

Horsebagger wrote:I've started crashing from the Triple Crown high. everyone/everything is annoying me today.
Agreed. I thought that racing fans across North America would be so pleased to finally have a TC winner that they wouldn't be arguing about who was better ---- AP or Secretariat. And it's not just here that people are being such sourpusses. It's all over social media and IMO the Debbie Downer posts are best to be ignored.

I'm just happy that I finally got to see a TC winner. I don't care to compare AP to Secretariat, Slew, Affirmed, or even Omaha.
Government is not the solution to the problem. Government is the problem. Ronald Reagan.
gravano
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:54 pm

If you don't enjoy comparing performances, or if that makes you feel down then don't read this. Horsebagger has already written extensively about how he didn't think it was a stunning performance but that it was a stunning achievement.
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dustino140
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:54 pm

gravano wrote:
dustino140 wrote:
gravano wrote:I don't like the suggestion that Secretariet was juiced and therefore AP's performance was better because that lacks merit.
Who is suggesting that? I don't really think anyone is.
You stated that you thought AP was the "cleaner" horse, and that would imply that Secretariet ran on drugs?

I'd bet American Pharoah is the 'cleaner' of the two horses

Feel free to nuance that in a way that doesn;t suggest Secretariet took more illegal drugs than American Pharoah.
I don't see what how 'clean' a horse is has to do with which performance was better, nor was I ever even hinting at that assertion. I'll go on record and say that Secretariat's performance was the best in Belmont Stakes history, clean or dirty. Like I said, I don't really care which it was.
gravano
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:56 pm

You wanted to know where the suggestion was introduced and it was introduced when you suggested American Pharoah was cleaner than Secretariet. And that lacks merit.
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CoronadosQuest
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:58 pm

We ALL know that a performance is NEVER going to beat or compare to Secretariat's performance. There is no need to compare them or put down AP's performance because it wasn't the same as Secretariat's. It's fruitless to compare them. Secretariat's performance will NEVER be duplicated. We all know that. No need to diminish AP's Triple Crown win just because he isn't Secretariat. Nobody ever said he was. Doesn't mean that American Pharoah cannot be his own version of great. Let him write his OWN story and leave Secretariat out of it.
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dustino140
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:00 pm

gravano wrote:You wanted to know where the suggestion was introduced and it was introduced when you suggested American Pharoah was cleaner than Secretariet. And that lacks merit.
And yet I wasn't 'suggesting' what you took from it. It had nothing to do with whose Belmont was better. However, once I've explained that, instead of saying "my bad" you're going to keep asserting that your incorrect inference is the right one. Go figure.
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