Preakness Record Reviewed
In 1973, Secretariat won thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown and set many records that still stand today at the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. Now, 39 years after his Triple Crown victory, Secretariat has been awarded a record at the Preakness Stakes.
The Maryland Racing Commission voted Tuesday that the 1973 Triple Crown winner set the course record in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico 39 years ago. In a unanimous 7-0 decision, the official Preakness time was changed from 1:54 2/5 to 1:53 flat.
According to Bloodhorse.com, Penny Chenery, who owned Secretariat, and Thomas Chuckas, the president of the Maryland Jockey Club, made the request for the commission to review the evidence.
For nearly three hours, the Maryland Racing Commission reviewed tapes, video overlays, and heard expert testimonies. Using modern technology in reviewing the tapes, it was determined that Secretariat’s time was faster than the Preakness record of 1:53 2/5 set by Tank’s Prospect in 1985.
When the Controversy Began
The controversy over Secretariat’s official Preakness time goes back to race day in 1973.
The electric timer used at the Preakness clocked a winning time of 1:55, which quickly became a source of controversy when two independent clockers from the Daily Racing Form individually timed the race at 1:53 2/5.
Officials at the Pimlico Race Course admitted that there were “extenuating circumstances” with the electronic timer’s recording and changed Secretariat’s time to 1:54 2/5.
If Secretariat had run the Preakness in 1:53 2/5 he would have set a record at the time, that has been matched but not beaten since. The Racing Commission’s decision to change the time to 1:53 flat gives Secretariat an unmatched best in Preakness Stakes history.