It may be nearly 40 years after Secretariat became the first Triple Crown winner in decades, but that's not stopping the famed thoroughbred's owner from asking for a video review of the 1973 Preakness Stakes.
Penny Chenery, who broke barriers herself as a female owner in a man's world, thinks her horse should have been awarded a faster time for that race. It's the only Triple Crown race in which Secretariat didn't officially break a track record.
Chenery is asking the Maryland Racing Commission at its June 19 meeting to schedule a hearing in which it will review the winning time for the 1973 Preakness Stakes race, which is held annually at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course. Chenery and Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas believe that advances in video technology will prove Secretariat ran the race in 1 minute, 53 and 2/5 seconds — a full second faster than the time recorded in 1973.
That time would have set a new record at the time and would tie the current Preakness record. The track record for Pimlico is a full second faster (1 minute, 52 and 2/5 seconds).
The official time of that 1973 race was controversial as soon as the race ended, thanks to an electronic timer that malfunctioned because of damage caused by the crowds crossing the track to reach the infield. The track's hand timer clocked Secretariat's time at 1 minute, 54 and 2/5 seconds while two Daily Racing Form writers timed the horse a full second faster. The jockey club relied on its hand timer as the official race time. In an unprecedented move, the publication printed its own clocking of 1:53 2/5 next to the official time in the chart of the race.
Secretariat died in 1989.