His record still stands, Secretariat ran the fastest Kentucky Derby ever, in 1973. Second fastest ever was Sham, who took 2nd that year to Secretariat. This is one record that I hope will never fall.
Read through the above link for some amazing facts. His huge heart, his burial, he was listed 35th on ESPN’s top 100 athletes of the 20th century. His 31 length victory in the Belmont is still a record in G-1 races.
In the 1973 Kentucky Derby, on his way to a still-standing track record (1:59 2/5), he ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it. The successive quarter-mile times were: 25 1/5, 24, 23 4/5, 23 2/5, and 23. This means he was still accelerating as of the final quarter-mile of the race. It would be 28 years before any other horse would win the Derby in less than 2 minutes (Monarchos in 2001).
Secretariat was mourned by millions and buried at Clairborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, given the rare honor of being buried whole; usually only the head, heart and hooves of a winning race horse are buried, the rest cremated. Post-mortem exam showed that his heart weighed 22 pounds, the largest ever recorded for a racehorse.
Here’s to you Big Red!