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Md. Racing Commission To Rule On Secretariat’s Controversial Preakness Race Time

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It’s a controversy four decades in the making. Did Secretariat actually set a record at Preakness? This week, we’re going to find out.

Adam May has the story.

What’s considered one of the best horse races in modern history is also one of the most debated.

Ever since Secretariat won the 1973 Preakness, many have questioned the official race time of just under 1:55, especially the horse’s owner.

“For the last 39 years, there has been a controversy,” Leonard Lusky, spokesman for Secretariat’s owner, said.

The controversy: inconsistent times between the scoreboard and officials on the ground.

“There were three other individuals holding hand-held timing devices that caught the horse Secretariat in two different times than what was on the electronic timer,” Jay Michael Hopkins of the Maryland Racing Commission said.

Tuesday, the Maryland Racing Commission will decide if there’s enough evidence to lower Secretariat’s time and name him the fastest to ever run the Preakness.

“Secretariart broke the record in the Derby and he broke the record at the Belmont. There’s no other horse to break all three,” Hopkins said.

Fractions of a second are at odds with a major record at stake.

“It would really bolster the importance of the race,” Lusky said. “Anytime you can clear up a controversy, anytime you have the ability to right a wrong, I think it needs to be taken.”

Horse racing officials say they expect to rule on the matter soon after Tuesday’s hearing.

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