Reporting Monique Griego
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s considered one of the best horse races in recent history but over the past 40 years, Secretariat’s Preakness win has been followed by controversy. Monique Griego explains how the racing commission hopes to put the questions to rest.
While there’s no doubt Secretariat won the Preakness, the question is whether he is the fastest horse to ever run the race. That’s what his supporters are trying to prove.
It’s one of the most celebrated horse races in recent history but ever since Secretariat won the 1973 Preakness, controversy has surrounded his official time of just under 1:55.
“You certainly had the impression watching the film of the race that he ran very fast,” said Penny Chernery, his owner.
Secretariat’s owner Penny Chernery was in Laurel Tuesday to put the controversy to rest. The problem has always been inconsistent time recordings.
“Electronic timer malfunctioned, everyone believes, because it showed a time of 1:55 while several gentlemen in the press box hand-timed it at 1:53 and two-fifths,” said Leonard Lisky.
That slight difference would mean Secretariat not only won the Preakness but broke the track record, something he did at the Derby and Belmont that same year.
“Secretariat obviously doesn’t need the record. Racing as a whole needs to understand that authentic times are very important,” he said.
Tuesday, the Maryland Racing Commission held a hearing to decide whether there’s enough evidence to lower Secretariat’s time based on new video analysis.
“He’s not going to be any less of a hero,” Chenery said.
After hours of frame-by-frame evidence, the decision came back unanimously to change the time, making him the fastest horse to ever run the Preakness.
This means Secretariat now holds the fastest time in all three legs of the Triple Crown.
While Secretariat is the fastest horse to run the Preakness, the track record is held by Farma Way, who won the Pimlico Special in 1991.