This original, official program documents Secretariat's first racing appearance following his legendary Triple Crown sweep in the June 30, 1973, inaugural running of the Arlington Invitational at Arlington Park in Chicago. While some racing fans may have had the foresight to keep their track program from that memorable day as a coveted keepsake, this one has the distinction of being track-used by the Chenery/Tweedy family and is documented in the Secretariat/Meadow Stable Archives registry as part of their personal collection.
The fact that the program has been kept in protected storage for nearly a half a century underscores both its significance and sentiment to the family connections who attended the race to witness jockey Ron Turcotte guide their chestnut champion to an easy nine-length victory, just missing the track record time by 1/5 of a second for the 1 1/8 mile race distance.
In addition to the program's illustrious history and provenance, it is very distinctive and unusual in that the betting interests for the Arlington Invitational were divided into a heavily favored Secretariat at 1-20 odds; and the three challengers brave enough to face him all coupled together in the mutual field at 5-1. Effectively, bettors had only two options for wagering: bet on Secretariat or bet against him.
The program is elegantly displayed in two parts with the cover separated from the interior with both professionally mounted in black linen matting with attractive gold accenting and matching gilded frame with solid brass engraved name plate. The feature race page contains the simple marking of Secretariat's name circled in blue designating him as the race winner. It is considered half of a frame set nicknamed "The Twins," with its companion piece being the matching framed photo from the race, hand-signed by jockey Ron Turcotte and owner Penny Chenery, offered separately in this auction.