Only three weeks after his historic Belmont Stakes victory, the Meadow Stable team selected the June 30 Arlington Invitational at Chicago's Arlington Park as the next start for Secretariat. It was a conscious effort to share the phenomenal colt with Mid-America, and 41,233 fans who attended the race clamored in their post Triple Crown euphoria for a glimpse of the champion.
That enthusiasm was not shared by Secretariat's competitors, however, as only three other horses decided to take their chances against the chestnut champ in the $125,000 added 1 1/8 mile race. The challengers included My Gallant and Our Native, who had battled Secretariat in the Triple Crown, and outsider Blue Chip Dan. While the competition was understandably sparse, Secretariat's continuing superlative racing performance was not as he wired his three challengers easily winning the race by nine lengths in a time that just missed the track mark by 1/5 second.
This particular image captured during the race features a head-on view of Secretariat with Ron Turcotte as they approach the wire and the absolute dominance of the Meadow Stable colt over his his overmatched challengers. The vibrant glossy image is one of the very few hand-signed by both Mr. Turcotte and the late Penny Chenery, Secretariat's luminary owner often referred to as "The First Lady of Racing." The photo is elegantly displayed and in black linen matting with attractive gold accenting and matching gilded frame with solid brass engraved name plate. It is considered half of a frame set nicknamed "The Twins," with its companion piece being the matching framed Chenery/Tweedy family track-used program from the race, offered separately in this auction.