This breathtaking panoramic vista of Secretariat on the track in front of the original Arlington Park Clubhouse captures one of the most important days in Illinois Thoroughbred racing history. On June 30, 1973 Secretariat, the Meadow Stable's recently coronated Triple Crown champion raced in Chicago for the inaugural running of the prestigious Arlington Invitational. The Meadow Racing Stable's super horse had just three weeks prior won the Belmont Stakes, claiming the Triple Crown's final jewel by an astounding 31 lengths in world record time. Secretariat did not disappoint the Arlington Park crowd of 41,000 who assembled there to witness his easy 9-length victory, just missing the track record time by 1/5 of a second. It was that rare performance that matched the towering expectations of fans within and outside the sport.
This extremely rare and stunning black and white photograph is one of less than 8 total produced and hand-signed by Secretariat’s illustrious late owner Penny Chenery. The image features Secretariat with Ron Turcotte aboard leading the post parade prior to the race. Accompanying the super horse onto the track is exercise rider Charlie Davis, fancily clad in top-coat attire for the occasion, aboard the Meadow Stable lead pony Billy Silver. This compelling historical study shows the track’s original grandstand and clubhouse that burned down in 1985, then was rebuilt as one of the world's premier racing venues until its permanent shuttering last year. The call to the post at this renowned track may now be silent but Secretariat's memory carries on in this important and nostalgic piece.
The photo originates from the Secretariat/Meadow Stable Archive collection and is double matted in an elegant black wood frame with engraved brass plate measuring 42 x 18" in total, and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.