The last race from Secretariat's juvenile season. The November 18, 1972 Garden State Stakes capped off a championship season for Secretariat and secured his title of "Horse of the Year", an unprecedented feat for a 2-year-old. This winners winners circle composite is another very rare photo featuring Secretariat at the now defunct New Jersey track. The 1972 Garden State Stakes was at the time one of the richest races in America with a purse value to the winner totaling nearly $180,000. Secretariat's methodical 3 1/2 length victory with Ron Turcotte aboard was a banner moment for trainer Lucien Lauren who also saddled second place finisher Angle Light. Interestingly, Angle Light was ridden by Rudy Turcotte, Ron's brother - making it a real family affair. The Garden State Stakes was Secretariat's eighth straight first place finish (despite his disqualification in the Champagne Stakes) and cemented his reputation as a superstar for the sport. In reference to this fact and bearing historic witness to the times, the front left shoe from the race resides in the Nixon Library Collection as part of the 37th President's archives.
The photo features Secretariat wearing a garland of flowers in the winners circle surrounded by owner Penny Chenery and the Meadow Stable team. Also celebrating the victory for the trophy presentation were Penny's husband Jack Tweedy, children Kate and John, Meadow farm secretary Elizabeth Ham ( who named Secretariat), and family friends John Fager,and Shelby Timberlake.
The Garden Stakes photo is another Secretariat.com exclusive and to our knowledge the only known color image from the race. With Garden State Park no longer in existence, this world-premier offering to the general public represents an incredible opportunity for any Secretariat fan or collector. Available with the option of being hand-signed by jockey Ron Turcotte. Measures 8" x 10", larger sizes available by special order.