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Jun 15, 2012

Secretariat's Preakness time to be reviewed


Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Now that the 2012 Triple Crown races have concluded a new look has been proposed into the running of the 1973 Preakness Stakes won by Secretariat. The final Preakness time record is the only one of the three races that is not currently held by the 1973 Triple Crown champion.

A request has been made to the Maryland Racing Commission from Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery and Maryland Jockey Club president Thomas Chuckas to use the latest technology to offer a corrected time for the race.

"During the last 40 years, video technology has been accepted in other professional sports as a supportive mechanism for officials to ensure fairness and accuracy in their decisions," said Chuckas. "It is important for horse racing and the record books to confirm the correct time in this historical race. It is the appropriate thing to do."

Controversy has always followed the running the 1973 Preakness Stakes after the final of 1:55 was first attributed to Secretariat. Two hand-timed readings by independent clockers from the Daily Racing Form had the final time as 1:53 2/5 for the 1 3/16 miles.

The Maryland Racing Commission subsequently acknowledged that Pimlico's electronic timer may have malfunctioned during the running of the race and changed the official time to 1:54 2/5 as reported by Pimlico's official hand clocker.

"For me, revisiting this dispute on a new day is matter of resolution -- for historians, for sportswriters and for racing fans," said Mrs. Chenery. "Their voices are supported by sound evidence, and they deserve to be heard."

Secretariat holds the records for both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes at 1:59 2/5 and 2:24, respectively. The Preakness record of 1:53 2/5 is credited to Tank's Prospect (1985), Louis Quatorze (1996) and Curlin (2007) and the track mark for 1 3/16 miles of 1:52 2/5 was set by Farma Way in the 1991 Pimlico Special.

The Maryland Racing Commission will take the matter up at its June 19 meeting at Laurel Park.

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