Secretariat's Top 10 Foals
The measuring stick for a great thoroughbred is not just their performances on the track, but also their ability to pass those talents on to the next generation. Secretariat was no exception with his offspring; the racing world waited with bated breath to see if Big Red could pass on the intangibles that made him immortal. From an iron lady to an Aussie record setter, here are the ten best horses sired by Secretariat.
When it came time to select a mate for Australian Horse of the Year Rose of Kingston, her owners selected Secretariat, producing the colt Kingston Rule. In 1990, Kingston Rule won the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most famous race, setting a record for the 3200m (about two miles) of 3:16.60 that has yet to be broken.
Secrettame won six of her ten starts, and then parlayed her talent on the racetrack into excellence as a broodmare. Among her foals were Lion Cavern, a stakes winner in the United States and England and Gone West, sire of Da Hoss, Elusive Quality, and Speightstown.
Out of the speedy mare Crimson Saint, Pancho Villa won the Bay Shore and the King’s Bishop and then battled Belmont winner Crème Fraiche to the wire in the Jerome. Injury forced him to retire at four, standing stud at Gainesway Farm and then in Texas, where he was a top sire for multiple seasons.
A daughter of Triple Tiara winner Chris Evert, Six Crowns was aptly named for her overachieving sire and dam but was not as prolific on the track as those two. Instead, after a stakes winning career, Six Crowns shined as a broodmare, producing multiple Grade 1 winner Chief’s Crown and the filly Classic Crown, winner of the Frizette and Gazelle.
Tinners Way started his career in Europe, winning two stakes in England before joining Bobby Frankel’s barn in California. He won the Pacific Classic twice and the Californian Stakes before retiring to stud. After stints in Kentucky, Texas, and California, Tinners Way retired to Old Friends in Georgetown, Kentucky, a visitor favorite until his death in 2017.
Weekend Surprise was a graded stakes winner, but her greatest impact came as a broodmare, producing Summer Squall and A.P. Indy. Summer Squall won the 1990 Preakness and then became a good sire, producing Derby and Preakness winner Charismatic. A.P. Indy won the Belmont Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Classic and then became a prolific sire, producing classic winners and sires Bernardini, Malibu Moon, and Pulpit.
The petite gray filly bore little resemblance to her sire, but, on the racetrack, Lady’s Secret was as dynamic as Secretariat. A stakes winner at two, she won ten of her 15 starts at three. At four, she was otherworldly, beating the boys in the Whitney and then winning the Maskette and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She ended that season as Horse of the Year and Champion Older Filly.
Terlingua was a winner against both fillies and colts, winning multiple graded stakes over her three seasons. She went on to success in the breeding shed, producing 11 foals, including Storm Cat, one of the country’s leading sires for over a decade, the sire of Giant’s Causeway and Tabasco Cat.
Risen Star came close winning the Triple Crown himself, finishing third in the Derby behind Winning Colors before winning the Preakness easily and producing a Belmont performance that echoed his sire’s, winning by 14 3/4 lengths. Unfortunately, the colt injured himself during the race, forcing him into an early retirement.
From the same crop as Terlingua came General Assembly, who ran his best at Saratoga. At three, he finished second behind Spectacular Bid in the Kentucky Derby but turned in his career-best performance at Saratoga in the 1979 Travers Stakes. He won by 15 lengths in 2:00, a record that stood until Arrogate’s 1:59.36 in 2016.
Of course, these are only ten of Secretariat’s 663 foals, a snapshot of what the ninth Triple Crown winner produced in his time at stud. As a producer, Secretariat’s legacy came more through his daughters, who produced sires like A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, and Storm Cat, all continuing the legacy of excellence started by the immortal Big Red.