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  #1  
Old 03-20-2014, 01:04 AM
the_diego the_diego is offline
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What made Secretariat so fast?

Was it having a long stride ange that crossed the ground faster than other horses? I know his stride angle was around 105 degrees while Man O' War's was 88 degrees. But Man O' War had a longer bound so Secretariat didn't "float" as much. Also, Secretariat had strange proportions; like he had an unusually long body for a horse.

Any scientific info dealing with this stuff?
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2014, 02:10 AM
Spoons Spoons is offline
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Secretariat's speed and stamina were most likely due to his heart. From Wikipedia:

Quote:
A necropsy revealed his heart was significantly larger than that of an ordinary horse....

At the time of Secretariat's death, the veterinarian who performed the necropsy, Dr. Thomas Swerczek, head pathologist at the University of Kentucky, did not weigh Secretariat's heart, but stated, "We just stood there in stunned silence. We couldn’t believe it. The heart was perfect. There were no problems with it. It was just this huge engine." Later, Swerczek also performed a necropsy on Sham, who died in 1993. Swerczek did weigh Sham's heart, and it was 18 pounds (8.2 kg). Based on Sham's measurement, and having necropsied both horses, he estimated Secretariat's heart probably weighed 22 pounds (10.0 kg), or about two-and-three-quarters times as large as that of the average horse.
"This huge engine" about sums it up. It was if Secretariat was powered by a big V-8, while his opponents had little four-cylinder engines that just couldn't keep up.

But it wasn't just speed; it was stamina too. Thanks to his huge heart, Secretariat had energy and power to spare when closing on the finish, while other horses were spent just trying to keep up. Recall that he won the Belmont by 31 lengths, and he was going away at the time; all after racing one-and-a-half miles.

In short, it wasn't his stride or his conformation. It was his heart.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:17 AM
the_diego the_diego is offline
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Well that makes sense, considering his winning margins always started towards the final stretch. At the finish line he looks like he's still accelerating while the horses far behind all look tired. Thanks.

Last edited by the_diego; 03-20-2014 at 02:17 AM..
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:26 AM
It's Not Rocket Surgery! It's Not Rocket Surgery! is online now
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Interestingly, Secretariat was only able to pass the large-heart gene down through his daughters.

More than you'd ever want to know about this:
http://www.spiletta.com/UTHOF/hippology/xfactor.html
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:34 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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In the KY Derby, recall that Secretariat ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it. The successive quarter-mile times were 25-1⁄5, 24, 23-4⁄5, 23-2⁄5, and 23. This means he was still accelerating as of the final quarter-mile of the race.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:57 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It's Not Rocket Surgery! View Post
Interestingly, Secretariat was only able to pass the large-heart gene down through his daughters.

More than you'd ever want to know about this:
http://www.spiletta.com/UTHOF/hippology/xfactor.html
An interesting article, about the X-Factor. Lots of info there. I mostly skimmed it. Thanks.
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