Secretariat’s living legends

Created: Monday, 14 August 2017
They may not have done anything remarkable in their own racing careers – far from it – but their mere existence in 2017, 28 years afer their sire died, makes them living legends. They are the elderly sons and daughters of Secretariat still being loved and admired by their owners, and living out their days being treated like the royalty that they are.

My quest to find them started last year with the now 29-year-old Innkeeper – living the pampered life and lovingly tended to by college students at the Virgina Tech MARE center. Once his story was published last fall as part of my series on Secretariat’s sons and daughters (, owners of other living legends reached out to me. Thanks to them, I found six more Secretariats, making it seven in total. I would love to find more – there’s a chance they do exist, perhaps in someone’s backyard or in a retiree field at a farm or two. After all, the youngest are but 27, not an insurmountable age for a Thoroughbred. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of others, please contact me!

The first four of the seven I have photographed are included in this gallery to start with. I will add the others as their stories are published – Torbay, Albany’s Secret and Border Run.

General Poppy
The senior member of the group is General Poppy, doing well at the grand old age of 34. Born April 22, 1983, he failed to win in seven starts for owner/breeder Barry K. Schwartz. He was sold for $10,000 at a horses of racing age sale in April 1986, and disappeared for a while. He resurfaced a few years later as a hunter prospect, and was developed into a world-class fox hunter in Virginia. More about General Poppy.

Fast Market
This 31-year-old gelding has his own Facebook page and a big fan base as a result. He is the only stakes winner of the group, having won a minor stakes at Fort Erie early in his career. He is also distinguished as the most-raced son or daughter of Secretariat with 144 starts. Almost all were in claiming races; he raced until he was 12, the last few years in West Virginia. He is still happy and healthy in Western Pennsylvania. More about Fast Market.

The only stallion in the group, he sold for $1.15 million as a yearling, and went on to win one of seven starts for Overbrook Farm and trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Absent strong racetrack performance, he wasn’t well received at stud. A few years later he ended up as a sport horse, excelling in hunting and jumping. Although he only sired 35 registered Thoroughbreds, there are many, many more little Innkeepers out there in the sport horse world. More about Innkeeper.

Secret of the Sea
A beautifully-bred son in Secretariat’s last crop, 27-year-old Secret of the Sea won one of nine starts in a career plagued by injuries. In his retirement, he went from Kentucky to Montana to Colorado, moving with the owner who had him since his second race. He still lives in Colorado today, now in the caring hands of an avid Secretariat fan, who is thankful every day that he fell into her lap six years ago. More about Secret of the Sea.