THE OTHER GREAT IN THE ’73 KENTUCKY DERBY

The 1973 Kentucky Derby is forever associated with the famous Secretariat and the beginning of his successful quest for the Triple Crown.  Sham, the second-place finisher, is also well-known as the colt that recorded the second fastest time in Derby history, a record that is not included in the official times because he did not win.  But the fourth-placed gelding in Secretariat’s Derby is sometimes glossed over or forgotten.

Forego finished 11 lengths behind Secretariat but eventually joined him in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame.  The 1973 Kentucky Derby was the only time that the two horses raced against one another.

Forego had 57 career starts with 34 wins, 9 places, and 7 shows.  He retired in 1978 with earnings of $1,938,957 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

An excerpt in the Hall of Fame about Forego’s accomplishments reads:

“Horse of the Year for three consecutive years and Champion Handicapper for four, Forego clearly was one of the best runners of this century.  He was assigned 130 pounds or more in 24 races and won 13 of them.  During his career he ‘owned’ the Woodward, winning this race four times (1974-1977).   He also won the Brooklyn Handicap three consecutive years.

Forego placed in all but one start at five.  He won the Seminole and Widener Handicaps in Florida, took the Carter under 134 pounds, set a track record under 132 pounds in the Brooklyn, and won the 1 1/2 mile Suburban under 134 pounds.  At 6 Forego was the leader in stakes earnings for a second time; he also won the Brooklyn, Metropolitan Handicap, Marlboro Cup and the Woodward.  In the Marlboro he carrried 137 pounds over a sloppy track to beat Honest Pleasure in a thrilling stretch run.

At 7 Forego repeated his victory in the Metropolitan Handicap and won his fourth consecutive Woodward.  He also was named Champion Handicapper for the fourth time.

Forego ran two more times at 8 before chronic ankle problems brought an end to his career.  He retired to a farm near Keeneland before moving to the Kentucky Horse Park in 1981.”

While Forego will never have the fame of Secretariat, he assuredly is one of the best American racehorses of the 20th century.

Copyright © 2014 Horse Racing Business

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