New ‘Secretariat’ movie sparks memories for Tryon resident

Published 12:37 pm Friday, October 8, 2010

Secretariat, the horse that won the American Triple Crown by winning at Belmont Park on June 9, 1973, is once again in the headlines with todays release of the movie that bears his name.

For Rody Dayvault of Tryon, that race day was special he was there. Dayvault attended with his father-in-law, the late Dr. Lee Sanders of Raleigh.

To commemorate the event, he put together a framed collection of memorabilia from the event and gave it to Sanders. The collection includes an uncashed winning $2 ticket, the New York Times headline and article for Sunday, June 10, the Sports Illustrated cover photo of Secretariat, a token to Belmont Park, the eighth race listing and a photo of Dr. Sanders at the track on June 9, 1973.

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Dayvault added the following paragraph at the bottom of the framed collection:

ALL SPORTSMEN ARE LIARS. Some people believe that fishermen are the worst of the lot, but I do not. The worst liars are those Sportsmen who drink a couple of beers and then talk about the GREAT EVENTS that they attended. In 1993, 20 years after the event, there will probably be a million people who claim to have witnessed Secretariat win the Triple Crown. The official attendance at Belmont Park on June 9, 1973 was announced as 69,138. You were there; I know that you were, because I was there with you. The mementos included here will prove to those other 930,862 people who claim to have been there, that we were at the track that day. The weather was beautiful and the track was FAST. Secretariat was in gate position number 2 in a field of five horses. Ron Turcotte was aboard as the gate opened for a fast start. As always, the distance was 1 miles. As the field moved away from the clubhouse stretch, we could not tell which horse had the lead. By the time they had reached the far turn, Secretariat was in front of the pack, and turned it on. As they rounded the final turn, Secretariat was ahead by 10-15 lengths. When he crossed the wire, he led the field by 31 lengths. Winning time, 2:24:0 a new track record, making Secretariat the ninth horse in history to win the American TRIPLE CROWN.