In the sport of horse racing, very few historically significant pieces of memorabilia are available to collectors. Offered here is one such rare item: the green flower garland draped over former Triple Crown winner Secretariat while standing in the winner's circle after his victory at the Preakness Stakes in 1973. This garland, which was originally covered with hundreds of black-eyed Susan flowers, originates directly from Secretariat's owner, Mrs. Penny Chenery. It first appeared at auction in 2017 (realized $60,546), at which time a portion of the auction proceeds were donated to the nonprofit equine welfare organization R.A.C.E. Fund, which helps racehorses in need of retirement and rescue from slaughter. It has been consigned to this auction by the original purchaser in 2017. The garland (90 x 18 inches), which has been stripped of its flowers, save one, has been folded into a "V" shape (allows viewing of both the front and reverse) and is professionally mounted within a large shadowbox framed display measuring 41.5 x 49 inches. A Preakness ribbon and single Black-Eyed Susan remain affixed to the top of the garland. A descriptive plaque is affixed to the base of the frame. The garland remains in apparent Excellent condition and one can still see the many imprints of the former flowers that once adorned its entire surface.
In 1973 Secretariat became the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple Crown. While the feat itself is a remarkable achievement for any horse, Secretariat not only won the Triple Crown, he did so by recording record times, all of which still stand, in each of the three races: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. His win in the final leg of the Triple Crown, at the Belmont Stakes, was punctuated with an unheard of 31-length victory. Considered by most historians as the greatest race horse of all time, Secretariat retired after the 1973 racing season with a lifetime record of 16-3-1 and earnings of $1, 316, 808. Included among his many racing awards are the 1972 American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse, the 1973 American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse, the 1973 American Champion Male Turf Horse, and the 1972 and 1973 American Horse of the Year. In 1974 Secretariat was inducted into the U. S. Racing Hall of Fame. His stud career was equally impressive. Secretariat sired 653 foals, including many stakes winners, and his bloodline includes both American Pharoh, the 2015 Triple Crown winner, and California Chrome, horse racing's all-time leading earner. The substantial size/weight of this item requires that there will be an additional shipping charge for this lot. Opening Bid $10,000. Estimate (open).