We have all watched the movie and or heard about the horse that won the Triple Crown in 1973. In our office at Hotel AG, I have an original picture taken at the finish line of the Belmont Stakes signed by the jockey Ron Turcotte. The picture shows the 31 length (length of a horse) winning margin at the Belmont Stakes, the race that won Secretariat the Triple Crown in 1973. That same year, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes; all 3 records still stand today. The time and margin of victory in the Belmont Stakes has never even been approached by another horse. Secretariat was named the 35th best athlete of the 20th century, and I believe the only animal to ever be so named. He was simply the best race horse of all time.
Why am I writing about a horse? Well, as Paul Harvey used to say, this is the rest of the story. It’s the story about the horse, its owner, its trainer and its jockey that you can see parallels to your own life.
See, the horse was owned by an owner (Penny Chenery) who had no experience in horse racing and was a woman and very much unwelcomed by the establishment. The trainer (Lucien Laurin) had never trained a horse that won any triple crown events, and he was considered by many, a loser. The jockey (Ron Turcotte) was unproven as a competitor and shunned by the racing establishment. Secretariat was never supposed to be fast and or be able to run long distances because of his bloodline; in short, because of who his parents were. There was no reason to expect any success from this team because they didn’t come from the right class of folks, grow up in the right places, and come from the right family. Sound familiar?
If you look at the greatest inventors, the greatest leaders, and the great examples, they mostly came from backgrounds and environments that should have limited their success and ensured they would only achieve the average, yet they did succeed. I believe the greatest ability is simply, availability. KT