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Considered by many to be the greatest racehorse of all time, Secretariat is best remembered for his record-setting performances in the 1973 Triple Crown. In the early days of his juvenile season, Meadow Stable exercise rider Jim Gaffney recognized the potential greatness in the strapping son of Bold Ruler, as documented by authors William Nack and Ray Woolfe, and began acquiring the shoes and nails of Secretariat from his maiden race forward. His foresight proved correct in that original, authenticated artifacts associated with the super horse remain today among the most coveted and collectible pieces of sports memorabilia.This race-worn nail comes from the shoes the chestnut colt wore in both his initial start and his historic maiden win 11 days later on July 15, 1972, at Aqueduct Race Course. The day marked the birth of a racing legend when Secretariat, with apprentice jockey Paul Feliciano aboard, drew off to win the six-furlong race convincingly in the final time of 1:10 3/5. It was the first of many memorable successes in a extraordinary career that is best remembered for Secretariat's record-breaking Kentucky Derby and Preakness performances followed by his 31-length win for the ages in the Belmont Stakes.Gaffney obtained this nail three days after Secretariat's maiden win, when he was re-shod by regular farrier George Collins, and it was then individually documented and officially catalogued. The nail is mounted within an ornate blue and black acrylic display and hand-signed on its base representing one of Gaffney's earliest and most ambitious efforts to provide the historic nail its due respect and presentation. The total size of the display measures 7” x 6” x 4” and has been kept in protected storage and in the continuous possession of Gaffney and the Secretariat Archives since its original acquisition more than 40 years ago.
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Summer/August 2006 Catalog