Yeah, Secretariat was breathtaking to watch (and I am old enough that I remember very well watching him live), big heart or not. But ….
Poor Sham!!! If there ever were a horse that deserved better luck, it was Sham, who finished second to Secretariat in the Derby and Preakness and was the only horse to run with the big red phenom in the Belmonst — and run quite nobly — until, finally, dispirited, Sham faded to 5th down the stretch. Sham was a great horse that would have contended for the Triple Crown in almost any other year. And yet, unlike Alydar, the brilliant tthree-time foil for Affirmed, Sham doesn’t even get the dignity of being talked about in glowing terms every time his three-year-old season is mentioned. Alydar, this day, is thought of as one of the greatest horses ever, even without winning a Triple Crown race; poor Sham is thought of as just a sham, not even a shame but just a poseur who played patsy for Secretariat… if, that is, Sham is ever thought of at all. Well, here’s a toast to Sham, who gave Secretariat a real run for the money despite presumably having a heart barely one-third the size of the greatest racer of all.