The day Secret shocked the Park

Observer staff reporter

Friday, September 21, 2018

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It's a story that needs to be told again and again. It's about how Secret (Secretariat – Baronova) won the 1985 Benson Hedges Gold Cup — now known as the Cal's Ketchup Gold Cup.

The American-bred Secret, came into the Gold Cup without a run under his girth in Jamaica and was a completely unknown factor as many didn't have a clue about his capabilities except for one man — Secret's trainer Vincent Edwards.

Secret then won the seven-furlong (1,400m) event by all of 15 lengths leaving most on the day at the Park in complete shock. Owned by Wonderland Syndicate and ridden by Karl Brown, Secret won in a time of 1:26.3.

“I brought him [ Secret] in from America about seven weeks before the Gold Cup but I started to groom him at Plumb Point (Palisasdoes Airport) where he was quarantined. I had a top-class groom looking after him.

“He was put in the A-2 Class at the time but I had him as an A-Class horse and he entered the Gold Cup with 104 lb with Karl Brown in the saddle. He won by about 15 lengths and the next start he got top weight going a mile and he broke the track record but we never raced him anymore. We sent him to the farm to be a stallion,” Edwards revealed.

Edwards said that the Gold Cup was a specific race that he along with the late Ren Gonzalves, his mentor, had planned for many years.

“We planned for this race. For many years, Gonzalves and I were trying to win the Gold Cup and couldn't accomplish that. The Gold Cup was the only thing that was not in our record cabinet.

“I deliberately bought this horse at a sale in New York and brought him down specifically for the Gold Cup and won.

“I sent him six furlongs one morning at exercise and he came home in 1:09.0, and so I said there is no way anybody can beat him in Jamaica,” said Edwards.

Winning the Gold Cup was the highlight of his career.

“Great feeling, it was a great feeling winning the Gold Cup. That was where my excitement came because that race, the Gold Cup, was the only race Ren [Gonzalves) and I never won. We won the Derby, Guineas, every one of them. So, the Gold Cup for me was really my glorification as a trainer,” a still excited Edwards said.

The Racing Year 1985 noted that: “The race was run in heavy underfoot conditions, otherwise Secret would have broken the track record.”

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