Secretariat Lives On: Spirit, Aries, and Grace

Secretariat is an American icon. Considered by many to be the greatest racehorse of all time, the records he set in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes are still holding today. The speed and stamina that he displayed during his historic 1973 Triple Crown triumph remain unrivaled. Secretariat was versatile, beautiful, and charming. His brilliance captured the hearts of race fans worldwide, where his legacy will likely live on for generations. His legacy also lives on through his descendants. Secretariat sired hundreds of foals which sired and produced thousands more. Pedigrees containing Secretariat are not unique, but since the last known stallion by Secretariat died in 2014, his grand get have become somewhat of a rarity. Money Management, Ariat’s Secret, and Coldwater Rose are three such rarities that are representing the versatility of their grandfather in western events.

Money Management, also known as “Spirit,” was foaled on April 13th, 1998 in Washington. He is out of Mini Merit, by Meritable. His sire, Phoenician, was a 1990 stallion by Secretariat. This gritty grandson of “Big Red” made 40 starts at tracks around the Pacific Northwest. He won races at Grants Pass and Tillamook Fair. His final race record was a respectable 4 wins, 5 seconds, and 3 thirds with over $10,000 in earnings.

Marissa and Spirit presenting sponsor flags at the St. Paul Rodeo.

After a racing career that spanned nearly 5 years, Spirit retired from racing in 2004. He bounced from home to home until about three years ago when he found Marissa Boggs. The 21-year-old gelding competes in gaming events and barrel racing. Marissa says that she has seen Spirit’s confidence blossom over the past few years. He is very intuitive and knows when he is carrying a beginner rider. It fills Marissa with joy to see him teach others. Marissa and Spirit also participate in the Rhinestone Cowgirls drill team and plan to present sponsor flags at the historic St. Paul Rodeo for the second time this year. If you are in Oregon this July, the rodeo may be worth attending just to catch a glimpse of this beautiful Secretariat grandson!

Ariat’s Secret, a handsome chestnut gelding also known as “Aries,” was foaled on March 1st, 1999. He is by stakes winner Al Sabin and out of Cup of Kindness, a daughter of Secretariat. He was bred by Double D Farm in Medina, Ohio and made just 2 starts as a 2-year-old at Thistledown. He was never better than 6th place and earned only $190 on the track. Aries did not inherit the competitiveness of his dam sire, so his connections decided to find him a new home.

Michelle and Aries competing in Dressage.

Aries was sold privately to Michelle Heinz’s family and he has been in their care ever since. Michelle says that he has an incredible work ethic and is extremely willing. The pair have done nearly everything together. His preferred discipline is Hunters, but he has also competed in Dressage and Western events. He went to a summer camp where Michelle was a supervisor for three years and taught numerous young children to canter and jump. The pair have participated in breed versatility demonstrations at HorseFest in Ohio where he was a fan favorite because of his famous heritage. Aries has won three Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) awards in Dressage. He has also shown in IEA and ISHA events. At local open shows, Michelle and Aries will compete in English classes as well as Western Pleasure, Horsemanship, and games such as Egg and Spoon. Her favorite accomplishment with Aries is placing 8th in the Hunter Derby at the New Vocations Charity Horse Show. Ariat’s Secret is now 20 years old, but still healthy and going strong. Michelle plans to show him this summer!

Coldwater Rose, affectionately known as “Gracie,” was foaled on April 30th, 1999 in North Carolina. She is out of Guarded Gal, a winning daughter of multiple stakes winner Advance Guard. Her sire, Romantico, is a stakes winning son of Secretariat. Gracie inherited the red coat and good looks of her grand sire, but was deemed unfit to race due to a limb abnormality. As a two-year-old, she was purchased from her breeder and trained for English riding. SammyJo Schaefer later acquired the mare and started training her for Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Gracie recently started competing full-time with SammyJo. The pair won the Level 3 Ladies California State Championship at the beginning of May. Sammy Jo says that Gracie absolutely loves having a job and craves competition. This gorgeous 20-year-old mare is proof that a horse with heart can overcome significant adversity and be successful. Although she never raced, Gracie fully embodies the legacy of her grandfather.

SammyJo and Gracie competing in Cowboy Mounted Shooting.

Whether they are on the track or in the arena, the descendants of the legendary Secretariat are great representatives of his character and courage. To own one of his descendants is to own a piece of horse racing’s greatest hero. Secretariat will live on forever in our hearts and in our beloved horses.

~ Katelin Bradley, June 2019