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Marlboro Cup Invitational Handicap

Discontinued Grade 1 race
Marlboro Cup Invitational Handicap
Location Belmont Park
Elmont, New York, United States
Inaugurated 1987
Race type Thoroughbred - Flat racing
Race information
Distance 1⅛ miles (9 furlongs)
Track Dirt, left-handed
Qualification Three-years-old & up
Weight Assigned

The Marlboro Cup Invitational Handicap was a Thoroughbred horse race first run in September 1973 at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. A Grade 1 race for horses 3 years old and up, it was raced over a distance of 1 1/8 miles on a dirt track. [1]

The race came into existence as a result of the huge popularity of Secretariat who in 1973 had become the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in twenty-five years. Such was the drawing power of Secretariat that CBS television readily agreed to broadcast the race nationally, a rare occurrence at the time for a non Triple Crown or traditional "classic" event (such as the Travers Stakes). Originally conceived as a match race with stable mate and 1972 Kentucky Derby winner Riva Ridge, it was changed to an invitational race that would bring together the top horses 3 years of age and older.

The inaugural race more than lived up to its expectations with Secretariat setting a new world record time for 1 1/8 miles on dirt while winning by three-and-a-half lengths. The race became a very important annual event and 1978 marked the first of only two times in racing history that two American Triple Crown winners met in a single race, with Seattle Slew, the 1977 champion, defeated the 1978 champion Affirmed by three lengths (the two met again in that year's edition of the Jockey Club Gold Cup; Seattle Slew lost by a bare nose to Exceller, while Affirmed finished up the track due to a slipped saddle). [2]

For many years it was part of Belmont Park's Fall Championship meet—in fact, the track created a Fall Championship Series consisting of the Marlboro Cup, the Woodward Stakes, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (not necessarily in that order). CBS and later NBC continued to carry the Marlboro into the 1980s.

The advent of the Breeders' Cup races in 1984 marked the beginning of the end for the Marlboro Cup. In 1987, the 15th edition of the race attracted just five horses and was picked up for broadcast on cable television only. [3]


Speed record:

  • 1:45.40 - Secretariat (1973) (new stakes, track, and world record)

Most wins:

  • No horse won this race more than once.

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:








1973 Secretariat 3 Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 1:45.40
1974 Big Spruce 5 Michael Hole Victor J. Nickerson Elmendorf Farm 1:46.60
1975 Wajima 3 Braulio Baeza Stephen A. DiMauro East-West Stable 2:00.00
1976 Forego 6 Bill Shoemaker Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr. Lazy F Ranch 2:00.00
1977 Proud Birdie 4 Jacinto Vasquez James W. Maloney Marablue Farm 2:00.80
1978 Seattle Slew 4 Angel Cordero, Jr. Douglas R. Peterson Karen & Mickey Taylor 1:45.80
1979 Spectacular Bid 3 Bill Shoemaker Bud Delp Hawksworth Farm 1:46.60
1980 Winter's Tale 4 Jeffrey Fell MacKenzie Miller Rokeby Stables 1:47.00
1981 Noble Nashua 3 Ruben Hernandez Jose A. Martin Flying Zee Stable 2:00.60
1982 Lemhi Gold 4 Jacinto Vasquez Laz Barrera Aaron U. Jones 2:01.00
1983 Highland Blade 5 Jacinto Vasquez David A. Whiteley Pen-Y-Bryn Farm 2:01.20
1984 Slew o'Gold 4 Angel Cordero, Jr. John O. Hertler Equusequity Stable 2:02.40
1985 Chief's Crown 3 Don MacBeth Roger Laurin Star Crown Stable 2:01.20
1986 Turkoman 4 Gary Stevens Gary Jones Saron Stable 2:00.00
1987 Java Gold 3 Pat Day MacKenzie Miller Rokeby Stables 2:01.00



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