Who was Lady’s Secret?

Lady’s Secret, photo by Anthony M. Alonso

Lady’s Secret, was sired by Triple Crown Champion, Secretariat and was out of the multiple stakes winner mare, Great Lady M.  She was bred by Robert H. Spreen and was foaled April 8, 1982 on Lukas Farm in Oklahoma.

Lady’s Secret was a small gray horse, weighing no more than about 900 pounds.  But this daughter of the great Secretariat dominated the fillies she raced against, as well as being competitive against the males.  She soon earned the name “The Iron Lady,” and became the first female to win the Whitney Stakes since Gallorette in 1948.

Lady’s Secret won the 1986 Breeders’ Cup Distaff and was named the 1986 America Horse of the Year.  In 1992, she was inducted in the Racing Hall of Fame. “The Iron Lady” was campaigned by owners Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Klein (former owner of the San Diego Chargers), Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, and ridden by Hall of Fame jockeys Pat Day and Chris McCarron. She was a 11-time G1 winner with lifetime earnings of $3,021,325.

Most warming of all is the story of the latter years of her life.  In May of 2001, her then owners, John and Kim Glenney, moved Lady’s Secret and her companion, Superbe Dawn, from Kentucky to California, believing the milder winters would benefit her.  Lady’s Secret and Superbe Dawn had their own pasture next to a majestic mature oak tree.  This pasture is now known as The Lady’s Secret Pasture.  Lady’s Secret died suddenly on March 4, 2003 after foaling a healthy colt.  She was 21. Her best friend and companion, Superbe Dawn raised Lady’s Secret newborn colt as her own.

Years later, and soon after the farm was acquired by the current owner, The Lady’s Secret Memorial Garden was conceived as a tribute to the great race mare.  Many generous plant donations were received and work began on the garden adjacent to The Lady’s Secret pasture.  Unfortunately private funding was depleted before the Garden was able to be completed.  A group of volunteers, Friends of The Lady’s Secret Memorial Garden, was then formed to finish and maintain the garden.