Penny Chenery, owner of Triple Crown champ Secretariat, dies

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP/WKYT) - Penny Chenery, who bred and raced 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat as well as realizing her disabled father's dream to win the Kentucky Derby in 1972 with Riva Ridge, has died. She was 95.

Courtesy: Associated Press

Chenery died Saturday in her Boulder, Colorado, home following complications from a stroke, according to her children. They announced her death Sunday through Leonard Lusky, her longtime friend and business partner.

In 1973, Secretariat captured the imagination of racing fans worldwide when he became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years, sweeping the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. He won the last leg by a whopping 31 lengths.

The previous year, Riva Ridge won the Derby and Belmont Stakes.

Both colts were inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Ed Bowen, a racing historian, remembers Chenery fondly.

"I've always felt pretty conscious of being grateful to have known her and grateful that she lived as long as she did, but I will admit to thinking gosh the last time I saw her she seemed so young. There is a part of me that's stunned to have learned today that she passed away," he said.

Lexington's Keeneland racetrack issued a statement on the passing of Penny Chenery:

Keeneland joins the Thoroughbred community worldwide in mourning the passing of Penny Chenery. Mrs. Chenery exemplified the very best of our sport, serving as one of its most beloved and passionate ambassadors. She was a generous owner, tirelessly sharing the legacy of her great Triple Crown winner, Secretariat, with generations of fans that extended far beyond racing. Keeneland is honored to have played a role in the movie Secretariat, and to remember her 1972 Blue Grass Stakes winner Riva Ridge. We are thankful for her extraordinary contributions to racing, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends.

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