Secretariat Triple Crown celebration at Belmont subdued by death and air quality

Outrider Ruiz Gonzalez wrangles a runaway horse at full gallop on a training track during morning workouts ahead of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Friday, June 9, 2023, at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

This was supposed to be the year thoroughbred racing celebrated the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s magnificent Triple Crown triumph as the current crop of 3-year-olds finished their run on center stage.