Secretariat's Family 'Outraged' by Jason Kelce's Steroid Statements

Cooper Neill/Getty ImagesTriple Crown winner Secretariat’s family was “outraged” by Jason Kelce’s claims that the horse used steroids when it raced in the 1970s. Kate Tweedy, the daughter of Secretariat’s owner, Penny Tweedy Chenery, issued a statement to Horse Racing Nation on Friday, May 10, vehemently denying that the horse used performance-enhancing drugs during its career and called out Kelce’s “unfair” comments speculating otherwise. “We, the family of Penny Chenery, strongly protest the grossly inaccurate speculation recently posted by Jason Kelce about Secretariat racing while being ‘juiced.’ Kelce later admitted that he knows nothing about Secretariat and bases his opinions entirely on the fact that Secretariat belonged to an era when drug use in athletes was rampant,” the statement read, in part. “The fact is Secretariat was never given performance enhancing drugs.” The statement continued, “Indeed, both our mother Penny Chenery, who managed Secretariat, and our grandfather C

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Secretariat's Family 'Outraged' by Jason Kelce's Steroid Statements
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Triple Crown winner Secretariat’s family was “outraged” by Jason Kelce’s claims that the horse used steroids when it raced in the 1970s.

Kate Tweedy, the daughter of Secretariat’s owner, Penny Tweedy Chenery, issued a statement to Horse Racing Nation on Friday, May 10, vehemently denying that the horse used performance-enhancing drugs during its career and called out Kelce’s “unfair” comments speculating otherwise.

“We, the family of Penny Chenery, strongly protest the grossly inaccurate speculation recently posted by Jason Kelce about Secretariat racing while being ‘juiced.’ Kelce later admitted that he knows nothing about Secretariat and bases his opinions entirely on the fact that Secretariat belonged to an era when drug use in athletes was rampant,” the statement read, in part. “The fact is Secretariat was never given performance enhancing drugs.”

The statement continued, “Indeed, both our mother Penny Chenery, who managed Secretariat, and our grandfather Christopher Chenery, who bred him, were morally committed to the rule that horses should only be given healthy feed, water and such medical treatment as is required to maintain health. It was a well-known rule among our trainers and handlers. … As a pro athlete, Kelce has a national platform, which places on him the responsibility not to assert facts he has no information about.”

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Kelce, 36, initially said, “Secretariat was juiced to the gills,” during a Wednesday, May 8, episode of his and brother Travis Kelce’s “New Heights” podcast. He further explained his presumptions via X, while noting he didn’t know whether the 1973 winner “used steroids or not.”

“The fact this horse had unparalleled muscular stature and died with an enlarged heart and raced at a time when steroids were extremely prevalent without adequate testing, raises flags in my book,” Jason wrote, in part, on Thursday, May 9.

He added, “If Secretariat was indeed a natural horse, that would make his accomplishments all the more impressive. I just find it highly unlikely given the circumstances of where the sport was at that time, how dominant the horse was in the era and the records it still holds to this day. “

After his statements caused a stir among the racehorse’s fan base, Jason apologized hours later.

“I’m sorry everyone, wasn’t trying to get people riled up, I really thought it was just known that in the ‘70s steroid use was rampant,” he wrote via X on Thursday. “I’m not trying to take away from Secretariat’s or anyone from that era’s legacy. You’re right, without proof, it is unfair to assume these things publicly, I apologize.”

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Tweedy pointed out in her statement that Secretariat had a large heart but said it was strictly a “genetic gift.” (Secretariat was put down in 1989 after suffering from the painful hoof condition laminitis.)

She continued, “It was the size of his heart — at 22 pounds, over twice the size of the average equine heart. It was not chemically or pathologically enlarged, just a genetic gift of nature that enabled him to run farther and faster than any horse in the last century.”

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