The line always elicits laughs. Today is no different. Forty-five years after Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths, he is unequaled in equine annals, but many who bore witness are now gone. Penny Chenery, his owner, died at 95 last year. Lucien Laurin, the trainer, was 88 when he died from complications following hip surgery in 2000. The groom, Ed Sweat, is deceased, too, having lost his battle to leukemia at 59 in 1998. He was almost penniless by then. The most recent connection to depart was writer William Nack, the horse’s chief chronicler, who died in April. Jockey Ron Turcotte carries the torch from a wheelchair since being tossed by a horse and paralyzed from the waist down in 1978. Rodeo reminds visitors that death comes to all. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, certainly not racehorses.