Drinking in History at the Belmont Stakes

When Anne Scott woke up June 2, 1973, she had no idea her love for her father, horses and Mountain Valley Spring Water would collide. That day, her dad, former Mountain Valley New York President John G. Scott, got a call from his biggest client: the trainers of the legendary Secretariat. As so many thoroughbred racehorses have, Secretariat only drank Mountain Valley Spring Water. The horse had won the Kentucky Derby earlier that year as well as the Preakness. Now Secretariat and his team were in New York’s Belmont Park, where they hoped to make history. But first, they needed more Mountain Valley. The Scotts personally came to the rescue, loading their family station wagon with as many gallons as they could fit. Secretariat’s crew was so impressed with the Scotts’ service, they gave them tickets to sit in the Winner’s Circle and watch the upcoming race. A week later, Anne and her dad did just that, drinking in one of the most legendary horse races ever live and in person. These are her own words about that day. 

When I began Saturday, June 2, 1973, I had no idea that my love for my dad, horses, and Mountain Valley Water would align in a thrilling way for this 16-year-old. I was in our kitchen, getting breakfast, as I could hear my dad in his nearby tiny home office, on the phone. When I heard him say “Secretariat”, I moved to his doorway.

This was John G. Scott, President of Mountain Valley Water, and Secretariat was our greatest customer. He had won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and was looking to complete the Triple Crown at Belmont in one week. Like other top thoroughbreds through the years, Secretariat only drank Mountain Valley Water. Their national circuit would have otherwise introduced various types of water, possibly causing digestive issues. With Mountain Valley, Secretariat’s team was assured of pure, identical water wherever it was consumed. On this day, Dad received a call that Secretariat needed more water delivered to Belmont because there wasn’t enough to last until the scheduled Monday delivery.

Dad was on it! His initial plan was to find a member of his team to go to the warehouse on 11th Avenue in Manhattan, NY, load up the water, and deliver it to Belmont. But then I asked if we could do the delivery, Dad & me. He thought about it for a minute, from our home in Bronxville, NY, and decided it was a fun idea. At the warehouse, we filled our cleared-out station wagon with 5-gallon bottles, and drove to Belmont.

We were treated like royalty! We drove our car right to Secretariat’s stall. They brought us to Secretariat, who was nearby with several important members of his entourage. I believe we met the trainer, Lucien Laurin, and jockey, Ronnie Turcotte, among others. They were so impressed that the President of Mountain Valley himself, with his daughter, made the delivery! They let me pet Secretariat and brush his mane, an experience that I’ll never forget. He was majestic! They told us how important Mountain Valley Water was to them. I was surprised that Secretariat’s stall was so ordinary, thinking that he had earned a more decorated environment. They told me that a winning thoroughbred from the past was given comforts such as flower boxes, music, and more, and that horse never won another race. I was glad that Mountain Valley Water was a luxury they allowed.

Before we left, they showed their gratitude by giving Dad tickets for us to sit in some of the owner's seats next to the Winner's Circle at the upcoming Belmont Stakes!

On June 9th, 1973, my Dad, Mom and I were in our very special seats as Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown for the first time in 25 years. 

Thanks to Mountain Valley Water, my parents, seven siblings and I had incredible experiences, including delivering to John Lennon and enjoying tea in his kitchen with him, gifted concert tickets from Frank Sinatra and many others, personal deliveries to Popes visiting NY, and more. We worked in Dad’s office, helping to send out monthly bills with our grammar-school script on the envelopes, driving trucks, meeting wonderful distributors from coast-to-coast, traveling the international trips, and so much more. We were very fortunate to be a Mountain Valley Water family. My days with Dad and Secretariat are my top memories.

Anne Scott

#5 of John G. Scott’s 8 children

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