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Affirmed Racing News
The Triple Crown is a series of three thoroughbred horse races for three-year-old horses, which take place in May and early June of each year. The Triple Crown of horse racing is considered one of the most difficult accomplishments in horse racing, and possibly all of sports championships. The grueling schedule requires a three year old horse to win the Kentucky Derby, then two weeks later win the Preakness Stakes, and then three weeks later win the Belmont Stakes. In all of racing history, only thirteen horses have achieved the Triple Crown.
By Vance Hanson
One of the rare horses in history to have raced three seasons or longer and earned divisional honors in each one, Affirmed’s fame grew in retirement and in the years following his death as he was the sport’s last Triple Crown winner for an unprecedented 37 years.
A Florida homebred campaigned by Lou and Patrice Wolfson’s Harbor View Farm, Affirmed was sired by Exclusive Native and trained by Laz Barrera. The first two-thirds of his career is intertwined with that of his great rival, Alydar, whom he met on the racetrack 10 times at ages two and three.
Affirmed faced Alydar six times as a juvenile, winning four. The rivalry resumed in the Kentucky Derby, with Affirmed scoring by 1 1/2 lengths over the favored Alydar. The margin between the two was a neck in the Preakness, and an even shorter neck in the Belmont Stakes after one of the most epic stretch duels in history. The rivalry came to an unsatisfactory end when Affirmed was disqualified and placed second behind Alydar in the Travers for interference.
Affirmed was named 1978 Horse of the Year despite late-season losses in the Marlboro Cup and Jockey Club Gold Cup, where he finished behind 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. He was voted Horse of the Year again at age four when he won six stakes, including the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Jockey Club Gold Cup, the latter at the expense of Hall of Fame legend Spectacular Bid.
Stakes Win History
|1st||Jockey Gold Club||I||1 1/2 Miles||Dirt||Oct 6, 1979|
|1st||Woodward||I||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt||Sep 22, 1979|
|1st||Hollywod Gold Cup||I||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt||Jun 24, 1979|
|1st||Californian||I||1 1/16 Miles||Dirt||May 20,1979|
|1st||Santa Anita Handicap||I||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt||Mar 4, 1979|
|1st||C H Strub||I||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt||Feb 4,, 1979|
|1st||Jim Dandy||III||1 1/8 Miles||Dirt||Aug 8,1978|
|1st||Belmont Stakes||I||1 1/2 Miles||Dirt||Jun 10,1978|
|1st||Preakness Stakes||I||1 3/16 Miles||Dirt||May 20, 1978|
|1st||Kentucky Derby||I||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt||May 6,1978|
|1st||Hollywood Derby||I||1 1/8 Miles||Dirt||April 16, 1978|
|1st||Santa Anita Derby||II||1 1/8 Miles||Dirt||Apr 2, 1978|
|1st||San Felipe||II||1 1/16 Miles||Dirt||Mar 18, 1978|
|1st||Laurel Futurity||I||1 1/16 Miles||Dirt||Oct 29, 1977|
|1st||Futurity||I||7 F||Dirt||Sep 10, 1977|
|1st||Hopeful||I||6 1/2 F||Dirt||Aug 27, 1977|
|1st||Sanford||II||6 F||Dirt||Aug 17, 1977|
|1st||Juvenile Championship||6 F||Dirt||Jul 23, 1977|
|1st||Youthful||5 1/2 F||Dirt||Jun 15, 1977|
*Morning line odds are an independent handicapper’s estimate and do not necessarily reflect the actual chance each horse will win