Affirmed

This spectacular racehorse was a living legend who dominated the track and crept into the hearts of many. He was foaled on 21 February 1975 to the mare Won’t Tell You and sired by Exclusive Native, and owned by Louis and Patrice Wolfson. Affirmed would ride under the colors of Harbor View Farm and be trained by Laz Barrera. His famous rivalry with Alydar would begin even before they had met, as rumors of the new addition to the Calumet family sparked rumors and excitement surrounding these two horses.

After making his debut as a two-year old, Affirmed was set to run in
the
Youthful Stakes, with a surprise entry of Alydar, who had not been
raced
yet. Alydar came in fifth, with Affirmed winning the race. At the Great
American Stakes, Affirmed and Alydar were reunited, and this time
Alydar
took the winning position. Tension between the supporters and the
horses
started to grow. Everyone wanted to know who was the better horse, but
stories started to settle down as the two horses parted ways. Affirmed
was
sent to run in the Hollywood Juvenile Stakes in the west, and Alydar
went
east to run in the Tremont Stakes. Both horses won their respective
races.
Affirmed moved back east and continued on his winning streak, while
Alydar
continued on his. Affirmed had started to mature and become more
confident,
and meeting up with his rival, Alydar, was inevitable. The meeting of
the
two horses was to be at the Hopeful Stakes. The tension started to
mount
once again, and the spectators were all in favor of Alydar winning the
race.
But on this race, Affirmed had more determination, and gathered up all
his
courage and heart to win the race and beat Alydar. The Futurity Stakes
that
was held two weeks after the Hopeful Stakes saw Affirmed and Alydar
head to
head once again. Stride for stride the two horses stayed together, but
Affirmed took the win. And so the rivalry between the two continued,
until
they ended the year with Affirmed beating Alydar at four races, and
Alydar
beating Affirmed twice.

In 1978, Affirmed secured the Triple Crown by winning the Belmont
Stakes,
the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, only narrowly taking the
win
from Alydar. He also won the Hollywood and the Santa Anita Derbies. The
Belmont Stakes race was the most nail biting in history, as the two
horses
came so close together that the jockeys had to change their crops to
different hands. The race was that close. The rivalry between Alydar
and
Affirmed would go down in history, and on the last race they faced each
other, led to disappointment. In 1978, at the Travers Stakes, Laffit
Pincay,
substituted for Affirmative’s regular jockey, Cauthen. Pincay cut
Alydar off
and forced Alydar to check. Affirmed did win, but the actions of the
jockey
led to the disqualification of Affirmed.

Affirmed would later meet up with Alydar at the Calumet Farm, both
in
stud. Affirmed sired many race winners, but none like himself. He might
have
been a relatively small horse, but he had the heart, the determination and the
courage.
In 2001, Affirmed contracted laminitis, a fatal hoof disease, and was
euthanized. He was given the highest honor that a racehorse can
receive, he
was buried whole, wearing the colors of his original owners, and
leaving the
world with precious memories and the reminder of his spectacular life,
through his children. He was inducted into the National Museum of
Racing and
Hall of Fame
.