On 23 March 1975 a beautiful chestnut colt was born on Calumet Farm. He was sired by Raise A Native and his dam was Sweet Tooth by On-And-On. He was named Alydar and from the start his owners had high hopes for him. Unfortunately for Alydar, 1975 was the same year that racing great Affirmed was born. In the years to come, Alydar would finish a close second to Affirmed in all three races of the Triple Crown but never come first. Nevertheless, no horse has ever repeated the feat and this is a testament to Alydar’s greatness as a racehorse.
Before long Alydar was sent for training with John Veitch during which time he was ridden by jockey Jorge Velasquez. He showed promise of greatness right from the start and before long the decision was made to enter him in the 1978 Triple Crown. As already stated, Alydar never won a single leg of the race, but his duel against Affirmed in the third and final leg of the series, the Belmont Stakes, went down in history as being one of the most exciting of all time. During the race both horses ran side by side down the final stretch until Affirmed just managed to claim the win by a head and thus claim the Triple Crown. In his own right, Alydar was an exceptional race horse. Of the 26 races he ran during the course of his career, he won fourteen, finished second nine times and he placed third once. What is more, he did actually beat Affirmed in three of the ten races he ran against him. His total winnings amounted to $957,195.
After his racing career ended, Alydar was sent to stud where he excelled as a breeding stallion. His offspring include Alysheba, Easy Goer, Turkoman, Strike the Gold, Althea, Miss Oceana and Criminal Type. Unfortunately, his life was cut short in 1990 when Alydar shattered his right hind leg in his stall. Despite attempts to repair the injury, his leg broke again and the decision was made to euthanize him. Alydar was named the Leading Sire in North America in 1990 and is currently ranked 27 on the Top 100 US Racehorses of the 20th Century. He was also inducted into the US Racing Hall of Fame in 1989 and is still considered by many to be a legendary great made of all the right stuff.