Kentucky Horse Park
TRIPLE CROWN WINNER AFFIRMED EXHIBITION OPENS

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 24, 2007  
Contact Information:  Cindy Rullman, 859-259-4209 ext 209  


LEXINGTON, KY  (May 25, 2007) The Kentucky Horse Park’s International Museum of the Horse will unveil a major new exhibition featuring the great Triple Crown winner, Affirmed, on June 6.  The exhibition was made possible through the generous loan of Affirmed’s racing trophies and memorabilia from the horse’s owners, Louis and Patrice Wolfson. 

 

In 1978, Affirmed became the third horse of the decade, and the last horse to win the elusive Triple Crown.  His duels with Calumet Farm’s Alydar stand as perhaps the greatest rivalry in the history of American racing.

 

Affirmed was undoubtedly a horse with exceptional talent and heart, but becoming a champion also requires the unfailing dedication of a special team, and Affirmed had such a team at every step of his remarkable career.  The Affirmed team – owners Louis and Patrice Wolfson, trainer Laz Barrera, jockies Steve Cauthen and Laffite Pincay, Jr., groom Juan Alaniz and exercise rider Tutu Ithier – helped write an indelible chapter in the history of Thoroughbred racing. Together with this incredibly talented horse, they experienced something truly exceptional, and to their credit they had the sense to realize what a rare gift they had been given.

 

The exhibition includes an interactive audio element featuring  interviews  with the Affirmed team and a specially created video highlighting Affirmed’s march to the Triple Crown.  It also features his entire racing trophy collection including his Triple Crown trophies, his racing silks, blanket, halter, numerous photos, and jewelry belonging to Mrs Wolfson custom-made in celebration of Affirmed’s wins.

 

Bred, owned and raced by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Wolfson's Harbor View Farm, Affirmed won 14 grade I victories during his career.  He was voted a champion at two, three, and four, and was named Horse of the Year in 1978 and 1979.  He also established the record for annual earnings and became the first $2-million money-earner in the history of Thoroughbred racing. 

 

Trained by Laz Barrera, at two Affirmed finished ahead of his arch-rival Alydar in four of their six meetings, winning the Youthful, Hopeful, Belmont Futurity, and Laurel Futurity.  At three, Affirmed won eight consecutive races including the Triple Crown.  With Steve Cauthen up, Affirmed beat Alydar by one-and-a-half lengths in the Kentucky Derby, by a neck in the Preakness, and by a head in the Belmont.  At four, Affirmed, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey, Laffit Pincay, Jr, concluded his great career by winning his last seven races, culminating with a scintillating victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup over Champion Three-Year-Old Colt Spectacular Bid and Belmont winner Coastal.  He said of Affirmed, “If you had to pick the five greatest horses in history, Affirmed would be right there with them.”

 

At stud, Affirmed sired 12 champions before his death in 2001.  Notable offspring included two-time Champion Turf Horse, Flawlessly, Canadian Horse of the Year, Peteski (buried at the park), Canadian champions Charlie Barley and One From Heaven, and the Irish champion Zoman.

 

The Affirmed exhibition is included with park admission.

 

For more information, contact Bill Cooke at 859-259-4231 or bill.cooke@ky.gov.

 

Park Hours and Rates: From March 15-October 31, the park is open seven days a week.  Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for children 7-12.  Children six and under are always admitted free of charge.  Admission includes the International Museum of the Horse – in Association with the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Saddlebred Museum.

 

Editor’s Note:  High-res photos from the exhibition are available for use with this release in your publication by emailing crullman@kyhorsepark.com.

 

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The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse.  The park is an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet that hosted nearly 900,000 visitors and campers, as well as 15,000 competition horses in more than 100 special events and horse shows in 2006.  The park is home to the National Horse Center which comprises more than 30 national and regional equine organizations.   Located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is The place to get close to horses.   Open daily March 15 to October 31, and Wednesday through Sunday, November 1 to March 14.