Kentucky Horse Park?s International Museum of the Horse Introduces New Permanent Exhibition
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, jockeys Steve Cauthen and Laffit 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.
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.