Affirmed – 1978 Triple Crown Winner
The eleventh winner of the U.S. Triple Crown, Affirmed, was born on February 21, 1975. He was the great-great-grandson of Triple Crown Winner War Admiral. He was sired by Exclusive Native and his dam was Won’t Tell You.
As a two year old he won seven out of nine starts, and was named the 1977 American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt.
In the 1978 Kentucky Derby he was second choice. But, he came through and won by 1 ½ lengths. In the Preakness Stakes he won by a neck. Then he won narrowly won the Belmont Stakes by a nose. This made him the eleventh winner of the U.S. Triple Crown.
In late August he returned to racing, with a close win in the Jim Dandy Stakes. Then he went up against 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew for the first time, he placed third behind Seattle Slew and Exceller in the Marlboro Cup Invitational Handicap. As a three year old he had won eight out of eleven starts and was named Horse of the Year. Also he was named the American Champion Three Year Old Horse.
In 1979, as a four year old, he started the season with a third place in the Malibu Stakes and a second in the San Fernando Stakes. He had a five race losing sequence prior to starting in the Charles H Strub Stakes. He won the Strub Stakes, and then easily won the Santa Anita Handicap. After that he went to Hollywood Park where he won the Californian Stakes. Then he won the Hollywood Gold Cup. He then won the Woodward Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He was named Horse of the Year and American Champion Older Male Horse of 1979.
As a stud he sired over 80 stakes winners. In 2001 he was euthanized after falling ill with laminitis. As the ultimate honor for a racehorse he was buried whole, at Jonabell Farm.
In his career he earned $2,393,818. His record was 29 starts: 22 wins, 5 seconds, and one third. In 1980 he was elected to the United States Racing Hall of Fame. And he was ranked #12 on the Blood-Horse magazines ranking of the top 100 thoroughbred racehorses of the 20th century.