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HRN Original Blog:
This Date in History

Affirmed, Alydar, Ruffian, Foolish Pleasure - July 6th

In the second of their 10 meetings, Alydar defeated Affirmed to win the Great
American Stakes at Belmont Park. This was the first of Alydar's three victories
over Affirmed. ~1977
 
THE Match Race took place at Belmont Park between Locust Hill Farm's undefeated super filly, Ruffian, and the Kentucky Derby winner, Foolish Pleasure.  Secretariat had renewed the public's interest in Thoroughbred racing a couple years earlier, so the sport was enjoying an increase in popularity at the time.  Therefore, it's no surprise there was a large crowd trackside, and many more watching on tv.  They all watched in stunned silence as tragedy unfolded.  Racing on the lead, Ruffian sustained a severe leg injury shortly after the start and was pulled up by her jockey, Jacinto Vasquez.  She had to be humanely put down the following day after an unsuccessful attempt to repair the damage to leg.  She was buried in the infield at Belmont Park.  Not surprisingly, there have been no match races involving champions since the Foolish Pleasure-Ruffian event. ~1975

 

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Older Comments about Affirmed, Alydar, Ruffian, Foolish Pleasure - July 6th...

RIP Ruffian. You are unforgettable.
Today is a sad day in racing history.