Horse > Alydar
The career of Alydar could have gone a lot differently had he just been born in a different year. There’s no doubt that this chestnut colt’s greatest claim to fame is that he finished second in all of the 1978 Triple Crown races to Affirmed.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Alydar lost the 1978 Kentucky Derby by just a length and a half. In the Preakness Stakes he lost by a neck, and then lost by a head in the Belmont Stakes. It was that close between Alydar and Affirmed.
Despite suffering narrow defeat in the Triple Crown races, Alydar won many prestigious races, including the 1978 Blue Grass Stakes, Florida Derby, Arlington Classic, and Whitney Handicap. It’s important to note that Alydar defeated Affirmed in the 1977 Champagne Stakes and the 1977 Great American Stakes during their amazing rivalry, and he was also awarded the 1978 Travers Stakes when Affirmed was disqualified for cutting him off entering the far turn. Overall, Alydar was 14-9-1 in 26 starts and earned $957,195; the score in his chief rivalry was Affirmed 7, Alydar 3.
Alydar, who was retired to stud at Calumet Farm, had the last laugh over Affirmed in their stallion careers. Though Affirmed was a good sire, Alydar became an outstanding one. His offspring include Easy Goer, Alysheba, Turkoman, Strike the Gold, Criminal Type and many other graded stakes champions and winners.
Alydar was inducted in to the Hall of Fame in 1989, just one year before his untimely death.