“Sahadi tells the dramatic story of Affirmed and his young jockey . . . showing in detail how the ‘underdog’ Affirmed won the Triple Crown.” —New York Post (“Required Reading” pick)
In 1978, racing fans witnessed the culmination of an epic rivalry when a horse named Affirmed faced off against the celebrated Alydar and emerged victorious. In this long-overdue biography of Affirmed, veteran sportswriter Lou Sahadi captures the life and spirit of this indomitable horse who twice earned Horse of the Year honors and placed #12 on the Blood-Horse list of “Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century.”
Sahadi chronicles how the initially docile chestnut colt began his stellar rise in 1977. Entering the 1978 season, many experts speculated that Alydar, the latest prize product from the storied Calumet Farm, would prove himself the better horse. Yet under trainer Laz Barrera’s careful strategy and the eighteen-year-old reigning Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year jockey Stevie Cauthen, Affirmed bested his rival and mesmerized even the most casual of sports fans.
Drawing on interviews with Cauthen, some members of the Wolfson family, and many more, Sahadi delivers fascinating subplots, including that of jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., and owner Louis Wolfson, the Wall Street financier whose federal conviction led to the resignation of a Supreme Court justice.
Telling a story that transcended the Thoroughbred racing world, Affirmed finally gives this courageous horse his due.