Affirmed

The Last Triple Crown Winner

Lou Sahadi; Foreword by Steve Cauthen

Thomas Dunne Books

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In 1978, racing fans witnessed a rivalry for the ages when a horse hailing from Harbor View Farm named Affirmed and an eighteen-year-old jockey dubbed “Stevie Wonder” faced off against the celebrated Alydar and emerged victorious in each leg of the Triple Crown---by a combined margin of less than two lengths. 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.”
     The descendent of Man o’ War and War Admiral, Affirmed possessed an unrivaled combination of speed and heart. Sahadi chronicles how the initially docile chestnut colt began his stellar rise in 1977, winning seven times and placing twice in nine races. Entering the 1978 season, many experts speculated that Alydar, the latest prize product from the storied Calumet Farm, would prove himself the better horse on longer distances, as he had done in the Champagne Stakes the previous October. Trainer Laz Barrera opted to run Affirmed in three races in California—away from Alydar—in the lead-up to the Kentucky Derby, a strategy that paid off as Affirmed, under reigning Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year jockey Stevie Cauthen, bested his rival in three races that fascinated even the most casual of sports fans.
     Affirmed also delivers fascinating subplots including that of jockey Louis Pincay Jr., who took over for Cauthen in the winter of 1979 and rode Affirmed to victory in the horse’s final seven races; and owner Louis Wolfson, the Wall Street financier who found redemption in Harbor View Farm with Affirmed after Wolfson served one year in a federal prison, his conviction having led to the resignation of Supreme Court justice Abe Fortas.
     Sahadi draws on interviews with Cauthen, some members of the Wolfson family, and many more to tell the story of how Affirmed emerged from one of the most exciting showdowns in sports history to capture imaginations across America. Telling a story that transcended the Thoroughbred racing world, Affirmed finally gives this courageous horse his due.

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Book Excerpts

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ONE
 
How It All Began
 
In the opulent kingdom of horse racing, nothing attracts public interest more than an exciting rivalry. It would be difficult for racing pundits to think of the 1977 and 1978 seasons without imagining what those years would have contained without the Affirmed-Alydar duels. For two pulsating campaigns they defined racing, as their spirited rivalry became a part of racing legend. It would make everyone forget whatever happened on a racetrack before and with the ride of Paul Revere would go right into the history books: Alydar from the laudatory Calumet

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Reviews

Praise for Affirmed

"Sahadi has successfully covered horse racing and has done justice to Affirmed and Alydar, as well as their human connections and many fans, forever connected in history as the combatants of the greatest rivalry ever seen on the American turf. Sahadi specializes in writing about sports history and keeping the reader's interest from cover to cover, and he clearly succeeds here, aided by an already exciting story that just needed to be told by such a master of his craft. This book is highly recommended for all fans of racing history, as well as to fans of American sports history, as the 1970's truly were the golden age of horse racing."—Horse-Races.net

"There is no greater atmosphere than the Triple Crown and Sahadi captures the spirit of it. A must read for everyone."—Hank Goldberg, ESPN reporter

"One of the greatest racing rivalries of all time deserves an equally world-class storyteller to make it come alive so many years later. Mr. Sahadi gets you so close to the action, you can almost smell the hay in the stalls of these two equine superstars."—Leonard Shapiro, columnist, The Washington Post

"Brings to life a time in racing that no longer exists."—Ron Borges, columnist, Boston Herald

"No question, Affirmed-Alydar is racing’s greatest rivalry. Lou Sahadi is a masterful storyteller who vividly brings it back to life…The book is a winner."—Sal Marchiano, former sports anchor

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About the Author

Lou Sahadi; Foreword by Steve Cauthen

LOU SAHADI is the author of several classic sports books, including Johnny Unitas: America’s Quarterback, Say Hey: The Autobiography of Willie Mays, The Winning Edge, the autobiography of Don Shula, and They're Playing My Game, the autobiography of Hank Stram.

Lou Sahadi

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Available Formats and Book Details

Affirmed
The Last Triple Crown Winner
Lou Sahadi; Foreword by Steve Cauthen

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
March 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429967068
ISBN10: 1429967064
304 pages
$9.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
March 2011
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312628086
ISBN10: 0312628080
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 304 pages, 8-page black-and-white photograph insert
$24.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books
April 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250007339
ISBN10: 125000733X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages, Includes one 8-page b&w photo insert
$15.99
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