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Duel for the Crown

Duel for the Crown

Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing’s Greatest Rivalry

From the moment they first galloped head-to-head in Saratoga Springs, the two chestnut colts showed they were the stuff of racing legend. Alydar, all muscle with a fearsome closing kick, was already the popular favorite to win the Kentucky Derby. Affirmed, deceptively laid-back streamlined elegance, was powered forward by his steely determination not to settle for second place.

In the Sport of Kings, the Triple Crown is the most valued prize, requiring a horse to win not just one race, but three: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. And 1978 would not be just for the record books, but also one of the greatest dramas ever played out in the racing world.

There were names to conjure with, worthy of the Sport of Kings. The bloodline of Native Dancer. The teen wonderboy jockey Steve Cauthen. The once unbeatable Calumet Farm—the Damn Yankees of the racing world—now in eclipse and hoping for a comeback. The newcomer Harbor View Farm—owned by brash financier Louis Wolfson, who wouldn’t let even a conviction and a prison sentence for securities violations stand in the way of his dreams of glory. And the racetracks themselves: Belmont, Saratoga, Pimlico. And, of course, Churchill Downs.

It has been thirty-five years since Affirmed and Alydar fought for the Triple Crown, thirty-five years when no other horse has won it. Duel for the Crown brings this epic battle to life. Not just two magnificent Thoroughbreds but the colorful human personalities surrounding them, caught up in an ever-intensifying battle of will and wits that lasted until the photo finish of the final Triple Crown race . . . and Alydar and Affirmed leaped into the history books.
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  • Gallery Books | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476733203 | 
  • April 2014
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Read an Excerpt

RAISE A NATIVE—the sire of Alydar, the grandsire of Affirmed, and the most influential stud horse of his generation—came within a snip of being gelded before he could even get to the starting gate, let alone the breeding shed. That’s how close the story of his two greatest descendants came to ending before it could begin.

From the moment he was foaled early in 1961, Raise a Native was the kind of strapping specimen that Thoroughbred empires get... see more

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Posted by Abby

Courtesy of USA Today, try this name generator in time for the Kentucky Derby tomorrow! Sure, you might not be a racehorse, or even own one, but who knows what the future holds? You'll want to be ready with a good name. I'm Bourbon Eagle :).Which...

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