The undefeated 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew defeated 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed in an historic race that pitted two Triple Crown winners against each other. Those were the days!
September 16, 1978:
For the first time in history, two Triple Crown winners met in a race, the Marlboro Cup at Belmont Park. Seattle Slew, the 1977 Triple Crown winner, defeated Affirmed, the 1978 Triple Crown winner, by three lengths.
Whenever I see this photo of Seattle Slew, I'm impressed with his running style. In 1992, his son A.O. Indy would chug down the lane at Belmont Park with that same yeoman-like stride. as the forelegs came down and the hooves disappeared into the track cushion, they seemed to pull the head down too. But I think something much more subtle was going on, and these colts used their necks and heads as either another pulling body part or as a balance aid, like a gyroscope. The colt Lure ran that way too a few years after A.P. Indy and I think I saw a little bit of it in Rags to Riches, who is the daughter of A.P. Indy. How sad that the announcement of her broken ankle would come on the day of her grandfather's great triumph.
(Thanks to the NTRA and to Patrick Kerrigan of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance for reminding me of that amazing race! )