Affirmed Career - by Patrice Wolfson

Affirmed was both the focal point and cement that would bind my husband�s and my wonderful 35-year relationship. From the outset of our marriage in Miami in 1972, we dearly enjoyed driving up to spend time at Harbor View Farm near Ocala. It was there, in 1975, that we first noticed a flashy little chestnut colt that loved to show his heels to his contemporaries.

We watched, as time went by, how the colt became the leader of the pack, rough-housing with his playmates, yet coming over to the fence were we stood to gently nuzzle his admiring owners. Despite our own personal, individual good fortune previously, nothing could have prepared us for the Affirmed years!

Harbor View Farm exploded on the racing scene not long after my late husband, Lou, first entered racing by buying a handful of modest horses in 1958. Raise a Native, purchased at the 1962 Saratoga yearling sale for $39,000, went undefeated in 1963 and was named 2-year-old co-champion male despite an injury that curtailed his career after four scintilating starts and triumphs. Three years earlier, I had raced my own champion, Hail to Reason, voted 2-year-old king in 1960. To me, �Hail� was the best 2-year-old ever, but my dad told me in no uncertain terms that Raise a Native was superior, and �the best 2-year-old I have ever seen.� How ironic that years later Lou would become my husband, and the prolific Raise a Native would sire Exclusive Native, and be grandsire of Affirmed.

As Laz Barrera prepared Affirmed for his first start in a maiden special weight at Belmont May 24, 1977, he thought the rather slight, willowy, somewhat skinny colt most likely would be a quick and agile sprinter. The effortless 4 1/2-length victory excited us and gave the usually conservative Hall of Fame trainer a new perspective. Laz was so impressed that he ran Affirmed back in the Youthful Stakes just three weeks later. This time Affirmed demonstrated the attributes that would go on to define his future greatness: grit and determination. He battled to a hard-earned neck decision over his more seasoned foes, and also left Calumet Farm�s heralded newcomer Alydar in his wake. Seven subsequent starts brought his championship 2-year-old season to a close with a record of seven wins and two seconds, as well as a 4-2 record against Alydar, whose own future greatness would not be diminished by playing second fiddle to Affirmed, but rather serve to enhance our pride and joy.

Racing fans throughout the country eagerly awaited the continuation of the Affirmed/Alydar rivalry. (Watch video of the Affirmed/Alydar rivalry here.) The newly turned 3-year-olds� paths diverged, as Laz took Affirmed to California while John Veitch wintered Alydar in Florida. Both colts totally dominated the opposition before they met again in the Kentucky Derby. Affirmed had filled out considerably, and we rationalized that the days missed in training due to an unusually wet winter in California may well have been a blessing in disguise. He had grown. He carried good flesh and reminded me of a young boy approaching adulthood. Then, we saw Alydar, even more robust and inpressive than the 2-year-old version that exuded power, already a mature man.

The Derby turned out to be the easiest time Affirmed would have against Alydar throughout their 10-race rivalry, save the Calumet star�s early loss in the Youthful. Both colts seemed to approach leg two, the Preakness, in splendid form; and only a neck separated them at the wire. The Belmont, three weeks hence, was a different story. John Veitch raved about Alydar�s resplendent condition. In an effort to reverse what must have been becoming a monotonous result, he made an equipment change, removing Alydar�s blinkers. Laz pretty much maintained the status quo and did not do much, since the rigors of the Derby and Preakness seemed to be taking their toll on Affirmed. The colt looked noticeably lighter to me, and I must have driven both trainer and husband crazy with my constant inquiries and obvious concern. Laz assured me Affirmed would be strong enough for the grueling final jewel. Lou was quoted as saying, �Affirmed, Affirmed, Affirmed�that�s all she�s ever talking about. I�ll be so glad when this Triple Crown is over.�

The running of �The Race of the Century� remains surreal in my mind. Yet, I am able to recall virtually every detail: from Affirmed�s cool, calm demeanor in the paddock, to Laz imparting last-minute words of wisdom and encouragement to his jock, to Lou�s being typically calm (outwardly anyway, though I know his heart had to be racing like mine), even to Stevie�s undoing Affirmed�s braided mane on the way to the post, and then to the heart-stopping final seven furlongs when the four warriors hooked up�Velasquez and Alydar, Cauthen and Affirmed�inseparable until that last-second thrust when Stevie switched his whip and hit Affirmed left-handed for the first time ever, and our pride and joy surged to the wire: the winner of the Triple Crown!

Where has the time gone?

I have great difficulty believing 30 years have passed by so swiftly. Just before the turn of this new century, my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer�s disease. So many of the things we did and held in common were now mine alone. I especially remember the wonderful occasion in 2004, when Flawlessly, Affirmed�s two-time Eclipse Award-winning daughter, was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs. How I wished Lou, who was ailing, could have been there by my side as he had all those years of our marriage. There was, however, some solace the day following the memorable dedication ceremonies, as Lou and I were privileged to have the privacy of our own little tour of the Affirmed exhibit. While there, he sat, mesmerized, and watched a replay of the dramatic, pulsating Belmont finish.

Lou�s responsiveness suffered as a consequence of surgeries in 2005 and advancing Alzheimer�s, but highlighted moments from the past would continue to trigger and be a catalyst for reactions post surgery and during the last few years of his life. Though virtually incapacitated, he remained very peaceful and content. Instead of those waning months being an ordeal, they were truly a blessing, as I could be there with my best friend, who slept peacefully and comfortably nearby. He continued to enjoy sweet treats and affectionately returned my proffered daily kisses. He also became alert when our dog, Susie Q., sidled alongside; or upon hearing recognizable music, like �New York, New York,� �My Old Kentucky Home,� and Sinatra standards; watching sports on television; and, most noticeably, viewing tapes of Affirmed�s races. I will always cherish two extraordinary moments that occurred late into the disease: on seeing Laz Barrera on the television screen, he exclaimed: �I know him!�; and the priceless gem when his first great-grandchild, Alexa, was an infant and visited us in Old Westbury. Lou�s smile lit up the room, and he reached out while chirping to get her attention, much as I found myself doing to get his.

I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of personal contacts and fan support so many years later. Helping to keep the flame burning, in no small part, have been the wonderful Affirmed exhibits at the Museum of Racing, and now at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

In reflecting on the Horse Park exhibit, Lou�s son, Steve Wolfson, said: �(My father) would be very appreciative of all the glory that has been rekindled. (The Kentucky Horse Park staff) has brought it all back to life. When Patrice comes here, she�ll be very emotional. More than anything, the Triple Crown and winning the Belmont marked the resurrection of my father, who had had some difficulties in his business. He, Patrice, and the whole family rose again. Affirmed was the catalyst to the return of my father, and that�s what has meant the most to me.�

Reflecting on those glorious times, I could not help thinking how much the sport has changed. In those not-so-long-ago days, top horses danced every dance. Over the 29-month period after his initial race, Affirmed averaged one start per month, ran all distances from 5 1/2 furlongs to 11/2 miles, carried and conceded weight (as much as 132, 130, and 128 pounds). As I pored over so many winner�s circle pictures and other memorabilia, I was amazed at Affirmed�s own physical transition from a slightly built, thin 2-year-old to a blossoming 3-year-old during the Triple Crown series, to a magnificent, strong specimen on the day of his final start, a victory in the 1979 Jockey Club Gold Cup, cementing his (second) Horse-of-the-Year Eclipse Award.

Through it all, Affirmed never lost that sweet gentleness first observed when Lou and I sat on that fence watching the foals romp through the pasture at Harbor View Farm. One of my favorite pictures shows Affirmed willingly putting his head under my arm so I could give a little hug and bid him a safe journey to his stallion career in Kentucky.
As I relived all those wonderful times, the years melted away. I am contemplating a new project to memorialize and share those cherished moments with the many who relished and enjoyed the Affirmed years, perhaps by assembling the treasured collection into some format like a coffee table book, or even a video documentary.

Patrice Wolfson owned and raced Affirmed with her late husband, Louis Wolfson.

39 Comments

Leave a Comment:

smarie

<p>What a lovely story! And Patrice Wolfson is a very lovely, gracious woman. I too remember the Affirmed/Alydar rivalry. Their names will be forever linked. Affirmed had such a beautiful head and a kind eye. The Wolfsons were vey blessed to have had a horse llike him and I would gladly purchase any book or video on Affirmed that Mrs. Wolfson would chose to do as a memorial to him.</p>

22 Apr 2008 3:23 PM
Jennifer

<p>That was very nice. &nbsp;Thank you for rekindling my memories of Affirmed and Alydar, and those great days of racing, among my first. &nbsp;And thank you for sharing with us your most beautiful reflections on your husband's illness, and your time together. &nbsp;I hope you do put together a book, I know I would look for it. &nbsp;The years do seem to melt right away. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p>

22 Apr 2008 3:54 PM
lisa kryston

<p>Affirmed will always be the most wonderful racehorse I have ever seen , and as a stallion he had &nbsp; the sweetest temperment. He was a love. Thank you Mrs. Wolfson for the memories. Thank you for allowing him to race as a 4 year old and having him stand at farms where his fans could visit him. &nbsp; &nbsp;God bless you and your family. </p>

22 Apr 2008 5:10 PM
Mary Kay

<p>Dear Mrs. Wolfson:</p>

                       <p> &nbsp;By reading your lovely story about Affirmed and your husband, I for one am convinced that a book with pictures would be a lovely tribute to them both. &nbsp;First, you have a story to tell, and a great one at that. &nbsp;Yes, there is sadness at the end, but the happiness far outweighs the burden we all must bear some day. &nbsp;Please write that story, for me and many others out there who loved those two horses and have also had a close relationship with one they loved who was afflicted with a terrible disease. &nbsp;Perhaps some of the proceeds could be donated to Alzheimer's research? &nbsp;</p>

                       <p>Thank you !!</p>

22 Apr 2008 5:17 PM
Susan Sitrin

<p>I will always remember watching the 1978 Belmont Stakes as a teenager routing for Affirmed. &nbsp;It is still one of my greatest horse racing memories to this day, and I still have the scrap book of newspaper and magazine articles that I collected during his career. It has been thirty years since his Triple Crown Victory and I can still recall my favorite headline after his Belmont Stakes victory - "Greatness Affirmed". &nbsp;Thank you for sharing your memories of him with us.</p>

22 Apr 2008 5:22 PM
pjd

<p>Wonderful, just wonderful. Please do, share your cherished moments with Lou and Affirmed with the fans in a book or video. thanks for sharing.</p>

                       <p>pjd</p>

22 Apr 2008 6:32 PM
kerry

<p>really nice story...great job!</p>

22 Apr 2008 7:36 PM
geober

<P>Great story about a wonderful horse. I have an Affirmed picture in my mind that will always stay with me. I was standing by the rail at Santa Anita one March morning in 1979, when Laz was getting Affirmed ready for his 4-year-old season. The horse stopped right in front of me and my camera, held his head proudly aloft, and the morning sun gleamed off his glowing chestnut coat, with the smog-free San Gabriel Mountains forming the backdrop.As a 4-year-old, Affirmed was so much more of a horse than he had been at 3. Perfectly muscled, coupled with an air of complete confidence. He looked every inch the champion he was. And I'm glad I remember the picture so clearly -- the photo I took that morning has gone missing in the mists of time. And thanks, Patrice, for a lot more memories. Like when your dad trained Bonjour, who was my mother's favorite horse. My dad, who took me to the racetrack when I was 12, also suffers from Alzheimer's, and it's sad to see a lifelong horseplayer not able to recognize a racehorse any more. Write that book -- it will be a joy for you, and for a lot of fans.</P>

22 Apr 2008 8:59 PM
Tammy

<p>Thank you Mrs. Wolfson for sharing your memories with us.</p>

                       <p>What a magical time it must have been!</p>

                       <p>What magical years of memories you must have of family and your horses!</p>

                       <p>I recently lost my father who suffered from Alzheimer's, 30 years ago (can it really be so long ago)! We went into the triple crown as rivals, I was nuts for Affirmed dad was behind Alydar at the end of the Triple Crown dad became an Affirmed convert. &nbsp;Together we followed Affirmed's career, even as a sire. &nbsp;When Affirmed passed away I told my father, who had trouble remembering things, but he remembered Affirmed. We were able to talk for some time about Affirmed and Alydar, The Triple Crown, How sad it was Affirmed's 1st's starts at 4 then the glorious races that came after. &nbsp;I will always cherish that time with my dad.</p>

                       <p>I have always loved Affirmed, he is one of my favorite horses, that moment made him a bit more special.</p>

                       <p>May Blessing Be yours.</p>

                       <p>Tammy</p>

22 Apr 2008 11:42 PM
Janeth Cullen

<P>Thanks for that great article Mrs. Wolfson as it brought back many memories for me as well. I was always a tremendous fan of Affirmed.He was my first derby, and after that i went to see him run several times.I was there for his JCGC, his very last race. Then went to see him at stud every year in KY. I remember you, your husband and Laz very well. And i have quite a collection that you and your husband sent to me thru the years on Affirmed. Please do the book on Affirmed. Would be a great tribute to a truly great horse. He deserves it.</P>

23 Apr 2008 9:08 AM
connie

very well written brings back all those wonderful memories now to go on with all those projects so close to your heart

23 Apr 2008 2:06 PM
STEVE STONE

Dear Patrice....I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and conversing with you in an other lifetime of mine..while summering during my college days at THE MORNING TELEGRAPH in New York on West 52nd Street... when you arrived to visit the Publisher..J. Samuel Perlman..I will never forget your graciousness and engaging smile and our lovely..albeit brief conversation.. You can tell by this that I am really dating myself here...Your commentary regarding your married years with Lou and Affirmed are so elequent and poignant..which is what I remembered and admired about meeting with you..I have two questions if you do not mind...Was it an difficult family decision to auction(most.. I believe you retained some) of your precious and memorable and priceless trophies and plates and cups garnered  by your family's lifetime involvement in racing both as an owner/breeder and trainer vis-a-vis donating them to the National Musuem of Racing or perhaps the Horse Park in Lexington where all could see an marvel at your profound accomplishments over the years  and secondly..will you now become involved with the promotion of the sport more agressively in an attempt to generate new and younger fans in order to fill the seats again and harken back to the days when Affirmed ran to the hearts and throngs(packed stands) who cheered him on?? An official ambassador of racing? Thank you again Patrice as we all hope to see you sometime..hopefully soon at racetracks across the nation...Take care and be well always...Continued good racing... Steve Stone..East Hanover..New Jersey  

23 Apr 2008 2:17 PM
Roger Licht

This is a heartwarming story and is just the type of thing that racing needs to reinvigorate itself.  Slot machines, synthetic tracks, super high 5 bets are not what racing is about.  Racing is about the tradition and pageantry so brilliantly expressed by Mrs. Wolfson.  Who could ever forget the feeling at Saratoga on the day of the Travers in 1978 with Alydar and Affirmed.  I will never forget it.  I was 24 then and I am 54 now it is indelibly etched in my mind.

23 Apr 2008 6:22 PM
Susan Manola

<P>I was honored when THE TURFONLINE asked me to write their tribute to Affirmed. I was equally honored when Jonabel chose that tribute to be a permanent part of their Affirmed Tribute, which can be found at:</P>

                       <P><A href="www.affirmedtribute.com/.../affirmedobit.htm" target=_new rel=nofollow mce_href="www.affirmedtribute.com/.../affirmedobit.htm">www.affirmedtribute.com/.../affirmedobit.htm</A></P>

23 Apr 2008 8:29 PM
Dreamer's Mom

Thank you so much for your beautiful words.  I fell in love with horseracing on Derby Day 1978-a beautiful horse and a cute jockey made me a fan for life!  I now have racehorses of my own and I know it's because of the day I fell in love with Affirmed.  This time of year, every year, I bring out all of my Affirmed memorabilia and tell my kids about that wonderful campaign.  They know the stories by heart and they cheer every year for one horse to win just 2 races!  

24 Apr 2008 12:23 AM
Mary

<P>Thank you for a beautiful story. I will still root for Alydar everytime I watch the 1978 classics. However, for the first time, you have created a warm spot in my heart for Affirmed and reiterated my belief there are good people in horse racing. </P>

24 Apr 2008 1:36 AM
normajean81258

Please Please do a book!!!!

                       And thank you!

24 Apr 2008 3:38 AM
Gayle Frasier

<P>I visited Affirmed after the 2000 Breeders Cup when he was recovering from ankle Surgery. I then saw his exhibit at the Kentucky Horse Park when I went back for the 2006 Breeders Cup-I rememer his Belmont race like it was only yesterday. truly a classic for the ages! Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories of this truly great horse-</P>

24 Apr 2008 5:43 PM
Kathy DellaSala

<p>Dear Patrice, Thank you for that lovely piece on Affirmed. Still have my pictures of Affirmed thru the years racing in N.Y. and at Spendthrift farm. Darley did him proud with the statue over his final resting place. Please write the book, guarantee it will be a treasure for all us Affirmed diehards. &nbsp; Thanks, Kathy </p>

25 Apr 2008 1:07 AM
Dena Lentz

<p>Thank you so much for your wonderful article. I do believe that "The Affirmed-Alydar rivalry" created so many horse racing fans. </p>

                       <p>I &nbsp;also hope to see a book in tribute to Affirmed and your wonderful late husband and family. I agree it would be truly wonderful to donate some of the proceeds to Alzheimer's research.</p>

25 Apr 2008 1:38 AM
Layin Down The Law

<p>I have a grandson of Affirmed. He was never raced, he has just been my favorite horse for 12 years and I hope for another 2 dozen. I was in Kentucky in May 2000 and our first farm to visit was to see Affirmed. His Handler gave me some of his tail hairs... I cherish those now. </p>

25 Apr 2008 4:47 AM
Bellwether

<p>got some tears from this one...pure class those TWO &amp; something the sport could use more of...</p>

25 Apr 2008 7:29 AM
Bean

<p>I will always remember Affirmed. Being only 13 at the time, watching his Triple Crown mesmorized me. What a horse. I will never ever forget him. Thank you for posting this wonderful story of Affirmed and of Lou, two wonderful souls who are reunited in heaven with Laz Barrera</p>

25 Apr 2008 2:55 PM
Catherine

<P>This is a lovely account, Patrice. I wasn't born until 9 years after the 1978 Triple Crown (and how I wish I had been born earlier!), and I feel somewhat cheated for having been unable to at least see it live on TV. I am very sorry about Lou, and I am glad that his final years were not entirely unhappy. I think the book tribute to Affirmed and Lou is a wonderful idea. Hopefully, with the proceeds, there will be a preventative measure or perhaps a cure for Alzheimer's (both of my grandfathers have/had it). Thank you for sharing this with us, to connect with the fans.</P>

25 Apr 2008 7:38 PM
nina

<p>From a Florida fan thanks to you and your family for all the great memories. </p>

26 Apr 2008 4:46 PM
MaryAnn Donahue

<p>Dear Mrs. Wolfson ~ Thank you for a beautiful remembrance. &nbsp;Your ability to put your heart into words is a talent that could be developed into a great tribute to your beloved Affirmed and Mr. Wolfson. &nbsp;You display class and heart like that shown by Affirmed and Alydar in the greatest Triple Crown ever contested. &nbsp;Blessings to you and thank you again for sharing your memories. </p>

26 Apr 2008 6:50 PM
Billy D.

<P>Dear Ms. Wolfson, As a lifelong Alydar fan, It's with grudging respect and admiriation of Affirmed and his accomplishments due in part no doubt to his formidable rival. I even named my dog Alydar. I was just a teenager when they ran and remember each excrutiating stretch run of the triple crown like it was yesterday. Affirmed proved his mettle where it counts most, on the racetrack and under heavy weight. Affirmed was a worthy champion. I respect that you decided to run Affirmed as a four year old which cemented his 3 yr. old accomplishments. I'd love to see a DVD and a book of Affirmed's career. I only wish Seattle Slew's connections would've run the Slew one more year so everyone could've witnessed Slew, Affirmed and Spectacular Bid perhaps run in the JC gold Cup! Time has made me appreciate the career you, your late husband and the late great Laz Barrera ran for Affirmed. I now have a picture of Affirmed adorning my wall winning the '79 Big 'Cap. I also have a Black &amp; white photo of the '78 Belmont photo finish. Affirmed took on all comers and asked no quarter (and wasn't given any quarter by the racing secretaries either). &nbsp;Affirmed's racetrack prowess was exceeded only by your graciousness as owners who were a credit and shining example of class being rewarded. A DVD documentary and book would be welcomed by many fans, just don't leave out Alydar.</P>

28 Apr 2008 4:47 PM
Michelle B

<P>I have such great memories of the spring of 1978. &nbsp;I remember watching the Belmont under the grandstand at the old Longacres racetrack with my best friend, each of us screaming earnestly for our favorites. &nbsp;Many years later, I had the great good fortune of seeing Affirmed in the flesh in 1995 while visiting KY. &nbsp;The stallion manager brought him out for us to see, and said he was mannered enough that we could actually pat him. &nbsp;I treasure the picture of me standing patting one of the GREAT ONES. &nbsp;Thank you &nbsp;Mrs. Wolfson for Affirmed's campaign, and the memories you've shared here.</P>

28 Apr 2008 11:45 PM
lynn

Patrice, what a beaut. story. I am 63 now, and have watched the horses since Swaps. I always had faith in Affirmed. I just thot, he,s waiting. Waiting. Those ears told the tale.I almost cried when his saddle slipped in the Gold Cup with Slew. I kept thinking, why are they taking him so fast? Then I read about it. Next year he beat the last great horse I;ve seen, Bid.

                       I visited Hargyard farms, believe it was called, way back when and I have a pix of Personality shortly after he was foaled. I loved Searching, so I always kept track of her foals. Hail? Well, he made more starts as a 2 yr old than these horses today make in their whole lives. Loved Hail, also have a pix of him from I think 69. First year at stud,?. What a horse. U could just look at him and know he was one of the ones.

                       I recall seeing Admiring as a weanling or yearling, yeh, I have a pix, and I;m still convinced I raved about her so much that's why u named her that.

                       Bless my grandparents for taking me to KY when I was in my lower teens. I would really love to send u a copy of my pix of Personality and Admiring and Hail, but I know I prolly won;t be able to.

                       As for your late husband, I thot he was crook, etc. That;s what the media told us. I was shocked. Now I know better. Anybody who bred Affirmed is  OK. Not to mention having Raise a Native. Plus, I still believed in Lou regardless of all that.

                       Peaceout, Lynn

03 May 2008 9:17 PM
Mary

We had the opportunity to visit Affirmed and Alydar at Calumet Farms. What an exciting treat, both horses will live in my memory for ever. I would love to see you publish a book on Affirmed. Thank you for sharing you and your husbands story.

04 May 2008 2:21 PM
bob cutter

<p>I was at all 3 races,and in fact still have all 3 win tickets uncashed and all 3 programs.What a dream to see all 3 up close.</p>

22 May 2008 7:32 PM
Elton

<p>Thank you for being you. Affirmed could have gotten no one better. I loved that horse for the will to win.Please do the book to continue the great legacy that is Affirmed. Thank you and God bless you.</p>

08 Jun 2008 3:25 AM
Nancy Gigliotti

Dear Mrs.Wolfson..So glad to get an update on yourself, as well as your husband. In 1978, at Saratoga, on the day Affirmed and Alydar raced each other,we had driven up from R.I. with our parents, to the track,for the event. Steve Cauthen did not ride Affirmed, as he had recently broke his collar bone on a horse called :Cute as a button. What a thrilling day! It is amazing that the years have passed so quickly! I have one strong memory of that afternoon in August,so long ago: My little sister, who was 11 years old at the time went up to your husband, and asked him for his autograph!!Your kind,and gracious husband signed her racing program, and was so sweet,and friendly to her!She was so excited! Such a nice memory! Those were such wonderful days, at Saratoga. God bless you! Nancy Gigliotti

15 Jul 2008 2:44 AM
sarah

my horse was a grandchild but i have not seen her in any bloodlines

26 Sep 2008 4:58 PM
BlueHen

<p>Please do an Affirmed book -- all his many fans would love it! &nbsp;It would be such a thrill to look over all the photos and read about those great days! &nbsp;Affirmed is still my favorite racehorse, 30 yrs. later, and I'm sure I'm not alone.</p>

                       <p>I enjoyed reading your memories in this article. &nbsp;Thank you for writing and sharing them with us.</p>

                       <p>My family and I (I was 13 at the time) went to see Affirmed run in the Jim Dandy. &nbsp;It was a wonderful day! &nbsp;I have a big photo collage of the day, including a close-up of Affirmed and Laz Barrera passing us on the way to the paddock.</p>

                       <p>Affirmed seemed like such a calm horse. &nbsp;One of my Jim Dandy day photos shows him walking quietly, head lowered, on the track before the race. &nbsp;I remember my father saying he looked sleepy, to which I replied, "Wait 'til he comes out of the starting gate, Dad!"</p>

                       <p>Thank you for a lovely article.</p>

31 Dec 2008 1:02 PM
Bill S.

<p>The first horse I ever bet on, was at Saratoga in the early sixties. Horses name was Morry E. and from that point on Harbor View was my favorite stable. The best memory I could think of for Lou Wolfson is for his wife Patrice to bring back the Harbor View stable. Thanks for the memories.</p>

12 Jan 2009 4:49 PM
Sail

<p>I remember putting my bike in the back of my friends truck. Driving to a parking lot about a mile east of Belmont Park the day of the Affirmed, Alydar Belmont stakes in 78. Getting to the track just as the horses were entering the paddock as we were locking our bikes up to a chain link fence outside the clubhouse entrance. the mighty warriors and their teams walking to the paddock walked right by us.</p>

                       <p>Entering into the grandstand second floor where the crowd was overflowing. My friends and I dragged a bench to the rail of the second floor grandstand. About forty yards from the wire. As the two champions dueled down the stretch, standing on that bench provided an unobstructed view of one of the greatest stretch duels in the history of the sport. The crowd was cheering very load and the excitement was unbelievable. After the race everyone was wakilg jumping screaming about what had just occurred before our eyes. " what a shoot out", "did you see that" "Alydar put his head in front" "unbelievable"....etc. I will remember that experience for eternity. Thank you Affirmed Thank you Alydar &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; </p>

11 Mar 2009 4:41 AM
$BILL

<p>dear mrs wolfson, as someone who spent time on harbor view as a youth (my aunt shelia was lab tech for dr guttridge) &amp; we lived on the farm, roman brother was my pet i also was good friends with gary &amp; cathy &amp; spent time in the main house i remember a beautiful painting of big lou holding raise a native that was over the fireplace &amp; also a remarkable table lamp of roman brother with baeza up.i also remember the trophy room thats probably only second to calumet. yes mrs wolfson please tell the harbor view story</p>

                       <p>as mr wolfson,you &amp; the horses were special to me in my life </p>

                       <p> &nbsp; sincerly, billy eisele</p>

13 Apr 2009 5:09 PM
Anita Skadra

<p>I worked security club hse gate at Saratoga about 13 yrs ago. &nbsp;I meet you and Lou told me to bet his horse and I explained, I cant bet that much. &nbsp;He returned my money if I lost..the day your hrs won, I was on break..and Patrice paid me anyway..I will always remember you and Lou</p>

                       <p>Anita</p>

                       <p>you worn that beautiful gold piece with the diamond crown..</p>

                       <p>hope you remember me</p>

                       <p>I now live in the Villages, fl</p>

02 May 2009 8:12 PM

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