Friday, June 19, 2009

Historic Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park Saturday

Affirmed at Hollywood Park after winning The Californian in 1979.
Jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr.; Owner Harbor View Farm; Trainer L. S. Barrera.

Saturday's Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap is named for the 1978 Triple Crown winner and two-time Horse of the Year. Affirmed became the first Thoroughbred to earn $2 million in career purses when he won the 1979 Hollywood Gold Cup.

Known as the Silver Screen Handicap from 1979 to 1992, the Affirmed is for 3-year-olds at 1-1/16 miles and is a steppingstone to the Swaps Stakes, which will be contested at 1-1/8 miles on July 18. Four colts have won both the Affirmed and Swaps: Valdez (1979), Journey At Sea (1982), Old Trieste (1998) and Came Home (2002).

In other historic notes:
  • The 2002 Affirmed provided the final ride for Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, who won by two lengths aboard Came Home. It was career win number 7,141 for McCarron, who retired as the all-time earnings leader with a career total of $264,351,679.

  • Tiznow, who became Horse of the Year, earned his first stakes victory in the 2000 Affirmed -- at odds of 10 to 1.

  • Trainer Vladimir Cerin saddled both the winner (Boomzeeboom) and runner-up (Twice as Bad) in the 2004 Affirmed.
The Affirmed Handicap will run as the 9th race Saturday, with an approximate post time of 5:08 p.m. (pst).

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