Hall of Famers Steve Cauthen, who 34 years ago piloted Affirmed to become the 11th and most recent Triple Crown winner, and Jorge Velasquez, who rode runner-up Alydar, will autograph postcards May 26 at Belmont Park commemorating their unforgettable rivalry.
The postcards will be given away free with paid admission at the Belmont Park entrances. The autograph signing will be $5, with all proceeds to be donated to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund.
The autograph session comes two weeks before I'll Have Another attempts to add the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) to his victories in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
“It looks like he’ll have a great chance,” said Cauthen of I’ll Have Another, who arrived at Belmont Park May 20. “This horse looks like he’s got that same fighting spirit as Affirmed.”
Cauthen was 18 in 1978 when he and Affirmed outdueled Alydar and Velasquez through all three legs of the Triple Crown, culminating in their dramatic showdown in the Belmont.
“With Affirmed, he always did the right thing,” said Cauthen, who currently manages a breeding operation in Kentucky. “He didn't waste any energy. And when it came down to a battle, he thrived on it.”
The autograph session kicks off Belmont’s Memorial Day weekend, featuring live bands all three days, family fun day May 27, a Belmont Park beach mat giveaway May 28, and a $500,000 guaranteed all graded stakes Pick 4 that same day comprising the Metropolitan (gr. I), Ogden Phipps (gr. I), Acorn (gr. I), and Sands Point (gr. IIT).