Ruffian: A Photographic Tribute

Remembering the career of the great filly Ruffian.

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Ruffian; dark bay/brown filly 1972, Reviewer - Shenanigans by Native Dancer

Photo: Nyra/bob Coglianese

Ruffian was trained by Frank Whiteley,

Photo: Dell Hancock

and bred and owned by Stuart Janney.

Photo: Nyra/bob Coglianese

Her regular pilot was Jacinto Vasquez, who also was the regular rider of Foolish Pleasure.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

""The Reviewer filly"" showed promise from the start.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

In her 2nd start, she won the Fashion Stakes, defeating another promising 2-year old filly, Copernica.

Photo: Nyra

By the time of her 4th start, the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park, Ruffian was already attracting a big crowd.

Photo: Susan Thomas

Her final victory of 1974 came in the Spinaway, which she won by better than 12 lengths.

Photo: Nyra/bob Coglianese

Ruffian was an easy choice for 1974 champion juvenile filly, after her undefeated season.

Photo: Susan Thomas

After a winning 3-year old debut in allowance company, Ruffian then won the Comely.

Photo: Nyra/bob Coglianese

In her next start, she took the Acorn Stakes by an easy eight and a quarter lengths.

Photo: Nyra/bob Coglianese

It was déjà vu all over again in the Mother Goose, which she won by better than 13.

Photo: Nyra

Her next start was the Coaching Club American Oaks, the final leg of New York's filly Triple Crown, at 1 1/2 miles.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

Heading into the gate for the Coaching Club American Oaks.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

She powered to the lead,

Photo: Ray Woolfe

and won comfortably.

Photo: Nyra/bob Coglianese

Since she had defeated all comers of her own gender, a match race was proposed with 1975 Derby winner Foolish Pleasure (shown).

Photo: Nyra/joseph Demaria

Regular exercise rider John Truesdale showed what side he was on.

Photo: Nyra

Ruffian was favored, and was leading when her ankle shattered. Although surgery was performed, there were complications in recovery and Ruffian had to be euthanized. She is buried in the infield at Belmont Park.

Photo: Nyra

Ruffian's final record was 10 wins from 11 starts, with earnings of $313,429. She won Eclipse Awards in each season that she raced.

Photo: Nyra

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