The state-of-the-art equine medical facility currently under construction at Belmont Park will be named after the great filly Ruffian, the IEAH Corporation announced Sept. 20.
“We are honored to able to carry out the legacy of Ruffian on the very grounds on which she so bravely fought her toughest battle,” said IEAH co-president Michael Lavarone in a company press release. “We would like to extend our utmost gratitude to the Janney family for allowing us the opportunity to share in her memory. We have made and will continue to make every effort to ensure the facility will be the finest available.”
Ruffian, arguably one of the greatest racehorses of all time, was unbeaten in her first 10 starts before she sustained a fatal injury at Belmont Park in a match race against Foolish Pleasure. During her career, she equaled two track records, owned or tied eight stakes records, and was the nation’s Eclipse Award-winning filly at ages two and three.
The Ruffian Equine Medical Center at Belmont Park is expected to open in early-2008. Under the supervision of top equine practitioners Dr. James Hunt and Dr. Patricia Hogan, the facility will be located just yards from the heavily-populated Belmont Park barn area in Elmont, NY, and will provide cutting edge treatments for equine injuries while serving as a referral clinic focusing on orthopedic injuries. The medical center will remain open to horses from any location and of any breed.
“My family is very pleased that the equine medical center at Belmont Park will carry Ruffian’s name,” said Stuart Janney III, whose parents Stuart and Barbara campaigned Ruffian. “Ruffian spent almost all of her competitive time at Belmont Park, and at the time of her injury received all the best care available. This new facility will make an important stride forward in ensuring other injured horses receive superb care.”