Only an act of Cod can beat my horse," said Trainer Bud Delp. But then Spectacular Bid lost to Coastal in the Belmont to ruin his run for the Triple Crown, and although Delp stopped short of blaming a higher power for Bid's defeat, he did point out that his horse had stepped on a safety pin on race morning. Still, it was clear that Delp had quite a horse. That's why the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont in October was the race of the year: Bid vs. Affirmed, the 1978 Triple Crown winner. Affirmed held off four challenges by the 3-year-old and won by three-quarters of a length. As Affirmed cooled out, Trainer Laz Barrera looked fondly at his horse and said, "He knows he's a champion."
Affirmed, Laffit Pincay Jr. aboard, was the first thoroughbred to win $2 million.
Delp pinned his tale on a needle in the haystack.
Spectacular Bid really took a bath in the Belmont, when his syndication value dropped from $20 million to $12 million in less than 2½ minutes.
March 13, 1980
It was easy to stomach Davona Dale's sweep of the filly triple crown.
Here's mud in your eye, Laffit, for winning a record $8 million in 1979.
The troubled Ron Franklin (above) ultimately handed Bid to the veteran Bill Shoemaker (left).
Steve Cauthen's image was soiled when his losing streak mounted to 110 races, but then he took off for England and put on a jolly good show.