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Ruffian's Last Race at Belmont Park, July 1975

belmont horse match race ruffian thoroughbred

Tony captured this image of the immortal Ruffian stepping onto the racetrack for the final time.  Undefeated in 10 lifetime starts, she faced Champion and Kentucky Derby Winner Foolish Pleasure in a match race at Belmont Park on July 6th, 1975.  Foaled at Claiborne Farm and carrying the silks of her breeder Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Janney, Jr., she had never been seriously challenged and had captured the hearts of fans worldwide.  Tragically, she suffered a fatal breakdown while on the lead and died of complications from surgery the following day.  She was buried in the infield at Belmont Park.

Ruffian was posthumously awarded an Eclipse as Champion Three Year Old Filly and later inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.  She is also the only non-human to be named as one of Sports Illustrated's top 100 Female Athletes of the 20th Century.

New York Racing Association honored her memory with The Ruffian Handicap, originally run at Belmont it is now a major fixture of the Saratoga Race Meet.

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