Pity the 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, whose accomplishment was sandwiched between Secretariat’s spectacular coup in 1973, and Affirmed’s triumph over arch rival Alydar in 1978.
The Crown has gone unclaimed since 1978 and today’s race fans are pinning their hopes on I’ll Have Another, whose wins over Bodemeister in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, are reminiscent of Affirmed’s over Alydar, 34 years ago.
Coincidentally, Alydar, the only horse to ever finish second in all three Triple Crown races, is connected to I’ll Have Another through Arch, and Arch is connected to Helen Groves, who is connected to 1946 Triple Crown winner Assault and NCHA Triple Crown winner Chiquita Pistol.
Here’s how it plays out:
- I’ll Have Another’s dam, Arch’s Gal Edith, is by Arch.
- Arch’s dam, Aurora, by Danzig, is a daughter of 1983 champion 2-year-old filly Althea, by Alydar.
- Althea was bred and campaigned in partnership with David Aykroyd, by Helen Alexander and her mother, Helen Groves.
- Helen Groves’s father, Robert Kleberg, bred and raised 1946 Triple Crown champion Assault in the name of King Ranch, which was founded by his grandfather, Richard King.
- Robert Kleberg, was a founder of the American Quarter Horse Association and a foundation breeder of Quarter Horses, including Wimpy P-1.
- Helen Groves owned King Ranch-bred stallion Pay Twentyone, a Wimpy grandson through his sire El Pachulo Wimpy, and bred him to cutting mare Miss Doc Tari to get Miss Chiquita Tari.
- Groves sold Miss Chiquita Tari to Tooter Dorman, who bred her to Smart Little Pistol to get Chiquita Pistol.