by Joan Lawrence, NTRA
I'm living a dream
It all started after I'll Have Another crossed the finish line winning the Preakness Stakes and sealed his chance to become the 12th Thoroughbred racehorse to win the U.S. Triple Crown. His date with racing history awaits him this Saturday at Belmont Park, where he'll be asked to run for the first time a distance of 1 1/2 miles on a track known as "Big Sandy" in the "Test of the Champion"-the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, N.Y.
I'll Have Another's bid for a Triple Crown has brought together past winners to reminisce and share with racing fans and media these past three weeks their memories of Triple Crowns past.
Patrice Wolfson, who along with her late husband, Luis Wolfson, campaigned 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed, was 25 years old when the chestnut colt became the 11th and most recent horse to win a Triple Crown and, in many respects, too young to fully grasp Affirmed's accomplishment.
I canrecall every weekend seeing Mr. and Mrs. Wolfson attending the races at the New York tracks, walking across the clubhouse floor to their box. He, in a well-tailored suit with his binoculars draped leisurely over his shoulder, and always on his arm, Patrice dressed in a classic, tailored suit. They were always together and very private people back then.
Fast forward 34 years, and today here I was, back in the clubhouse of Belmont Park, attending the post position draw for the 144th Belmont Stakes and walking past me is Mrs. Patrice Wolfson.
For that moment, time stood still.
The media attending the draw couldn't get enough her. She graciously answered all questions and enjoyed reliving Affirmed's Triple Crown as much as we enjoyed listening to her. It was a magical morning, and for that I have to thank I'll Have Another for bringing us together and wish him God speed as he tries to become the 12th winner of the elusive Triple Crown.