A Historical Affair

Reliving the story of Colonial Affair 16 years later

As the focus of thoroughbred racing shifts to the upcoming Belmont Stakes, Centennial Farms would like to take a look back at one of our finest moments: Colonial Affair’s upset victory in the 1993 Belmont Stakes with jockey Julie Krone.

In front of more than 45,000 fans on a rainy and damp summer day, Colonial Affair benefited from a flawless ride by Krone to become the first classic winner for Centennial Farms. It was also the first and only victory by a female jockey in a Triple Crown race.

Colonial Affair had finished second in the Peter Pan Stakes two weeks earlier, but both Krone and Hall of Fame trainer Scotty Schulhofer agreed that the colt was asked for too much run early in that race. A plan was hatched to get an optimum performance from the son of Pleasant Colony: take him farther back off, keep him out of the kickback from other horses, and come with one strong run.

Colonial Affair ran to the plan, winning by 2 ¼ lengths, covering the 1 ½ miles in 2:29 4/5.

The victory remains one of the most memorable for Centennial Farms, and it ranks as #55 in the Blood Horse Publications book “Horse racing’s top 100 moments”.

All said, Colonial Affair will be remembered as one of the better horses of his generation. He won both the Whitney and Jockey Club Gold Cup as a four-year-old in 1994 before getting injured on the eve of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, where he would have been favored in the richest race in the world.

The horse has traveled the world as a stallion, standing in the United States before seasons in New Zealand, Japan, and his current home of Argentina.

The victory also catapulted Julie Krone into iconic status . In 2000, she became the first woman inducted in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.