Affirmed's time of 1:15[2/5] was a stakes record, which was no mean feat; Man o' War, Regret, Whirlaway, Native Dancer, Nashua, Buckpasser and Secretariat were Hopeful winners, too.
This was the season when the sons and daughters of Secretariat were expected to emulate their sire. Thus far three have raced and finished fourth, fourth, and seventh. The seventh-place finisher, Brilliant Protege, appeared in the race following the Hopeful. He didn't run a lick despite going off at odds of 5 to 2. Most of the Secretariats do not look like their father, which horsemen consider a bad sign. For instance, Brilliant Protege is a roan. On the other hand a daughter of Sham, the colt who was always running second to Secretariat, was making headlines at Saratoga last week. This was the undefeated Sherry Peppers, who took the Spinaway Stakes.
The Hopeful win gave Barrera a tie (with T. J. Kelly) for the Saratoga training title. As he stood in the winner's circle Barrera was asked if he was aware of that fact. "Very aware," he said. He examined the strapping chestnut colt being led away and said, " Steve Cauthen rode this horse like he was born on him. Affiliate was named the outstanding 2-year-old of the Hollywood Park meeting and now with this win he has to be the best 2-year-old anywhere." Barrera paused and shook his head. "Dammit," he said, "this isn't Affiliate, it's Affirmed."