The memorable series of photos above, taken by Ylla in 1954, shows this year's Kentucky Derby winner a few seconds after foaling as he cuddles close to his mother (1) in the foaling barn at lovely Calumet Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Moments later the colt makes a shaky, unsuccessful attempt to stand (2). Now on all fours (3), the baby is at Iron Maiden's side, completely unaware that he is the object of photographic interest. Alone and upright (4), Iron Liege perkily watches activity about him. One year later, in the fields only 80 miles away from Churchill Downs (5), colt shows friskiness as he romps with playmate in fields of bluegrass. One of 14 children sired by the famous Bull Lea, the colt was to grow to startle a nation by his will to win.
Iron Liege's first training included early-morning workouts at Calumet Farm (6), sessions in schooling gate at Hialeah in the winter of 1956 (7). He stood patiently as Trainer Jones adjusted his saddle (8) for a disappointing first start in Chicago on August 21, 1956. The 1957 Derby Winner met the "Master" of modern Derby riders, Eddie Arcaro, at Belmont Park (9). This year Iron Liege ran third in the rich Flamingo Stakes (10) and record-breaking Florida Derby (11), was tabbed by experts as a highly consistent colt. Iron Liege has a love for peppermint, and his regular groom, Walter Griffin, bought the horse candy canes at Christmas time. Early in January Griffin said, "I never had a Derby horse; maybe this year I will."