She won all 10 races she finished. Her 11th start cost Ruffian her life. A dark bay filly with an iron will, she won her maiden race by 15 lengths, then captured nine stakes races -- including the distaff Triple Crown -- setting records in eight of them. Bred and owned by Stuart Janney, Jr., of Glyndon, Ruffian won the Eclipse Award as the top filly of 1974. The Sun trumpeted her as "Queen of the Turf." In June 1975, Ruffian took on Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure in a girl-meets-boy match race at Belmont Park that caught the nation's fancy. As millions watched on TV, Ruffian charged to an early lead and then broke down, her ankle shattered. Twenty-seven hours later, per Janney's wishes, she was buried in the infield at Belmont.
National Museum of Racing
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