In celebration of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s popular exhibit The Sanford Legacy, the Museum will offer free admission throughout the day during regular Museum hours on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Representatives from the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm preservation organization will be on hand to help showcase the exhibit and educate guests about the history of the Sanford Stud Farm’s impact on thoroughbred racing and the group’s efforts to preserve that legacy.
The exhibit, which opened in March of 2015 and will be on display through the end of 2016, explores the many important contributions to racing made by one of the sport’s most prominent families, the Sanfords of Amsterdam. Featuring artwork, rare artifacts, photographs and video, the exhibition chronicles the people, the horses and their impact on racing. Other subjects include the Matinee Races held at Hurricana Stock Farm, the family’s successes in some of the most prestigious racing events in America and abroad, their Hall of Fame connections, the establishment of the Sanford Stakes and the present-day efforts to preserve what remains of this historic breeding and racing operation.
The Sanfords began achieving notable success in racing, specifically at Saratoga Race Course, around 1880. Several generations of the family thrived in the sport throughout the 20th century, with much of the glory being achieved at Saratoga. Along with the considerable local success, John Sanford’s colt George Smith won the 1916 Kentucky Derby and Stephen “Laddie” Sanford’s steeplechaser Sergeant Murphy became the first American-owned horse to win the prestigious English Grand National at Aintree in 1923. A slideshow documenting this feat from start to finish in rare photographs from the Sanford family’s Sergeant Murphy’s Grand National photo album is featured in the exhibition.
Other standouts campaigned by the Sanford family include Molly Brant, Mohawk II, Caughnawaga, Kennyetto and Round View. Sanford Stud also featured a prominent breeding operation that stood several notable stallions, including 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Clifford.
Since 1913, the Sanford Stakes for 2-year-olds has been run at Saratoga Race Course. Named in honor of Gen. Stephen Sanford, founder of Hurricana, the Sanford Stakes has been won by numerous legends of the sport, including Hall of Fame members Regret, Devil Diver, Tom Fool, Secretariat and Affirmed. The race is also significant in racing history as the event in which Man o’ War suffered his lone career defeat. The Sanford Stakes celebrated its 100th running in 2014.
For more information, visit their web site at www.racingmuseum.org.