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Quick Facts About the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap

The Alfred G. Vanderbilt is a Grade 1 race run at Saratoga Race Course each year. It attracts the country’s finest dirt sprinters and has been won by countless talented horses in the past. Get ready for the 2020 edition of the race with these quick facts about its history.

  1. The race was inaugurated in 1985 as the A Phenomenon, named after the top-sprinter who won six of his twelve career starts. The colt had to be put down after a tragic accident in the Forego Handicap in 1984, so Saratoga named a race in his honor.

  2. The race was renamed the Alfred G. Vanderbilt in 2000. Vanderbilt was a prominent Thoroughbred owner; his mother gave him her racing operation Sagamore Farm when he was twenty-one, and through that he campaigned the likes of Native Dancer and Next Move. He owned and ran Pimlico in the 30s and thus arranged the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral, plus he was President of Belmont Park before joining the Navy. He was Chairman of the Board at NYRA from 1971 to 1975.

  3. The largest winning margin in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap is eight lengths, accomplished by El Deal in 2017.

  4. Imperial Hint won the race in both 2018 and 2019, making him just the second horse to have won the race twice (Cognizant won the race in 1985 and 1986). He also holds the stakes record - 1:07.92.

  5. Jockey Javier Castellano piloted the winners three years in a row, from 2017-2019. He does not have a mount in the 2020 edition.

  6. The race didn’t become a Grade 1 until 2010.

[Video: Watch Imperial Hint win the 2019 edition of the race]


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