NEW YORK (AP) — The remains of Hall of Fame filly Ruffian have been moved from Belmont Park to Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, where she was reburied Thursday.
The move was necessary because the New York Racing Association is starting the installation of a one-mile synthetic track. Ruffian was buried shortly after her tragic death in 1975 at the base of the flagpole near the finish line at Belmont.
NYRA said the move will allow public access to Ruffian’s grave. At Belmont, the site was visible from the grandstand but inaccessible to fans.
“I’d like to thank NYRA for preserving and protecting Ruffian’s gravesite at Belmont for close to 50 years,” said Stuart Janney, who made the decision to move the remains jointly with Claiborne and NYRA, where he is a board member. “Claiborne is one of the most beautiful and revered thoroughbred farms in America and the home of some of the greatest horses in racing history, and the ideal place for Ruffian.”
Ruffian was buried at Claiborne’s Marchmont Cemetery in Paris, Kentucky, where she was foaled and raised. She was bred by Janney and his wife, Barbara Phipps Janney.
Ruffian died in July 1975 from injuries sustained in a nationally televised match race with Foolish Pleasure at Belmont. The following year she was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
In her two-year career, Ruffian won all 10 races she finished, including a sweep of the American Triple Tiara for fillies. She was named 2-year-old champion filly in 1974 and again as a 3-year-old.
Ruffian’s name remains prominent in New York. The Ruffian Handicap for fillies and mares is run there, while the Cornell Ruffian Equine Hospital is located outside Belmont. There’s an oversize mural of the filly and her jockey Jacinto Vasquez at Aqueduct.
Also, NYRA said the remains of Timely Writer will be moved from the infield area at the top of the Belmont stretch to Old Friends Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky. The colt won the 1981 Hopeful and Champagne stakes, and the 1982 Florida Derby. He had nine wins in 15 career starts.