The Story of Alydar
The story of the race horse Alydar is probably unknown to those outside of horse racing circles unless you are a big fan of true crime.
Alydar’s racing career is perhaps best known for the fact he lost out to his major rival, Affirmed, in every leg of the Triple Crown event. Alydar came an extremely close second to Affirmed every time, which is a feat never repeated by two rivals. A bookies’ favorite Alydar’s fate was not a happy one.
Calumet Farm was a popular thoroughbred breeding and training stables; it was home to many champions including Alydar. On November 14th 1990 emergency surgery was performed on Alydar’s leg, as it appeared to have been broken the previous evening. The leg broke again and the next day, November 15th Alydar was put to sleep. J T Lundy the owner of Calumet Farm (due to his marriage to Cindy Wright, granddaughter of Calumet Farm’s founder William M. Wright) claimed the $36 million insurance policy payout on Alydar. It later appeared that Lundy’s mismanagement and reckless investments had forced the once thriving Calumet Farm into near financial devastation, and this stroke of good luck, coming into such a lump sum right when it was needed, certainly raised eyebrows.
Further investigation found that Lundy had driven into Alydar’s stall and tied a rope around the horse’s leg. After attaching the other end to his truck he had driven off at such force it broke Alydar’s leg. When Lundy discovered Alydar would survive this ‘accident’ he orchestrated it to happen again, this time dealing the fatal blow.
Lundy was eventually charged with insurance fraud and served jail time for his crime.