Alydar was a chestnut colt and an American thoroughbred race horse who was most famous for finishing a close second to Affirmed in all three races of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, a feat not repeated before or since.
Trained by John M. Veitch (who also trained Alydar's half-sister, Eclipse Award winning Our Mims), and ridden by jockey Jorge Velasquez, in 1978 Alydar dueled with Affirmed in all three legs of the Triple Crown, losing to his arch rival by a combined total of less than two lengths. The 1978 Belmont Stakes, the third and final leg of the series, is considered by many as one of the most exciting races in the history of the sport. In that race, Alydar and Affirmed dueled side by side from the middle of the far turn all the way to the wire, with Affirmed barely holding on to win by a head to claim the Triple Crown.
In his career, Alydar won 14 of 26 starts, finishing second 9 times and third once. He earned purses totalling $957,195. Alydar raced against Affirmed ten times in his career, winning three times. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1989.
Alydar was a major success as a stallion. His offspring include Hall of Fame Eclipse Award Champion Easy Goer, Alysheba, winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Classic, Turkoman, Strike the Gold, Criminal Type, Althea, Alydaress, Benchmark, Stella Madrid, and Miss Oceana. He is also the broodmare sire of Peintre Celebre, Cat Thief, Anees, Ajina, Aly's Alley, Gio Ponti, and Lure.
On November 13, 1990, Alydar appeared to have shattered his right hind leg in his stall at Calumet Farms in Lexington, Kentucky. Emergency surgery was performed the next day in an attempt to repair the injury, but the leg broke again. On November 15, Alydar was euthanized. At the time the owner of Calumet Farm was in dire trouble financially, and suspicions of foul play by the management were raised. John Thomas Lundy (J.T.) was indicted and convicted in 2000 on separate fraud charges and served almost four years in prison. The farm's former attorney, Gary Matthews, was also convicted and received a 21 month prison sentence.
In the Blood-Horse magazine ranking of the top 100 U.S. thoroughbred champions of the 20th Century, Alydar was ranked #27.