Riva Ridge with Ron Turcotte up at Saratoga
© Bob Coglianese
Riva Ridge was foaled in 1969 and was a homebred for Christopher Chenery's Meadow Stud. The bay colt was sired by First Landing out of the mare Iberia, by Heliopolis. Hall of Famer Lucien Laurin trained Riva Ridge.
Riva Ridge was a champion at 2 after winning the last five races of the season. He took the Flash Stakes, Futurity, Champagne, Pimlico-Laurel Futurity, and the Garden State Stakes. Very few 2-year-old Champions have won the Kentucky Derby. Riva Ridge ended a 16 year drought when he won this classic race. Although he was unplaced in the Preakness, he came back to win the Belmont Stakes and then went to California to win the Hollywood Derby. Despite being a stablemate of the illustrious Secretariat, Riva Ridge was a particular favorite of owner Penny Chenery, in part because of his excellent 4-year-old season. By the year's end, Riva Ridge had equalled Suffolk Down's 1 1/8 mile track record in the Massachusetts Handicap; set a new world record, under 127 pounds, in the 1 3/16 mile Brooklyn (run in 1:52 2/5); and set a track record in the nine furlong Stuyvesant at Aqueduct. He was named Champion older male for 1973.
Riva Ridge was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1998.
Riva Ridge cruises for home in the Belmont Stakes
© 1972 NYRA