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The Sanford Legacy opens March 25

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s newest exhibit, The Sanford Legacy, opens to the public Wednesday, March 25. The exhibit will remain on display through 2016.  


The Sanford Legacy chronicles the significance of the Sanford family in the sport of thoroughbred racing. Told through artwork, rare artifacts, photographs and video, the exhibit focuses on the substantial racing achievements of the Sanfords as well as the importance of the family’s Hurricana Stock Farm in nearby Amsterdam.


The Sanfords began achieving notable success in racing, specifically at Saratoga Race Course, around 1880. Several generations of the family thrived in the sport throughout the 20th century, with much of the glory being achieved at Saratoga. Along with the considerable local success, John Sanford’s George Smith won the 1916 Kentucky Derby and Stephen “Laddie” Sanford’s steeplechaser Sergeant Murphy became the first American-owned horse to win the prestigious English Grand National at Aintree in 1923. A slideshow documenting this feat from start to finish in rare photographs from the Sanford family’s Sergeant Murphy’s Grand National photo album will be featured in this special exhibition.


Other standouts campaigned by the Sanford family include Molly Brant, Mohawk II, Caughnawaga, Kennyetto and Round View. Hurricana also featured a prominent breeding operation that stood several notable stallions, including 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Clifford.


Since 1913, the Sanford Stakes for 2-year-olds has been run at Saratoga Race Course. Named in honor of Gen. Stephen Sanford, founder of Hurricana, the Sanford Stakes has been won by numerous legends of the sport, including Hall of Fame members Regret, Devil Diver, Tom Fool, Secretariat and Affirmed. The race is also significant in racing history as the event in which Man o’ War suffered his lone career defeat. The Sanford Stakes celebrated its 100th running in 2014.


The Sanford Legacy is scheduled to run through 2016, the 100th anniversary year of George Smith’s Kentucky Derby victory.