Here is a video about a day in the life the great Riva Ridge and groom Eddie Sweat. It really gives you a sense of what a cool horse Riva was. I think he's a bit lost in racing history, thanks to being overshadowed by stablemate Secretariat.
Born in 1969. By First Landing, out of Iberia (by Heliopolis)
Riva was an Eclipse Award winner at two.
Winner of the 1972 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. Hated the mud and ran poorly in the muddy Preakness.
Beaten by Secretariat in the 1978 inaugural Marlboro Cup. An exhausted Riva hung on for second.
In thirty lifetime starts Riva Ridge won 17 races, finished second three times and third once, with earnings of $1,111,497. Set numerous track records.
Riva Ridge was retired at the end of the 1973 racing season. He stood at stud at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky for his entire breeding career until he died at age 16 of a heart attack on April 21, 1985. He was elected to the Racing Hall of Fame in 1998.
He was most beloved by owner Peggy Chenery. And just so you know, it wasn't Secretariat that saved Chenery's stable, a bit of fiction perpetuated by the Disney movie "Secretariat." It was, indeed, Riva who saved the Chenery farm by bringing home the bacon in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes."I have the greatest admiration for Secretariat, but I love Riva Ridge,” Mrs. Chenery has been quoted as saying. In private, her nickname for Riva was Golden Boy.
More info, including a wonderful headshot of Riva with a groom and barn cat/