1970 Aqueduct Grey Lag Silver Plate Won by "Arts & Letters" w/Signed Program & Photo (3)
1969 was a milestone year for America, marking the Year of the Mets, the Astronaut and Horse of the Year Arts and Letters. Owned by Paul Mellon's Rokeby Stables, trained by Hall of Famer Eliot Burch and ridden by Hall of Famer Bruno Baeza, the colt won just about every prominent race that year including the Belmont Stakes, thus denying Majestic Prince the Triple Crown. The Grey Lag Handicap, the only race Arts and Letters won at age four in 1970, was an American Thoroughbred horse race that took place annually at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York. The tray is engraved: "NEW YORK RACING ASSOCIATION THE GREY LAG AQUEDUCT 1970 WON BY ROKEBY STABLES' ARTS AND LETTERS JOCKEY: BRAULIO BAEZA." Open to horses age three and older, in its final years, the Grey Lag was contested on dirt over a distance of one and three-sixteenths miles (9.5 furlongs). Winners of the handicap include U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductees Assault, Nashua, Stymie, Sword Dancer, and Tom Fool. Arts and Letters won two of his six starts in 1968, then at age three won two important Kentucky Derby prep races before finishing second in both the Derby and the Preakness Stakes to the undefeated California colt Majestic Prince. The horse carried the well-known colors of dark grey, yellow braids, sleeves, and cap. He went on to win several more important races in 1969, and was voted three major awards, including the most prestigious: American Horse of the Year. At age four, Arts and Letters won one of three races but his career came to an end after suffering an injury in the Californian Stakes. The lot comes with a photo and program, both signed by Hall of Fame jockey Braulio Baeza.