Alysheba (KY)

Alysheba won two-thirds of the Triple Crown in 1987, was named Horse of the Year in 1988, and retired with the highest earnings of any North American racehorse. 

Alysheba (Chris McCarron up) wins the 1988 Charles H. Strub Stakes at Santa Anita (Santa Anita Photo/Museum Collection)
Inducted

1993

Foaled

1984

Sire

Alydar

Dam

Bel Sheba

Damsire

Lt. Stevens

Breeder

Preston Madden

Owner

Dorothy Scharbauer
Pamela Scharbauer

Trainer

Jack C. Van Berg

Career

1986-1988

Earnings

$6,679,242

Racing Record

26

Starts

Year Starts First Second Third Earnings
Year Sts 1 2 3 $
1986 7 1 4 1 $359486 $359,486
1987 10 3 3 1 $2511156 $2,511,156
1988 9 7 1 0 $3808600 $3,808,600

Biography

Alysheba won two-thirds of the Triple Crown in 1987, was named Horse of the Year in 1988, and retired with the highest earnings of any North American racehorse. 

Bred in Kentucky by Preston Madden at Hamburg Place and purchased for $500,000 by Dorothy and Pamela Scharbauer, Alysheba was trained by Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg and ridden primarily by Hall of Famer Chris McCarron. As a 2-year-old in 1986, Alysheba won only a maiden race, but he showed signs of promise by losing the Hollywood Futurity by a nose and finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

At 3, Alysheba was second in the San Felipe Stakes and finished third in the Blue Grass Stakes before winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Alysheba added a victory in the Super Derby and finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to Ferdinand by a nose. Ferdinand was named Horse of the Year, while Alysheba won the Eclipse Award for Champion 3-Year-Old Male.

As a 4-year-old in 1988, Alysheba won six Grade 1 races: the Charles H. Strub Stakes, Santa Anita Handicap, Philip H. Iselin Handicap, Woodward Handicap, Meadowlands Cup Handicap, and Breeders’ Cup Classic. He avenged his loss in the 1987 Breeders’ Cup Classic by defeating Ferdinand in the Santa Anita Handicap and San Bernardino Handicap. In the Woodward, Alysheba set a track record of 1:59⅖ for 1¼ miles. He also set a track record at Meadowlands Racetrack in the Meadowlands Cup. 

Alysheba concluded his career with his fourth consecutive Grade 1 victory in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Classic, defeating Seek the Gold to wrap up Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male honors. He compiled an overall record of 11-8-2 from 26 starts and owned the all-time earnings record with $6,679,242.

Alysheba stood at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky until being sold to breeding interests in Saudi Arabia in 1999. He sired 11 stakes winners, including 1994 Canadian Horse of the Year Alywow. In October 2008, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia returned Alysheba to Kentucky as a gift. He lived at the Kentucky Horse Park until he died March 27, 2009. Alysheba was buried at the Horse Park across from the grave of another legend, John Henry.

Achievements

Eclipse Award Champion 3-Year-Old Male — 1987
Eclipse Award Horse of the Year — 1988
Eclipse Award Champion Older Male — 1988

Triple Crown Highlights

Won the Kentucky Derby — 1987
Won the Preakness Stakes — 1987

Breeders' Cup Highlights

Won the Classic — 1988

Media

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