Affirmed won the Strub Stakes, and then ran in the Santa Anita Handicap against Exceller, who had defeated Seattle Slew in 1978. Affirmed won easily, running the 1 1 ⁄ 4 miles in 1:58 3 ⁄ 5 , setting a stakes record in California's most important stakes race that stood until 2014. Affirmed then went to Hollywood Park , where he won the Californian Stakes , carrying 132 pounds, he then won the Hollywood Gold Cup in a three horse finish, from Sirlad and Text, setting an all time earnings record and running the 1¼ miles in a fast 1:58 2/5. Affirmed picked up the Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park , and then faced one more all-time great horse, three-year-old Spectacular Bid , in the Jockey Club Gold Cup , also at Belmont. Spectacular Bid, like Alydar, preferred to run off the pace, and once again, Affirmed was allowed to set a slow pace, going the first half mile in 49 seconds. Spectacular Bid issued challenges at Affirmed, but Affirmed won. Spectacular Bid was undefeated during the rest of his racing career.