Thursday, December 20, 2012
A little history about Native Dancer
I love horse racing history, and sometimes if an article particularly strikes me, I'll email it to myself to file away. This is one of those articles!
Past and Present at Sagamore Farm
Sagamore Farm was home to Maryland-bred Native Dancer. Winner of 21 races out of 22 starts, his only loss was by a closing head in the 1953 Kentucky Derby, which was commonly blamed on a poor ride by the jockey. He went on to win the Preakness and Belmont, and many thought he could have easily won the Triple Crown.
Native Dancer's 1953 Kentucky Derby loss
While considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time, Native Dancer left a more lasting impression in the breeding shed. Out of a Discovery ("The Iron Horse") mare* and by a Phalaris-line stallion, Native Dancer played a heavy hand in the shaping of the Thoroughbred breed in the latter 20th-century. His most important descendants were grandsons Northern Dancer (via daughter Natalma) who also traced to Phalaris in his sire line (via Nearco) and Mr. Prospector (via son Raise a Native) who was also buttressed on the other side by a Phalaris line, via damsire Nashua (Nearco). Needless to say, the Phalaris via Native Dancer x Phalaris via Nearco nick was/is quite potent!
The blood of both Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector, continues on through numerous top sires standing today.
*Bold Ruler, another top sire traced in male line to Phalaris via Neaco, and is out of a Discovery mare, making Discovery one of the most important broodmare sires of the 20th century. Bold Ruler offspring and direct descendants include 70s greats Secretariat, Ruffian, Seattle Slew and Spectacular Bid.