Horse Racing is a sport that has become somewhat forgotten over the years. The sport only seems to resurface when there are horses that are in line to make a run for the triple crown. However, that doesn’t happen extremely often and the sport has taken a back seat to a lot of the other sports played in the United States such as baseball, basketball and football.
Many people look back and remember the glory days of horse racing, but they usually only remember a few horses. Secretariat and Sea Biscuit were great horses, no doubt, but there were other great horses out there that people should remember, such as the great horse named Native Dancer.
Native Dancer was sired by Polynesian and his dam was Geisha. The gray horse was a stallion and was foaled in the United States in 1950. Alfred G. Vanderbilt the 2nd was the owner and breeder of the horse and the horse was trained by the likes of William C. Winfrey.
The horse was named the Gray Ghost for good reason. The horse seemed to sneak up and streak by his opponents every race and managed an amazing racing career. The horse had a career record that can be put up against just about any other horse. The record finished at 21-1-0 with a total earning of 785,240 dollars. While this is not a tremendous amount of money, it was a lot more money in those days than it is worth right now.
The horse began to break out onto the big scene in 1952. The horse was like many horses and came out to surprise people as he began to take over. Native Dancer was an amazing racer in his first year and did not lose a single race. He was a perfect 9-0 and proved to have a flair for the dramatic finishes. The horse was known for a running style in which he would come from behind to take over his opponents. He was named the horse of the year that year and deserved the award for the amazing efforts that he put forth.
The next year the horse continued to dominate and took home wins in a bunch more races. While he had many wins, what everyone wants to know is how the horse fared in the triple crown races. Native Dancer managed to show well, winning the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in 1953. These wins were huge and gave the horse notoriety. He was named the US Champion 3-year-old Colt that year and was the United States Co-Horse of the Year. He was named the United States Horse of the Year again in 1954.
Native Dancer was inducted into the US Racing Hall Of Fame after his illustrious career and was honored by being chosen as one of the greatest racehorses of the 20th century. He was ranked 7th overall in the century and will forever be remembered as one of the greatest horses to ever take the track.