Greenacres Stud

 

Racing Stallion :  Northern Dancer

     
                       
                         
 

Racing Stallion Northern Dancer

 
   

Northern Dancer was a stocky little bay standing at only 14hands, 2 and 1/2 inches high. He more resembled a quarter horse than a thoroughbred. His sire Nearctic , was a young unproven stallion who had been a fine sprinter and his dam Natalma had a short and relatively unsuccessful racing career before she broke a bone in her knee.

Northern Dancer was owned by a Mr E. P. Taylor who invested much in building racing stables in an attempt to improve the standards of Canadian racing in the 1950's.

   
   

    

   
   

 

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    Northern dancer was offered for sale by Mr. Taylor at his 1962 yearling sale for the sum of  $25,000 but there were no offers to buy. The horse was therefore returned to Mr.Taylor's barns at Windfields Farm at Willowdale , which is north of Toronto, to be trained and raced.

As a two year old , his racing debut was delayed by cracked heels and it wasn't until August 1963 that he entered his first race. He won by seven lengths and so was then entered in the Summer Stakes which was the richest juvenile race at Fort Erie , which he also duly won.

He was shipped to New York in November 1963 by which time he had lost only twice in seven starts. His successes continued , but he suffered a quarter - crack on his left forefoot. A rubber patch was applied and the colt continued to race and to win !

As a three year old in 1964 Northern Dancer reached the most important year of his racing career being eligible to compete in top classics. Partnered by jockey Bill Hartack who had taken over the ride from previous jockey Bill Shoemaker , Northern Dancer won the Blue Grass Stakes.  Next came the Kentucky Derby beating Hill Rise ( ridden by Shoemaker ) by a neck , to win in a record time of two minutes flat.

The second leg of the Triple Crown was also won by Northern Dancer but the third race of the Triple Crown ,  The Belmont , proved just a bit too much for him , coming in third.

He was returned to Canada and stormed to a seven length victory in the Queen's Plate. This was to be his last ever race. Shortly after , he developed a bowed tendon and Mr.Taylor decided to retire Northern Dancer to stud. His short racing career had earned him  $580,000 .

Any success that Northern Dancer had achieved as a race horse was soon eclipsed by his success as a stud. He became the leading sire in the world in 1970 when he was moved to Maryland and syndicated for  $2.4 million.

Although Northern Dancer died in 1990 , his contribution to the Thoroughbred breed continues. An estimated 75% of current racing Thoroughbreds can be traced back to this one little horse.

 

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