Liz O’Connell writes that Native Dancer, a racehorse and sire from the 1950s, was honoured when he was put into the state’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Native Dancer was the first horse to be put into the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame on Thursday night. Native Dancer was born on March 27, 1950. He was raised and trained at his owner and breeder Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr.’s Sagamore Farm in Glyndon, Maryland. He raced for three years, mesmerising millions of fans at the track and on newsreels and early television broadcasts.
The Ghost in Gray
The colt was so beautiful that people called him “the Gray Ghost,” and he won 21 of 22 races. The only race he didn’t win was the Kentucky Derby, where he finished second. Native Dancer was the favourite to win the Triple Crown because he had never lost in nine tough races. It was his to lose. What got in the way of him getting the turf’s Holy Grail was a bad trip, from a rocky start to running out of track during a brilliant comeback that almost beat the winner, Dark Star.