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Native Dancer, a gray American racehorse, was a TV star in the 1950s. He won 21 out of 22 races and was Horse of the Year twice. He was related to Man o’ War and sired numerous successful horses. He retired early due to injury and died in 1967.

Native Dancer, also known as Gray Ghost, was a popular American racehorse who became an early equine television superstar during his period of fame in the 1950s. The distinctively colored gray horse stood out of the field in his 22 starts and lost only once during his racing career. In addition to standing out on the track, Native Dancer has also proven itself quite well in stud. Numerous accomplished equine athletes can trace their lineage to Native Dancer.

The horse was born in 1950 at Scott Farm in Kentucky. His mother, or mother, was Geisha and his father was Polynesia; many of Gray Ghost’s children have Asian and Hawaiian themed names as a result. Through Geisha, Native Dancer is related to Man o’ War, another famous racehorse; his great-grandfather, Fair Play, begat Man o’ War. Shortly after birth, Native Dancer was transferred to Sagamore Farm in Maryland, where he was raised and trained. He also later lived in Sagamore while at stud.

Native Dancer only raced for three years, forced into early retirement by a foot injury. During his short career, the horse managed to distinguish himself as Horse of the Year in 1952 and again in 1954. At the age of two, Native Dancer won the Eclipse Award, a highly coveted honor for two-year-old Thoroughbreds. years.

On television, Native Dancer’s gray coat made him easy to distinguish from the rest of the pack, endearing him to fans. The horse also tended to come up from behind to win races, staying in the middle of the herd until the last minute. This tactic failed him only once, during the Kentucky Derby, when he was fouled twice but still managed to carry on, losing to Dark Star by a nose. Despite this loss, Native Dancer has proven himself to be a powerful and dedicated athlete, and likely would have had an even more impressive career on track had he not been injured.

After her foot injury, Native Dancer retired to study. His numerous sons have proved accomplished and distinguished champions, and often appear in well-known races in the United States and abroad. Northern Dancer, for example, a celebrated stallion in his own right, is the grandson of Native Dancer. In 1963, Native Dancer was added to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and the famed American racehorse died four years later. He is buried at Sagamore Farm.

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