NORTHERN DANCER: FOREVER A CHAMPION w/BONUS FOOTAGE
Chance and twist of fate brought together NORTHERN DANCER's sire, NEARCTIC by NASRULLAH, and dam, NATALMA by NATIVE DANCER, together; the main reason no one would've anticipated his greatness was that he was the first foal for both yet unproven parents and in the years to follow, neither horse would ever produce anything close to their first foal.
E.P. Taylor used to offer his yearlings for sale with a price tag on each youngster; after half the yearlings were sold, Taylor would keep the rest for his racing stable. Because he was small in stature, NORTHERN DANCER suffered by comparison to his contemporaries and when offered for sale as a yearling for 25,000 - a reasonably high sum for the pint-sized colt, no buyer wanted to risk spending that amount and was thus kept by Mr. Taylor and put into training. He was described as, "willful, playful, and a real handful", by the farm manager.
After winning the 1963 Remsen Stakes, NORTHERN DANCER came out of Canada in the winter of 1964 and established himself as the kind of horse E.P. Taylor had long to prove could be produced in Ontario. Not only was NORTHERN DANCER rejected by prospective buyers, but he was cast aside as a Kentucky Derby mount by WILLIE SHOEMAKER. After winning the Florida Derby aboard NORTHERN DANCER, "THE SHOE" elected to switch mounts and take HILL RISE in the Kentucky Derby. In the Blue Grass Stakes, NORTHERN DANCER and his new rider, BILL HARTACK, won handily. The rest is history; the feisty "DANCER" not only won the roses but set a track record of 2:00 - the first Canadian-bred to ever do so and became a national hero - the little guy who defied the odds and snubs. He captured the Preakness before he actually turned three-years-old but failed to stay 1-1/2 miles in the Belmont.
He returned to his homeland and bounced back with a smashing 7-1/2 length victory in the prestigious Queen's Plate at Woodbine Track amongst the cheers from his devoted fans - a very sentimental and emotional homecoming; the Travers was next on his agenda but an injured tendon put a halt to his racing career.
Trained by HORATIO LURO, NORTHERN DANCER was voted 1964 Horse-of-the-Year and retired with 14 victories from 18 starts. He stood in Canada in 1965-1968 before being moved to Windfields Farm in Maryland - it is here in Maryland that the stallion would be associated with making his mark in the Thoroughbred world. By the mid 1970's NORTHERN DANCER had firmly established himself in the Thoroughbred industry through the achievements of his racing offspring. His progeny went on to make and break racing and sales records all over the world. And as his popularity grew, so did his stud fee from $10,000 all the way up to in excess of $1 million with no guarantee.
Through 1981, 21% of all his foals were stakes winners and his foals were in high demand; they proved themselves on the track but most of the champions were being raced in Europe where they were sent after being bought at the select sales - thus the dominance appeared in Europe.
Watch thrilling racing footage of several of his world-renowned sons such as NIJINSKY II, THE MINSTREL, SECRETO, EL GRAN SENOR and also many of them at stud: NIJINSKY II, LYPHARD, NUREYEV, DANZIG, STORM BIRD, THE MINSTREL, VICE REGENT, BE MY GUEST, and SOVEREIGN DANCER.
NORTHERN DANCER's impression on the Thoroughbred market will be felt for generations to come as the stallions who continue to have a major impact are predominantly sons and grandsons of his - they will continue his legacy.
A spellbinding look at one of the most influential Thoroughbreds in racing history.
AS AN ADDED BONUS...A rare and priceless lengthy segment is included after the main feature as news breaks around the world of the death of legend - NORTHERN DANCER at the age of 29-years-old in December, 1990. The entire racing world mourns the passing of an equine icon whose accomplishments on-track were more than surpassed by his overwhelming contributions to the breeding industry where he revolutionized it and became the standard for the most sought-after bloodlines. In addition, his legacy will forever flourish and be fortified as countless NORTHERN DANCER sons and grandsons currently stand stud at farms all around the world; generous footage of many of NORTHERN DANCER's most famous progeny are shown retired from the track at their respective residences: THE MINSTREL, LOCAL TALENT, SADLER'S WELLS, STORM BIRD, BE MY GUEST, NUREYEV, DANZIG, SOVEREIGN DANCER, LYPHARD, NIJINSKYK II, SNAAFI DANCER and SHAREEF DANCER.
|Format(s) Available:||DVD And VHS|
|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|