Racing Future is determined to inspire a new generation of fans to enjoy the sport of horse racing.

Northern Dancer: "the little brown Canadian engine that could"

1st May 2013, Spirit of Jefferson & Farmer's Advocate

By Bob Madison

Northern Dancer with his three white feet was quite small in stature. Some called him the “Little Dancer”, and others were skeptical of what he could accomplish when they first saw him.

He was bred and owned by Windfield Farms, a 1,500-acre stand of land in Ontario, Canada. Businessman E.P. Taylor presided over the place.

The most recognized names in Northern Dancer’s lineage were Native Dancer, Blenheim and Hyperion. Native Dancer lost only one race out of the 22 where he was entered.

Mr. Taylor brought Northern Dancer to the 1964 Kentucky Derby with an entourage of famous on-track helpers. The jockey would be Bill Hartack, the no-nonsense rider whose rise from his early days at Charles Town to be the country’s leading rider was done quickly and lasted long enough for him to win nine Triple Crown races.

The trainer was Horatio Luro, another figure whose legacy and accomplishments would still be noted 50 years later.

The field for the 1964 Kentucky Derby had some stars whose futures were to be full of stakes wins and fortune. The Scoundrel. Hill Rise. Owner Paul Mellon’s, Quadrangle, from Rokeby Stable in Loudoun County, Va.

Northern Dancer was No. 7 in the post parade. He was the betting public’s second-favorite behind only Hill Rise.

During the running of the Derby, both Northern Dancer and Hill Rise were placed near the lead. When the head of the long Churchill Downs stretch was reached, Northern Dancer had poked his head in front and gotten a two-length advantage.

Through the stretch, Hill Rise steadily chopped feet off that diminishing lead. But at the wire, jockey Hartack had managed to hold off the challenge and still had Northern Dancer’s neck in front.

The winning time of 2:00.0 was the fastest Derby ever run — until Secretariat came bustin’ through in 1973.

Read More



In the Backstretch Kitchen with E. P. Taylor

Foundations: Northern Dancer

Canadian Museum of Civilization acquires E.P. Taylor – Windfields Farm Collection

Horse Racing Canada: Northern Dancer gets full museum treatment

Northern Dancer: "the little brown Canadian engine that could"

Racing Future Celebrates E. P. Taylor



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