Northern Dancer

Northern Dancer

The Legendary Horse That Inspired A Nation

Book - 2014
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In every sport there are a select few competitors that come to define the excellence  that all others must forever aspire to. In "the sport of kings," there is one  that stands alone. Northern Dancer is not only a Canadian legend, but the  cornerstone of his breed. It has been estimated that 70 percent of the thoroughbreds  alive today are his descendants, which includes the majority of the horses  running in the biggest races around the world. His offspring received recordbreaking  prices on the auction floor.

While much has been written about Northern Dancer's prepotence as a sire, this  book is the only one devoted to his 1964 campaign, which saw him win two of the  Triple Crown races in the U.S. and Canada's Queen's Plate. In that time, he captured  the attention of the world and the hearts of all Canadians. In Northern Dancer, the  world-famous horse comes alive through the people whose lives he touched: E.P. Taylor,  the visionary industrialist whose web of business placed him at the end of every consumer  transaction for every Canadian and made him the subject of scorn; Horatio Luro, the dapper  Argentinean trainer (and tango dancer, pilot, and race car driver) who was notorious for  his affairs with Hollywood starlets and his tender treatment of horses; and Bill Hartack,  a wildly successful jockey whose squabbles with the press and his inability to conceal his  unvarnished truth from influential owners and trainers was, by 1964, beginning to affect  his career. Using news clippings from 1964 and interviews, this book offers novelistic detail  not only on the remarkable 1964 Triple Crown and Queen's Plate races, but also revisits,  fifty years later, the era in which Canada was struggling to establish an identity, needing,  more than anything, a national hero.

Publisher: Toronto, Ontario, Canada :, Viking,, 2014
ISBN: 9780670067794
Branch Call Number: 798.4 C455n
Characteristics: xv, 304 pages : illustarations ; 24 cm


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Mar 24, 2016

As a casual fan or horse racing, I really enjoyed the story of Northern Dancer, who in 1964 became the first Canadian-bred stallion to win the Kentucky Derby. Owned by industry magnate E.P. Taylor, the history of how this horse defied the odds and won not only the run for the roses, but the Preakness Stakes and the Queen's Plate in the same year is legendary. I also liked the context that author Kevin Chong provided, showing us how important Northern Dancer's victory was on the Canadian psyche when horse racing was at an all-time high in terms of popularity. The information I learned not only about this horse, but the sport in general was very enlightening, like how Taylor essentially built horse racing in Canada, turning dilapidated joints like Woodbine and Fort Erie into first-rate tracks. Even if you're not a fan of the sport of kings, there is a lot of great Canadian history in this book.

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