Triple Crown Near-Misses: Native Dancer Misses Perfection by a Head

    I’m sure that when Native Dancer was at stud, he often woke up in a cold sweat after dreaming about Dark Star. Dark Star was the only horse ever to beat Native Dancer; it just happened to be in the Kentucky Derby. Nicknamed “The Gray Ghost,” Native Dancer won all 9 of his races as a 2-year-old in 1952, earning him Horse of the Year honors. He won the Gotham Mile and Wood Memorial leading up to the 1953 Derby,… Read More »Triple Crown Near-Misses: Native Dancer Misses Perfection by a Head

    Triple Crown Near-Misses: Middleground Gets No Respect

      Even though Middleground won two of the three jewels of the Triple Crown in 1950, most of the attention that year centered on Hill Prince, who was supposed to sweep the series with ease. The horse had won 6 of 7 starts at age 2 and had won the Wood Memorial. Middleground was an afterthought, a horse with bad ankles who had finished second five times that year – three times to Hill Prince, who had dominated the early prep season. So… Read More »Triple Crown Near-Misses: Middleground Gets No Respect

      About That Derby…

        As Maximum Security went across the finish line, my hands went up in the air as I whooped for joy. I had picked the winner of the Kentucky Derby for the fifth time in seven years. I received congratulations from people at my Derby party as I waited for the stewards to make it official. And I waited. And waited. I watched replays showing Maximum Security cutting in front of War of Will, impeding his progress, and my heart fell.… Read More »About That Derby…