Bits and pieces: Native Dancer statue unveiled in NY

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The statue commemorating Native Dancer at Saratoga Springs, New York.
The statue commemorating Native Dancer at Saratoga Springs, New York. © JB82 – Licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Common

A statue of the legendary US racehorse Native Dancer has been unveiled at Saratoga Springs in New York.

Born in 1950 and nicknamed the Grey Ghost, was one of the most celebrated racehorses in history and was the first horse made famous through the medium of television. As a two-year-old, he was undefeated in his nine starts for earnings of $230,495, a record for a two-year-old. During his three years of racing, he won 21 of 22 starts.

He was unbeaten at the nearby Saratoga Racecourse.

The Native Dancer statue was created by sculptor Gwen Reardon, who told the Saratogian newspaper: “This is a one-of-a-kind Saratoga champion.” She named the world “Going to the Winner’s Circle”.

The statue was unveiled on Saturday morning, August 1, at the newly completed Centennial Park. Native Dancer was owned by the late Alfred G. Vanderbilt Jr, whose son, Michael, along with Carey Winfrey, the son of Native Dancer’s trainer, William Winfrey, were in attendance. Also attending the unveiling was Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen, US Rep. Paul Tonko, and philanthropists Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson, who donated the statue to the city.

Rachel's Valentina after her first-up win at Saratoga on Sunday.
Rachel’s Valentina after her first-up win at Saratoga on Sunday.

Rachel Alexander’s daughter wins first up

The two-year-old daughter of star racemare Rachel Alexandra has won her first start, at New York’s Saratoga Racecourse.

Rachel’s Valentina, by Bernardini, took out the second race on the card on Sunday, ridden by John Velazquez over the 6 furlong race, finishing in a time of 1:10.39.

Rachel’s Valentina is the first foal of Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra to make it to the races, with her older half-brother, Jess’s Dream, by Curling,  yet to make his debut.

Rachel’s Valentina is trained by Todd Pletcher.

 

 

 

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