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.