Friday May 02, 2014

Northern Dancer bolted into Canadian history 50 years ago at the Kentucky Derby

Listen 27:28

Ramon Cerda with Northern Dancer during training in Lexington for the Kentucky Derby in April ’64. (Penguin Canada)

Dust off your silks, jockey wannabes. We're going back fifty years to Louisville when the greatest two minutes in sports really meant something. Hear how a horse named Northern Dancer made a nation proud -- and, at least in one sense, still wins races.

• Champion racehorse Northern Dancer — CBC Archives


Horatio Luro, Northern Dancer's trainer
for the 1964 campaign. (Penguin Canada)

Fifty years ago today, Northern Dancer crossed the finish line and bolted into Canadian history as this country's greatest racehorse in the Kentucky Derby.

A lot was riding on the shoulders of that little colt. Kevin Chong tells the incredible story of this great thoroughbred in his new book Northern Dancer: The Legendary Horse That Inspired a Nation. Kevin Chong joined us from Vancouver.

Ron Turcotte is, one of the greatest jockeys in racing history. Not only did he race Northern Dancer, he also rode the great Secretariat to the Triple Crown in 1973. Ron Turcotte was in Grand Falls, New Brunswick.

The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby is tomorrow.

Are you a horse racing fan? Do you have memories of the Kentucky Derby to share?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.