Jump to: navigation, search

Sword Dancer

Sword Dancer
Sire Sunglow
Dam Highland Fling
Grandsire Sun Again
Damsire By Jimminy
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1956
Country United States
Color Chestnut
Breeder Brookmeade Stable
Owner Brookmeade Stable
Trainer J. Elliott Burch
Record 39: 15-7-4
Earnings $829,610
Sword Dancer is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Highland Fling by Sunglow. He was born around 1956 in the United States, and was bred by Brookmeade Stable.
Major wins

Mayflower Stakes (1958)
Stepping Stone Purse (1959)
Jockey Club Gold Cup (1959)
Metropolitan Handicap (1959)
Monmouth Handicap (1959)
Travers Stakes (1959)
Woodward Stakes (1959, 1960)
Suburban Handicap (1960)
Grey Lag Handicap (1960)

American Classic Race wins:
Belmont Stakes (1959)
U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt (1959)
U.S. Champion Male Handicap Horse (1959)
United States Horse of the Year (1959)
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1977)
#53 - Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century
Sword Dancer Handicap at Saratoga Race Course
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on June 23, 2010

Sword Dancer (1956 -1984) was an American Hall of Fame Champion Thoroughbred racehorse.

Owned by Isabel Dodge Sloane's Brookmeade Stable, the small Sword Dancer was less than impressive racing at age two, winning only three times in fourteen starts. At age three, he began to develop and in the 1959 Kentucky Derby was beaten by a nose by Tomy Lee in a thrilling stretch duel. When Tomy Lee did not compete in the Preakness Stakes, his jockey Bill Shoemaker rode Sword Dancer to a second-place finish behind Royal Orbit, and then to victory in the Belmont Stakes. From there, the colt went on to win a number of major races including a defeat of Hillsdale in the Woodward Stakes. He also defeated 1958 Horse Of The Year, Round Table, for a second time (he was a disappointing third in the Woodward), beating him in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. His performance throughout 1959 earned him Horse of the Year honors, the most prestigious award in all of horseracing.

After a slow start at age four, Sword Dancer came on to win four important races out of his twelve starts. An ankle injury in the Man O' War Stakes ended his racing career and he was retired to stand at stud at Darby Dan Farm. Before being sent later on to a breeding farm in France, Sword Dancer notably sired the Hall of Fame colt, Damascus, and the filly Lady Pitt, the 1966 American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly.

In 1977, Sword Dancer was inducted into the United States' National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. His portrait by equine artist Richard Stone Reeves can be seen in the museum's collection.



Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...