Horse Racing: Passing of the Ghost

He was one of U.S. sport's first great television heroes, the Saturday idol of millions, long before anyone heard of Arnie Palmer or Wilt the Stilt or Johnny U. Thousands of people sent him letters and greeting cards, little children organized fan clubs in his name, his portrait appeared on the cover of TIME (May 31, 1954). When he lost the 1953 Kentucky Derby by a head to a 25-1 shot named Dark Star, fans turned from their TV sets in tears.

That was the only race Native Dancer ever lost. In a three-year...

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