On May 2, 1964, Northern Dancer, ridden by Bill Hartack won the Kentucky Derby with a record setting 2 minute flat running time. The race was one for the ages as the Canadian born horse crossed the finish line a neck length ahead of High Hill. Northern Dancer became a National Hero in Canada as the first Canadian bred horse to win one of the horse racing's most coveted crowns. Northern Dancer's record stood until 1973, when Secretariat crossed the line in Louisville with a 1:59.40, and in 2001 Monarchos beat Northern Dancer's time by just three tenths of a second. Today, Northern Dancer's time stands as third best in the history of the race that began in 1875.
If you would like to read more about Northern Dancer check this out:
It is a fascinating story about a horse who was considered a runt, and even came close to being gelded before he found his way into the history books. Many great horses have had the same blood running through their veins as Northern Dancer, with one of them being the aforementioned Monarchos. 50 years ago today the 3-year-old wowed the crowd in Louisville, and even today we can look at his story and be wowed once again.
Ten facts about the Kentucky Derby: http://espn.go.com/horse-racing/story/_/id/10867796/ten-historically-important-kentucky-derby-facts
And last but not least, watch Northern Dancer make history here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZLdc441S5k