||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (March 2010)|
|Grandsire||Meadow Skipper (US)|
|Dam||Niagara Dream (US)|
|Damsire||Bye Bye Byrd (US)|
|Foaled||Mar 30 1977|
|Breeder||Mrs. Elsie Berger (US)|
|Owner||Mrs. Elsie Berger (US)
Clint Galbraith (US)
|Trainer||Clint Galbraith (US)|
|Record||39 starts for 37 wins|
|First standardbred to win break the 1:52, 1:51 and 1:50 barriers
First standardbred to win $2 million dollars
|Last updated on 2009-04-17|
The son of Albatross out of the mare Niagara Dream, Niatross was born on March 30, 1977. He was trained and driven by co-owner Clint Galbraith and was unbeaten in 13 starts in his 2-year-old season, when he was named Harness Horse of the Year.
In September 1979, after Niatross won his first six races, half interest in him was sold to Stockbroker Lou Guida and the Niatross syndicate for 2.5 million in cash.
In 1980, Niatross won The Meadowlands Pace, which was the first million dollar race in either standardbred or thoroughbred racing history. Niatross also won the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers. In a time trial at Lexington, Kentucky's "Red Mile," he beat the world record by three seconds, setting a mark of 1:49.1.
During his racing career, Niatross won 37 of 39 races. In an elimination for the Meadowlands Pace, he broke stride, lost valuable ground, regained his gait and, in what many say was his greatest performance, recovered and finished 4th, qualifying for the final. In the Meadowlands Pace final, Niatross went right to the front and never looked back, winning easily. In his other loss at the Saratoga Standardbred track in Saratoga, NY, he spooked and fell over the inside hubrail (since then, all harness tracks have gone from hubrails to pylons). He recovered from some superficial scrapes and went on to beat all of his competition easily in future starts, frequently setting track records, including a new race and track record during the prestigious Prix d'Été at Blue Bonnets racetrack in Montreal, Quebec.
By the time Niatross retired to stud at Castleton Farm in 1981, he had earned more prize money than any other standardbred horse in history. He had been named Harness Horse of the Year in 1979 and 1980, the New York Post Athlete of the Year in 1980, and Harness Horse of the Decade for the 1980s. In stud, he commanded a top price for his services. Among his progeny were winners of the Little Brown Jug. One son, Nihilator, won Horse of the Year honors.
In 1996, when he was 19 years old, Niatross made a 20-city tour for his fans in Canada and the United States. In 1997, he was inducted as a member of the Living Horse Hall of Fame. In May 1999, he took ill and was transported to the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center where he was diagnosed with a large cancerous mass in his abdomen. On June 7, 1999, Niatross was humanely euthanized.
|Meadow Skipper (USA)
|Dale Frost||Hal Dale|
|Countess Vivian||Kings Counsel|
|Voodoo Hanover (USA)
|The Old Maid|
|Vibrant Hanover||Tar Heel|
Niagara Dream (USA)
|Bye Bye Byrd (USA)
|Evalina Hanover||Billy Direct|