Polynesian (horse)

Last updated
Sire Unbreakable
Grandsire Sickle
DamBlack Polly
Sex Stallion
Country United States
Colour Brown
Breeder Elmendorf Farm
Owner Gertrude T. Widener
TrainerMorris H. Dixon
Record58: 27-10-10
Major wins
Withers Stakes (1945)
Riggs Handicap (1946)
Roseben Handicap (1946)
Toboggan Handicap (1946)
Scarsdale Handicap (1946)
Long Branch Handicap (1947)
Camden Handicap (1947)
Oceanport Handicap (1947) American Classic Race wins:
Preakness Stakes (1945)
American Champion Sprint Horse (1947)

Polynesian (March 8, 1942 – 1959) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse and sire.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Thoroughbred Horse breed developed for racing

The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses that are known for their agility, speed, and spirit.

Horse racing Equestrian sport

Horse racing is an equestrian performance sport, typically involving two or more horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance for competition. It is one of the most ancient of all sports, as its basic premise – to identify which of two or more horses is the fastest over a set course or distance – has been unchanged since at least classical antiquity.



He was owned by Gertrude T. Widener, of the prominent Widener family of Philadelphia, and bred by her father-in-law Joseph E. Widener at his Elmendorf Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. He was trained by Morris H. Dixon. [1]

Gertrude T. Widener was an American socialite and a successful Thoroughbred racehorse owner and breeder. Born in Albany, New York, she was the daughter of Curtis N. Douglas, a businessman and New York State Senator.

Widener family

The Widener family is an American family from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded by Peter Widener (1834–1915) and his wife, Hannah Josephine Dunton (1836–1896), it was once one of the wealthiest families in the United States. In 1883, Peter Widener was part of the founding partnership of the Philadelphia Traction Company, and he used the great wealth accumulated from that business to become a founding organizer of U.S. Steel and the American Tobacco Company.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Racing career

1944: two-year-old season

At age two, Polynesian lost his first three races, then bucked his shins.

1945: three-year-old season

Back in training at age three, Polynesian won five of his next seven starts, one of which was a division of the Sagamore Stakes. In the Experimental Free Handicap he came in third to Jeep and Greek Warrior, and fourth in a division of the Wood Memorial won by Hoop Jr.. He skipped the Kentucky Derby (won by Hoop Jr.), instead competing in one mile Withers Stakes where he defeated Pavot. Polynesian then took the mile and three sixteenths second leg of the U.S. Triple Crown series, the Preakness Stakes, in a front running victory. [2] Because of its demanding one and a half miles, Polynesian was not entered in the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. Later that year he won the Saranac Handicap.

Hoop Jr. was an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the Kentucky Derby in 1945.

Kentucky Derby American stakes race for Thoroughbreds, part of the Triple Crown

The Kentucky Derby is a horse race that is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles (2.0 km) at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds and fillies 121 pounds.

The Withers Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds willing to compete one and one-sixteenth mile on the dirt. Held at Aqueduct Racetrack in February, it is a Grade III event, and currently offers a purse of $250,000.

Later career

Polynesian developed into a champion sprinter, winning a number of important sprint races in 1946 and in 1947 and was named the U.S. Champion Sprint Horse. [3] In his last year of racing, he went through a streak of five wins, 10 seconds, and 10 thirds.

The American Champion Sprint Horse award is an American Thoroughbred horse racing honor. Created in 1947, in 1971 it became part of the Eclipse Awards program and is awarded annually to the top horse in sprint races.

Stud career

Retired to stud duty, Polynesian sired 37 stakes winners including one of the greatest horses in American racing history, Native Dancer. Some of Polynesian's offspring were:

Horse breeding human-directed process of selective horse breeding

Horse breeding is reproduction in horses, and particularly the human-directed process of selective breeding of animals, particularly purebred horses of a given breed. Planned matings can be used to produce specifically desired characteristics in domesticated horses. Furthermore, modern breeding management and technologies can increase the rate of conception, a healthy pregnancy, and successful foaling.

Native Dancer American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Native Dancer, nicknamed the Grey Ghost, was one of the most celebrated and accomplished Thoroughbred racehorses in history and was the first horse made famous through the medium of television. As a two-year-old, he was undefeated in his nine starts for earnings of $230,495, a record for a two-year-old. During his three years of racing, he won 21 of 22 starts.

Imbros (1950–1972) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who set or equaled six track records including a new world record for seven furlongs in winning the 1954 Malibu Sequet Stakes at Santa Anita Park and equaled the world record for a mile and a sixteenth in winning the 1954 Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park Racetrack.

Raise a Native American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Raise a Native was an undefeated Thoroughbred racehorse that was named 1963 champion two-year-old colt in the Turf and Sport Digest poll and was the highest rated juvenile in the Experimental Free Handicap. He sired 74 stakes winners, including Majestic Prince and Alydar. In its 1988 obituary for the horse, The New York Times called him "the most influential sire of American Thoroughbred stallions over the last 20 years".

Northern Dancer Canadian-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Northern Dancer was a Canadian-bred Thoroughbred racehorse that won the 1964 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and then became one of the most successful sires of the 20th century. He is considered a Canadian icon, and was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1965. Induction into the Racing Hall of Fame in both Canada and the United States followed in 1976. As a competitor, The Blood-Horse ranks him as one of the top 100 U.S. Thoroughbred champions of the 20th century. A sire of sires, he has been called the leading male-line progenitor of modern Thoroughbreds worldwide.

Polynesian was also the damsire of 1963 Kentucky Derby winner Chateaugay and 1978 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Primonetta.

At age seventeen, Polynesian died in 1959 from colic and was buried at Gallaher Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.


Pedigree of Polynesian

black 1935


brown 1924

Phalaris Polymelus
Selene Chaucer
Blue Grass

bay 1917

Prince Palatine Persimmon
Lady Lightfoot
Hour Glass Rock Sand
Black Polly

bay 1936


ch. 1914

Polymelus Cyllene
Maid Marian
Black Queen

drk.brn. 1930

Pompey Sun Briar
Black Maria Black Toney
Bird Loose (Family 14-a)

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  1. "Philadelphia Inquirer: Search Results". nl.newsbank.com.
  2. "St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  3. http://www.bloodhorse.com/eclipsewinners/pdf/History_Charts.pdf