Known as "The Gray Ghost" because of his color and his amazing ability on the racetrack, Native Dancer won all but one of his twenty-two starts. His lone loss came in the 1953 Kentucky Derby, when he was upset by Dark Star. Native Dancer went on to win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. But his brilliance was evident even at age two, when he won all nine of his starts and was named co-Horse of the Year, an honor not bestowed on a two-year-old horse again until twenty years later, when Secretariat was named Horse of the Year in 1972. Boyd also examines the human connections in Native Dancer's story, including owner Alfred Vanderbilt, trainer William C. Winfrey, and jockeys Eddie Arcaro and Eric Guerin.
Eva Jolene Boyd is a sixth-generation Texan. Born in San Antonio in 1937, she has loved horses her entire life. Assault was the first great racehorse she ever saw in person when she went to King Ranch. Boyd’s own horses include a half-Thoroughbred and a little Mexican cow pony. Her love affair with Thoroughbred racing began in 1953 when saw the telecast of Native Dancer winning the Gotham Stakes. The Dancer hooked her for good and still remains her favorite.
Boyd eventually combined her love for both horses and writing. She has had articles published in The Thoroughbred Record, Turf and Sport Digest, SPUR, The Backstretch, and The Blood-Horse. Boyd also wrote two previous books: That Old Overland Stagecoaching and Noble Brutes: Camels on the American Frontier. She resides in Ingram, Texas.