NativeDiver

 Native Diver
California's Incomparable star of the 60's

Hollywood Park
The Los Angeles 
Handicap
1965

Native Diver
equaled the World Record
of 1:20 for seven furlongs.

On May 22, 1965 
the greatest sprinters in the world came to Hollywood Park 
to decide who would be the champion sprinter. 
Native Diver - George Royal - Hill Rise - Viking Sprit?

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(I will share with you, from my own personal file,  the stretch run called by Harry Henson).

Click on Audios

Audio
The Los Angeles Handicap - 705 kb's (wait for download)

I Was There!
Click to read a delightful memory of the Los Angeles Handicap
submitted by a devoted fan - Bill MacArthur

My sincere thanks to
 The Thoroughbred of California
for permission to excerpt their material, and the Jay Hovday article, that those new to the sport of racing 
may also re-live the moment.

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The determined speedster 
Native Diver won three Hollywood Gold Cups in the 1960's

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Coal black, sickle-hocked, and full of fire, The Diver spread his legend across seven California seasons. His devoted trainer, Buster Millerick, handled the gelding like fine china, passing races when he had the slightest doubts. Still, Millerick kept Native Diver going strong through 81 starts and 37 victories, banking $1,026,500 when a million was a million. It was 10 years before Ancient Title broke The Diver's earnings record for Cal-breds.
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Native Diver equaled the world record of 1:20 for seven furlongs in the 1965 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park when Viking Spirit pushed him every step of the way. (El Drag had set the record 10 years earlier at Hollywood). He won three straight runnings of the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar (1963-65) and flirted with the world record for nine furlongs in winning the Del Mar Handicap of 1967 at the age of eight. But above all, Native Diver will be remembered for winning three straight Hollywood Gold Cups from 1965 to 1967, running faster each time as he got older.
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Millerick insisted that Native Diver was never better than in the fall of 1967, when he was shipped north to point for the Bay Meadows Handicap. But we will never know for sure. Always a fretful horse, The Diver was hit by an attack of colic and subsequently died from a twisted intestine. His remains were buried beneath a monument at Hollywood Park.
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Native Diver
59g. by Imbros --Fleet Diver, by Devil Diver

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Hollywood Park was considered his home. A monument was built in his honor.
 Under the training of Mickey Millerick he won three consecutive Gold Cups in his own wire-to-wire style. Jockey Jerry Lambert rode him in the majority of his races but it is apparent Ralph Neves rode him in some of his earlier races.

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The Hollywood Gold Cup of 1967 was a rarity.
 No horse had ever won the race three times. Pretense was high-weighted.
 Jockey Milo Valenzuela was unseated at the start when his mount, O'Hara, 
stumbled coming out of the gate.
 The key horses were Pretense - Native Diver - Biggs - Quicken Tree, etc. .
The loose horse posed a serious threat during the entire race 
 Listen as the legendary  Harry Henson makes the call.

Because of the download time 
 the race is divided into two parts so the entire race can be heard.

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AUDIOŠ
Part 1  ---  Part 2

1967 Hollywood Gold Cup - Expect download

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Native Diver won stake races at 2-3-4-5-6-7-8.years of age.
He was a 2 time winner of the prestigious San Carlos Handicap at 7 furlongs. 
(Native Diver 1st - Hoist Bar 2nd - Pretense 3rd)
Listen to the race from Santa Anita with the one and only 
Joe Hernandez making the call.

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AUDIOŠ
Click - expect down load time 
Stretch run of Native Diver's 1967 San Carlos Handicap

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Labor Day, 1967 - the Del Mar Handicap.
 Native Diver was attempting an incredible 34th stakes victory. 
Just a few months earlier, the speedy son of Imbros (by Polynesian) had sent 51,664 crazed fans into ecstasy by winning an unprecedented third Hollywood Gold Cup.

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A tall, coal black horse stalked into the paddock,
surveying the crowd imperiously. 
The other animals meekly walked the appointed path too, but no one saw them.

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Native Diver packed 130 pounds to a matter-of-fact victory that day, 
carrying jockey Jerry Lambert home 3 1/2 lengths on top and elevating his earnings to a California bred record of $1,026,500. 
He also paid only $3.00 to win, but his fans didn't care

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Eight days after winning the Del Mar Handicap
Native Diver colicked at Bay Meadows and was rushed to the equine hospital at the University of California at Davis. 
His intestinal track could not fight off the enterio toxemia that had attacked his system,
 and early the next morning,
  Native Diver died.

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When the papers carried the story, an entire state of racing fans mourned.

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