1984 Preakness Winner Gate Dancer Race Worn Saddle (Angel Cordero Jr. Up)
This saddle worn by Gate Dancer during his 1984 Preakness Stakes triumph tells the tale of an honest racehorse. Based in the Midwest with Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg, Gate Dancer ran with distinction as a juvenile and early in his sophomore campaign, but lacked a marquee victory to put him on par with the best of his crop. In the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, the plucky 3-year-old was sent off at 19-1. He ran hard, but ultimately ran to his odds as he crossed the wire fourth and was then disqualified and placed fifth for a bumping incident. The son of Sovereign Dancer remained under the radar heading into the Preakness, but enlisting the services of Hall of Fame rider Angel Cordero, Jr. made all the difference. Gate Dancer coasted to victory in then track-record time over his more ballyhooed rivals. He continued to run well for the remainder of his career, winning a few valuable stakes races along the way, but earned even more respect in defeat when he finished a hard-fought third in a blanket finish in the inaugural running of the Breeders' Cup Classic. The Preakness saddle, which shows tremendous use and comes with stirrups, has been signed twice by Van Berg, on top and bottom. Cordero's signature appears on a piece of tape under the saddle with an accompanying note that reads "1984, Win the Preakness (8th Race), Gate Dancer." Comes with COA.
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