Natalma (March 26, 1957 – January 29, 1985) was an American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse best known as the dam (mother) of the most important sire, and sire of sires, of the late 20th Century, Northern Dancer. She also established a highly influential female family, which has produced other leading sires Machiavellian and Danehill, plus numerous other stakes winners. Natalma was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2007.

SireNative Dancer
FoaledMarch 26, 1957
CountryUnited States
BreederMrs. E. H. Augustus & Daniel G. Van Clief
OwnerE. P. Taylor
TrainerHoratio Luro
Record7: 3–0–2
Natalma Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack
Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (2007)


Bred in Virginia by Mrs. E. H. Augustus & Daniel G. Van Clief, Natalma was purchased by Canadian business mogul E. P. Taylor at the Saratoga, New York yearling sales for $35,000 (equivalent to $310,000 in 2020). This was the second-highest price for a filly at that year's sale, a reflection of Natalma's excellent breeding. Her sire was the great Native Dancer, and her dam was the highly influential Almahmoud. In addition to Natalma, Almahmoud also produced Cosmah, the 1974 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, and Bubbling Beauty. Natalma, Cosmah and Bubbling Beauty all produced leading sires: Northern Dancer, Halo and Arctic Tern respectively. The family descends from the excellent racehorse and notable broodmare Mother Goose.[2]

Racing careerEdit

Natalma was trained by Horatio Luro, who would later train Northern Dancer as well. At age two, she won two of her five starts. She also crossed the finish line first in the 1959 Spinaway Stakes but swerved when jockey Bobby Ussery hit her with the whip and was disqualified to third place for interference. The experience so soured Natalma on racing that it was several months before Luro was able to return her to the racetrack.[3]

Natalma made her three-year-old debut on April 9, 1960 at Keeneland where she briefly led but then faded to tenth. Two weeks later, she won in what would prove her final race.[4] While in training for the Kentucky Oaks, she was found to have bone chips in the right knee. She was given some time off to recover, then went back into training for the Coaching Club American Oaks. However, the bone chips recurred, which led to her retirement.[3]

Breeding recordEdit

Although late in the breeding season, she was sent to Taylor's Windfields Farm in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada to be bred to Nearctic. Coincidentally, Nearctic had won the Michigan Mile just days before the 1958 Saratoga Sales, and the winnings from this race gave Taylor the funds to pay for Natalma. Natalma was bred to Nearctic on June 28, 1960, as the last mate of his first crop. That late pairing resulted in Northern Dancer being born on May 27, 1961. As a racehorse, Northern Dancer was a champion in both Canada and the United States whose major wins included the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Queen's Plate. He achieved even greater fame by becoming a leading sire in both North America and Europe, and went on to become an outstanding sire of sires.[2]

Natalma was bred to Nearctic several additional times, producing Arctic Dancer (dam of La Prevoyante), Northern Ace, Northern Native, Transatlantic and two unnamed fillies who died before age 2. Additionally, she produced stakes winners Native Victor, Regal Dancer and Born A Lady with other stallions.[5][2]

Natalma's daughters have further extended her influence on Thoroughbred bloodlines worldwide. Raise the Standard, by Hoist the Flag, founded a strong branch of the family in France, from which descended important sire Machiavellian and classic winners Bluemamba and Senga, among many other stakes winners. Another daughter, Spring Adieu by Buckpasser, was the second dam of nine stakes winners, including leading sire Danehill. Danehill was inbred to Natalma since he also descended from her through Northern Dancer.[2][6] Other horses inbred to Natalma include the undefeated champion Frankel, Australian champion and World recordholder of the most Group 1 wins (25) Winx and Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense.[4][7][8]

Natalma was humanely euthanized on January 29, 1985 at the Windfields Farm satellite operation in Maryland (now the Northview Stallion Station) after unsuccessful treatment for colic. She was buried in the farm's equine cemetery.


In 2007, Natalma's contribution to the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing was recognized through her induction in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.[4] The Natalma Stakes for two-year-old fillies, run over the E.P. Taylor turf course at Woodbine, is named in her honour.[9]


Pedigree of Natalma, bay mare, foaled March 26, 1957 in Virginia[10]
Native Dancer
Polynesian Unbreakable Sickle
Blue Grass
Black Polly Polymelian
Black Queen
Geisha Discovery Display
Miyako John P. Grier
La Chica
Mahmoud Blenheim Blandford
Mah Mahal Gainsborough
Mumtaz Mahal
Arbitrator Peace Chance Chance Shot
Mother Goose Chicle
Flying Witch (Family 2-d)[11]

Natalma is inbred 5 × 5 to Fair Play, meaning Fair Play appears twice in the fifth generation of her pedigree.[2][10]


  1. ^ "Natalma Profile". Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Avalyn Hunter. "Natalma (horse)". American Classic Pedigrees. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b Smith, Beverley (22 May 2007). "Natalma finally gets enshrined". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Natalma at the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame". December 15, 2016.
  5. ^ "Progeny of Natalma". December 15, 2016.
  6. ^ "Senga Rallies for Prix de Diane Score". Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Frankel has book of the century". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Winx Returns in Grand Fashion". Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  9. ^ "2017 Natalma Stakes". Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Pedigree of Natalma". Equineline. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Thoroughbred Bloodlines - Emma - Family 2-d". Retrieved 19 June 2017.