Polynesian (horse)

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

DamBlack Polly
Foaled8 March 1942
CountryUnited States
BreederElmendorf Farm
OwnerGertrude 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)


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]

Racing careerEdit

1944: two-year-old seasonEdit

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

1945: three-year-old seasonEdit

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.

Later careerEdit

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.

Stud careerEdit

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:

Foaled Name Sex Major Wins/Achievements
1950 Imbros Stallion
1950 Native Dancer Stallion Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes
1954 Barbizon Stallion American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt (1956)
Polly's Jet Stallion

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
Pasquita Sundridge
Black Queen

drk.brn. 1930

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


  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