Sired by Young Rolfe out of Gretchen, Nelson was bred by C. H. Nelson of Waterville, Maine, who developed the trotter's speed and trained, drove and owned him throughout his extended turf career. The horse achieved early speed when, at 3, he trotted in 2:26 3/4 on a half-mile track in Lewiston, Maine. Any three-year-old that trotted that fast in 1885 was assured of a wide reputation. Four years later Nelson appeared on the Grand Circuit in Buffalo and created a furor when he won a $5,000 stake by trotting three consecutive heats 2:15, 2:17 1/4 and 2:15. On September 6, 1890, in an exhibition mile, at Bangor, Maine, he set a world record of 2:15 1/4 for a half-mile track. In 1891, at Grand Rapids, Michigan, hooked to a high-wheel sulky, he trotted a 2:10 mile over a regulation track. His career record was set in 1893 at Rigby Park in South Portland, Maine when, this time to the new low wheel bike, he went against the clock in 2:09. Nelson died on December 4, 1909 at Sunnyside Farm, Waterville, Maine at age 27.
Published in the Harness Racing Museum's 1994 book, The Immortals