An Albatross-Niagara Dream-Bye Bye Byrd foal, Niatross was bred by Niagara Acres (Elsie Berger) and trained and driven by Clint Galbraith. Niatross was a large (16 hands) bay who became one of harness racing's legendary horses. He was inducted into the Living Horse Hall of Fame in 1997.
Niatross was undefeated in 13 starts as a 2-year-old and was voted 1979 Horse of the Year. Major wins included the Woodrow Wilson and the Kentucky Pacing Derby. At three, Niatross was a Triple Crown winner and voted Horse of the Year again, after winning 24 of 26 starts with earnings of $1,414,313. In 1980 he became the fastest horse in history with his 1:49.1 time trial - the first 1:50 Standardbred ever. Niatross also paced the fastest miles ever raced at that time - world records of 1:52.1 on a mile track and 1:54.4 on a half-mile track. In 1980 he beat out Jack Nicklaus and Muhammad Ali to be the New York Post's Athlete of the Year, the only horse ever given that honor.
Niatross retired as the fastest and richest Standardbred ever, with total lifetime earnings of $2,019,213. He moved on to a career as a stallion. Niatross' offspring have won more than $54 million and he has sired 127 in 1:55, 620 in 2:00 and over 150 $100,000 winners. His top performer was the great Nihilator p,3,1:49.3, a world champion who won 35 of 38 races and was the leading moneywinning pacer of all time with earnings of $3,225,653. Niatross also sired other top performers such as Little Brown Jug winner Barberry Spur p,3,T1:50.2 ($1,634,017) and the top filly Caressable p,2,1:55.4 ($1,006,380). In total, at the time of his death, Niatross was the sire of 648 pacers with records of 2:00 or faster. To date (1999) they have earned over $57 million.
Niatross was standing at Walnridge Farm, Cream Ridge, New Jersey at the time of his death on June 7, 1999. He was 22 years old. He is buried on the plaza at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, in Goshen New York.
Published in the Harness Racing Museum's 1999 book, The 1999 Immortals