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Nine days later Native Diver was dead. In the van on the way from Del Mar in the south to Bay Meadows in the north, the horse "acted funny," one of his handlers said. He would not eat or drink and for the first time in his fractious life permitted his groom to mop his perspiring forehead. Rushed to the University of California's animal husbandry specialists at Davis, he was given intensive care. But enteric toxemia, which horsemen call colic, was too much for him, as it is for most horses.
Californians felt about Native Diver the way Easterners feel about Kelso. He got more fan mail than any other horse but Kelso—a lot of it, because he was so handsome, from girls. He was a front-runner and a stayer; blazing fast, peevish, yet graceful. He was big and almost black, with a hide that washed down to a natural luminescence, making him a perfect picture horse.
The gelded son of Imbros-Fleet Diver by Devil Diver won 34 stakes, all in California, a world record for added-money victories. In his seven seasons on the track, Native Diver made 81 starts, finished first 37 times, second seven times and third 12 times. His lifetime earnings were $1,112,762.50, including $1,026,500 at the races and $86,262.50 in breeder awards. He was seventh on the alltime money-winners list. Three years in a row he captured the mile-and-a-quarter Hollywood Gold Cup, richest race in the U.S. handicap division.
Whenever he appeared on California tracks, Native Diver was cheered. His victory this year in the Hollywood Gold Cup won him the biggest ovation any horse but Kelso is known to have received in this country.
A REAL HAZARD
An 18-hole championship golf course that wanders back and forth across the Nevada-California state line is being built by the Sahara Tahoe Hotel, and it should test the mettle of everyone who plays it.
The hotel's brochure proudly reports that "a natural quicksand pit, which has claimed several cattle over the years, lies directly between the 10th and 11th tees." Even though the hotel hastens to add that the quicksand will have a protective wall around it, an element of suspense is created by the fact that not even the Great Wall of China would stop some golfers intent on finding a lost ball. After all, why take a penalty?
A sporty new car called the Road Runner is being introduced by Plymouth, complete with horn that goes "beep-beep"—just like the fast-running desert bird character in the movie cartoons.
This is fun, and we applaud it, but in the interest of ornithology it must be pointed out that the automobile follows art (or the car copies cartoons) rather than life.