Dancer's ImageDancer's Image, a Maryland-bred owned by Peter Fuller of Boston, spent the first part of his 3-year-old season prepping for the Kentucky Derby in his native state.Dancer's Image placed himself squarely in Derby contention with a victory in one of the nation's richest preps, the $100,000-added Governor's Gold Cup April 6 at Bowie, in which his time for the 1 1/16-mile race, 1:42 4/5, was only a fifth of a second off the track record. In a humanitarian gesture, Fuller donated the $77,415 winner's share of the purse to the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King to establish a scholarship in memory of the slain civil rights leader. King was shot to death in Memphis two days before the Gold Cup.
Dancer's Image made his final Derby prep two weeks later in the Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct and won as the 2-1 favorite.
He went off the second choice in the Run for Roses and all appeared well as he crossed the finish line 1 1/2 lengths in front of favorite Forward Pass. Unfortunately, it was not. He was disqualified for racing on the prohibited substance phenylbutazone.Dancer's Image's bad luck continued. He finished third in the Preakness, won by Forward Pass, but was disqualified for interference.