While jockeys are the ones running the show a horse race, it’s fair to say that a jockey is only as good as the horse he’s riding on. Throughout racing history, there have been a slew of horses that have galloped away from the others in the starting gate.
Here are 5 of the top racehorses of all time:
“Affirmed” was foaled in 1975 in Florida, USA, and had a stellar career having won 7 of his 9 races. Affirmed was known for a while as the “last Triple Crown winner”, before American Pharoh won the Triple crown in 2015. He also had to overcome numerous battles during his career, and had to race against some of the greatest racehorses of all time, including Exceller, Spectacular Bid and Seattle Slew. This racehorse was particularly known for his Belmont Stakes performance, where he made up for the third slowest start in the history of the race by running the fastest last mile in racing history.
“Citation” was born in 1945 in Kentucky USA, and achieved the distinction of being the first horse to reach a million dollars in wins. While it was born in the US, Citation actually largely had a European pedigree, and picked up a host of accolades during his illustrious racing career. These include being named 1948 Horse of the year, being inducted into the US Racing Hall of Fame, winning the 8th Triple Crown, and being American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse. He won 16 consecutive races, a feat that stood for 46 years.
(3) Seattle Slew
Born in 1974, Seattle Slew stands apart from other racehorses having been the only one to have won the Triple Crown with an undefeated record. Remakably, Seatle SDlew also ahs had to overcome a life-threatening illness for over a year, after his rcoonaiton in1977. He promptly came back with a glorious victory in the Marlboro Cup, defeating defeat fellow Triple Crown winner Affirmed. This victory was achieved with a time that was only .40 off Secretariat’s Belmont track record. Slew’s legacy continues to this day in the form of his offspring, with 2 of his sire-line descendants, Orb and California chrome, winning the Kentucky Derby.
(4) Man O’ War
Man O’ War’s impressive feats on the race track are a part of folklore. Born in 1917 in Kentucky, he was bought for a mere $5,000, and despite a vicious temper, he was tamed enough to be dominant in horseracing circles, with only 1 race lost. He was favoured in every race where he entered, was often listed with 1-100 odds, and even won a race once by 100 lengths.
Man O’ War won just about every major race, and is credited with revitalising the popularity of horse racing. What makes his feats even more impressive is that he carried as much as 15 pounds more than his competitors. It’s no wonder that Sports Illustrated and the Associated Press named him the greatest race horse of all time.
Even if you’re not horse racing enthusiast , it’s very likely that you’ve heard the name “secretariat” before, such is the fame and legend that this horse race carries. Surprisingly, he had modest beginnings, and many thought that he was too clumsy and too interested in eating to excel on the racetrack. Having finished 4th in his initial race, he subsequently won his next race only 11 days later. He would go on to win all but 4 races in his career, and won many of them by seemingly impossible margins. After amassing what would equate to $7 million in modern earnings as well as a successful stud career, he passed way at age 19. His autopsy revealed that his heart was 2 and ¾ the size of a normal horse heart.
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