Look at Them Go: The Top 5 Racehorses of All Time

Who are the top five race horses of all time?

Who are the top five race horses of all time?

Did you ever think of horse racing as a team effort? If not, you definitely should. Winning a race is impossible without the jockey and the horse working together. Besides, the horse is doing the running, but (as you have probably seen before) it can’t perform at its peak without a great jockey. It is like when you head over to the Royal Vegas Casino, load the first blackjack table, and start playing without knowing what you are supposed to do. As you can’t with at any Royal Vegas game without knowing how to play, you can’t expect a horse to know what to do without a jockey guiding its steps. Of course, there are especially smart horses, as they are especially lucky players at the Royal Vegas. Still, not even the top racehorses of history – the ones we’ll be listing below – can make do without a great jockey. Although racing is a team effort, today we won’t focus on the jockeys. Instead, let’s see a list of the five best racehorses of all time.

Affirmed (Record: 22-5-1)

Affirmed was known as the “last Triple Crown winner” until American Pharoah took the title from him in 2015. Sired by Exclusive Native, Affirmed was bred in Florida by Louis E. Wolfson’s Harbor View Farm. With an impressive record, and career earnings worth $2,887,999, Affirmed is best remembered for its performance at Belmont Stakes, where it had the third slowest start ever, only to run the fastest last mile in history.

Citation (Record: 32-10-2)

Citation was one of the three major North American Thoroughbreds to win at least 16 consecutive races. Born in August 1945, he was sired by Bull Lea, and owned and bred by Calumet Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. He was included in the US Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1959, he occupies the #3 spot in the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century list, and lent his name to a line of business jets built by Cessna.

Seattle Slew (Record: 14-2-0)

Sired by Bold Reasoning, Seattle Slew stands out by being the only thoroughbred to win the Triple Crown while being undefeated. After a life-threatening illness for over a year, Seattle Slew returned to the track with a glorious victory at the Marlboro Cup in 1977, defeating Affirmed and running a time very close to Secretariat’s Belmont track record.

Man o’War (Record: 20-1-0)

Born in Kentucky in 1917, Man o’ War was owned and bred by August Belmont Jr., son of August Belmont Sr. best known for financing the building of the Belmont Park (which to this day bears his name). The horse was named Man o’ War by Belmont’s wife, in honor of him joining the US Army to serve overseas during World War I. Man o’ War’s impressive record earned him the #1 spot on several lists of the greatest horses of all time. He has a life-size statue at the Kentucky Horse Park, and roads named after him in Lexington (KY) and Riddlewood (PA).

Secretariat (Record: 16-3-1)

Last, but not least, let us mention Secretariat, the thoroughbred running the most memorable race at the Belmont Park. During his career, Secretariat won five Eclipse Awards, including Horse of the Year honors at ages two and three. He won race after race, at seemingly impossible margins, until he was retired from racing in the 1970s. After a successful stud career, he passed away in 1989, at the age of 19.


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NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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