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7 Great Racing Horses of All Time Every Fan Should Know

Horse racing is a sport with a rich history, filled with legendary horses that have captured the hearts of fans worldwide. From their incredible speed to their inspiring stories, these equine athletes have become icons in their own right. Here are seven of the greatest racing horses ever that every fan should know.

1. Secretariat

Secretariat, affectionately known as “Big Red,” is perhaps the most famous racehorse of all time. He won the Triple Crown in 1973, setting records in all three races—records that still stand today. His astonishing 31-length victory in the Belmont Stakes is considered one of the greatest performances in horse racing history. Secretariat’s charisma and breathtaking speed made him a superstar beyond the racetrack and one of the most expensive horses of all time.

2. Man o’ War

Man o’ War dominated the early 20th century with an impressive record of 20 wins out of 21 starts. His only loss came at the Sanford Memorial Stakes, famously known as “the upset.” Man o’ War went on to win by huge margins, often racing against the clock rather than his overmatched competitors. His legacy is so enduring that many consider him the benchmark by which all other racehorses are measured.

3. Frankel

Frankel, named after the renowned trainer Bobby Frankel, is one of the most exceptional racehorses in recent memory. He retired undefeated after 14 straight wins, a feat that earned him the highest rating ever bestowed by Timeform. Frankel’s explosive acceleration and dominance on the track left spectators and competitors in awe, making him a modern legend in thoroughbred racing.

4. Phar Lap

Phar Lap, the wonder from Down Under, captured the hearts of Australians during the early 1930s. His extraordinary winning streak during the Great Depression provided comfort and pride to a struggling nation. Phar Lap’s success extended internationally, including a notable win at the Agua Caliente Handicap in Tijuana, Mexico. His mysterious death remains a topic of intrigue, but his legacy as a national hero endures.

5. Seabiscuit

The underdog story of Seabiscuit has inspired countless fans. Despite his small size and knobby knees, Seabiscuit beat the odds and became a symbol of hope during the Great Depression. His rivalry with War Admiral, culminating in a victory at the Pimlico Special, dubbed the “Match of the Century,” is the stuff of legends. Seabiscuit’s tenacity and fighting spirit made him a beloved figure across America. Seabiscuit was so special that they made a movie about it in 2003.

6. Citation

Citation was a phenomenal racehorse that became the eighth Triple Crown winner in 1948. His incredible career spanned three years, during which he won 16 consecutive races. Citation was known for his versatility, winning on both dirt and turf and at various distances. He retired with 32 wins out of 45 starts, becoming the first horse to win a million dollars. His legacy is so significant that he’s often mentioned alongside other greats like Secretariat and Man o’ War.

7. Zenyatta

Zenyatta stole the hearts of racing fans with her breathtaking come-from-behind victories. She won 19 consecutive races out of 20 starts, a record that included the Breeders’ Cup Classic against an all-male field. Standing tall at 17.2 hands, her imposing presence and late-race charges were her trademark, thrilling spectators time and again. Zenyatta’s charisma and competitive spirit made her not just a champion but a true celebrity in the world of horse racing.

These seven horses are just a glimpse into the pantheon of racing greats. Their stories go beyond the track, leaving a lasting impact on the sport and its enthusiasts. Whether it’s the heart-pounding excitement of a photo finish or the emotional connection to a horse’s journey, these champions remind us why horse racing is often dubbed “The Sport of Kings.”


Q: How are horses trained for racing?

A: Horses are trained through a combination of conditioning work, which builds fitness, and schooling, which teaches them how to handle the racing environment and navigate obstacles if they are jump racers.

Q: Can I bet on horse racing?

A: Yes, betting on horse races is possible at many racetracks around the world. There are many types of bets to place, from simple win bets to more complex exotic wagers. To bet online, Lottoland sports betting page is one of the best options to consider.

Q: What should I consider before betting on a horse race?

A: Before placing a bet, consider factors such as the horse’s past performance, the jockey’s experience, track conditions, and the horse’s post position.

Q: What are the biggest horse racing events?

A: Some of the most prestigious horse racing events include the Kentucky Derby in the United States, The Grand National in the UK, the Melbourne Cup in Australia, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France.

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