Best Race Horses of All Time

Horsegirl

Who are the best race horses of all time? It's hard to choose. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1
Secretariat
The fastest horse on dirt from 1 3/16 to 1 5/8 miles in history.
Secretariat holds the STILL STANDING fastest recorded times in the world on dirt all the way from 1 3/16 to 1 5/8 miles in HISTORY and is just 0.2 seconds off the current 1 1/8 mile world record. He NEVER lost a race that was not caused by ill health (x2), unprepared replacement for other horse in long distance race (x1), severe interference (x1) or unfair disqualification (x1). Excluding these factors, he won his remaining 16 races all by handsome margins of multiple lengths, never a photo finish. Under healthy and fair conditions he would beat ANY horse put against him, not by a nose but by a margin of lengths.
Times mean the most in horse racing, but its hard to tell which horse is "the best" because you can never put the top five in a race together and see who has the most speed and the most spirit to continue. Times don't mean everything because there are horses like Seabiscuit who put on bursts of raw speed when an opponent challenges them after running full out for a mile already.
Secretariat was the fastest horse ever, & since the topic is "The best race horses of all time", common sense tells me that the fastest is the best. Secretariat.
OMG SEcretariat is the best he beat man o war's record seattle slew's even riffian, barbaro, and even zenyatta. He is better than man o war and he is the number one he started as a small horse but became a great legend. I own his grandaughter RIP Buddy
[Newest]Loved to see him run!
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2Man O' War
Big Red was never legitimately beaten. His only loss came on a re-start when the starter started the race while Man O' War was not in position. He started several lengths back and only lost by a head. This race has created a controversy that goes on today. His blood line flowed through all the great horses, Seabiscuit, and Secretariat included. It is fitting that if Secretariat is first, Man O' War should be second. However, in 2006, Big Red was voted the Greatest Race Horse that Ever Lived for the 86th year in a row.
ManO'War like Ruffian were never set down. No one knows how fast they could go because they outclassed the field so much they had no reason to run all out. Ruffian was in the lead at every point of call.. Always and broke or matched records in every race but one... And she broke these records while under tight wraps! Track records are impressive but they are but a part of what establishes a grat racehorse. Whenever either horse was entered in a race, almost all others pulled their horses out of the race unless shooting for 2nd or 3rd place.30length win is great but ManO'War had a 100 length win just loping along! Secretariat was great but not The greatest. He had a Hollywood PR agent... Amazing what that can do for the popularity of actors, singers and now racehorses. Thete are so many better horses that have come and gone if you care to read on past great horses who had no PR agent.. They are like commercials.. Used to brainwash the uninformed. They are on blogs and they are on websites. Losing #1.. Maybe even #2 races can be explained or I mean excused.. But 5 excuses is almost comical... Are you saying the Secretariat crew was incompetent since there are so many reasons given for why the horse lost 5 races?
MOW was the best racehorse that has breathed he was never fully extended always pulled up in the end. He was only reported as tired after his best race against john P. Grier the world would never get to know what this horse could really do but he is still king of this sport and set the path for our champions today he lives on in zenyatta curlin rachel alexandra black caviear etc (also secretariat has no relation to Man O' War no blood linking them) MOW was estimated to go 45mph on the training track Sec was clocked at 41 but both of them would have been amazing to see challenging eachother
[Newest]He was just a great horse and was trained very well
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3Phar Lap
Won 32 of his last 35 starts (with two 2nds) at distances from 1400m - 3600m. He was also a 1200m winner earlier in his career. Was not restricted to racing against his own age but rather took on all comers. Won Australasia's biggest race the Melbourne Cup as well as Australasia's best race the Cox Plate twice. Raced on and WON on all 4 days of the world famous Flemington spring carnival in the space of 7 days at distances from 1600m - 3200m, a feat that will never be attempted again let alone matched! Was shipped off to North America and won his only start there in the world's richest race at the time, the 2000m Agua Caliente Hcp, where he shouldered 58.5kg's. He raced wide to avoid the kick back and still won easily, with a cracked hoof, by 2l. This was to be his one and only race on dirt and in North America as he was poisoned by arsenic in suspicious circumstances at Menlo Park outside San Francisco due to the well held belief he was virtually unbeatable
Should be at the top of the list, won a melbourne cup, 2 cox plates and holds a massive winning streak of 14 wins in a row, he could of done more if he wasn't poisoned by american mobsters, he was a great australian horse
Beat every horse in Australia during the great depression which makes this horse that even more special then he traveled over to America (by boat) to win the worlds current richest race taking on the best in the world before a suspicious death at his peak. Their is no doubt he is the best horse to walk this land.
[Newest]I have watched the movie about Phar lap I agree he is one of the best race horses in all time
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4Seabiscuit
Seabiscuit, I think should be the number 1 horse that ever lived because unlike most of these horses in this list, they are born naturally big. Seabiscuit was the underdog before he showed the world what he was really made of. Despite of his smaller size compared to his rivals in his time, he was asked to run with heavier loads but still managed to run in record time, now imagine if he carries less weight. Wooh. At the end of the day, even without the size or the handsomeness of what secretariat has, he still is one of the greatest that ever lived and that is because the horse has heart and his not willing to back down from any competition.
Actually Seabiscuit beat War Admiral by four lengths not ten. It says so in the book.
If the 'Seabiscuit story' had been written as fiction nobody would believe it. No other horse would have overcome such adversity and gone on to achieve what he did!
[Newest]Sea biscuit. Should be number one. He showed everyone. That. Size does not matter.. Only. Your heart to win is all that counts
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5Black Caviar
She is the best the best by far a lot better than Frankel I have seen her race live and she is the best ever she has won so many more races than Frankel it is not funny she should be on the top 10 22 out of 22 to good for your website! Why do you put her 12 >:< why tell me! Bet you can't come back with a answer that is good enough for me to be satisfied!
She was insanely quick.

She was rarely tested but you get the feeling that If Luke Nolan had really asked questions of her she would have hit cheetah like speeds.
Black Caviar had a 30 hour flight to the UK and sustained a grade-four tear of the quadriceps and a grade-two tear of the sacroiliac during the final stages of the race. Racing over a straight six furlongs on rain-softened turf in a foreign country, in front of the biggest crowded she has seen to win her 22nd race in a row... That's what I call a Champion...
This horse should be in the top ten,
13 starts from 13 wins and its still got more races left in it.
Greatest sprinter ever.
[Newest]Lovely big power horse
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6Frankel
Anyone who saw Frankel win the Quen Ane Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday will not doubt that he is the fastest miler of today and perhaps forever. Over his favourite distance of 7 or 8 furlongs he must be unbeatable. He came in at odds of 11-10 ON so £1 winning for £10 stake. The Bookies knew his form. He has won every one of this 11 races, some quite easily. Punters were saying a bet on Frankel was a better investment than oputting money into a Building Society (Savings and Loan) and that they pay up faster.

After 3 furlongs the kjockey gave him his head and he just powered away. He looks so smooth and gracefully and obviouisly enjoys winning, which he did by 11 lengths.

From the split times for each furlong, it is clear that he accelerated away on the fourth furlong but had slowed down by the fifth and sixth. Perhaps he lacks the stamina for the Derby over a slightly longer course, or perhaos he was so far ahead that the jockey eased him up.

According to his trainer Sir Henry Cecil he is unlikely to race abroad, so Americans are likely to be denied the chance of seeing this wonderful race horse. It is hard tio imagine him being beaten and there may be a problem of persuading enough owners to enter where he is running to produce a decent field.
The best horse I have EVER seen... Not that I am any kind of expert but I've been watching the races for 35 years and this guy just brings a smile to anyone that see's him race. Never in trouble, he travels so sweetly with a turn of foot that blows away the opposition no matter who they are and leaves us all feeling so privileged just to witness his greatness. A once in a lifetime experience... If you haven't seen him run yet, do it... He will leave you speechless.
He has won every race for which he has entered often by over 10 lengths. Perhaps the best miler ever. Although he has not raced at over a mile until recently, he proved that he can also win at 10 furlongs at York. Sadly he will be retired to stud after his last race in october 2012, so that will be the last chance to see this magnificent horse.

As a sprinter, his split furlong times, are substantially better than those achieved by such a great horse as Secretariat, running over longer distances.
[Newest]By Ireland best stallion and beat Nathaniel
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7Ruffian
Why do people take a great horse and put her 7th!? Ruffian was the greatest horse at under a mile. Maybe even the greatest ever. She could sprint or stay and would beat anyone and everyone they threw at her. But on that fateful day she would face a colt for the first time in her life. At the start she banged her left shoulder on the starting gate and swerved hard on her right foot. But despite any pain she kept running and in a few strides she was dead even with Foolish Pleasure. After a brisk three furlongs a flock of birds flew in front of them and the great filly's ankle snapped. But she kept running pulverizing her sesamoids ripping the bone through her skin until finally after 100 yards she stopped. After 8 hours of trying to save Ruffian's life, she was finally put to rest. Her final resting place is in the infield at Belmont Park, with her nose pointed towards the finish line.
I love Ruffian she is my hero she showed people what she was really made of she had a better time that secretariat in her first race! She is truly amazing and she will always be number one. Everyone has to admit she is one of the greatest racers of all time she would have beaten foolish pleasure has she not broken her leg. The best and worse part is that she tried to keep going and when she woke up she kept trying to run. She has the true heart of a racehorse.
Ruffian is my hero, my way of life, how can you people not love her, she won every race while Foolish Pleasure won most of his but got beat in a couple, Ruffian was the best two year old in the country and it was sad when she died.
[Newest]Ruffian was an incredible horse - people just don't know enough about her!
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8Zenyatta
Zenyatta is probably the greatest horse ever... She was so great that she never ran a whole race to her potential but won everyone but one... Check her times her last mile in the breeders cup faster than the because winner fastest last mile in because history fastest quarter mile in history of the b cup. 17 plus hands has a stride second to none no horse has ever gained ground on her gives a world class horse 5 lengths with 300 yds to go n catches him... No other horse alive can run her down... And if I'm wrong prove it... If you had every great horse alive at the quarter pole tied coming for home... I'm sure you would not leave her out... Why? Cause you know why!
Zenyatta us simply amazing. She beat all the boys, was the fisrt ever to do so, and won the Breeders' Cup Classic. The year before, she won the Ladies' CAlssic, and became the first ever horse to have two concecutive Breeders' Cup wins. GO ZENYATTA! I love Zenyatta, hence my name.

ZenyattaForever

Zenyatta ROCKS! She is only second to Barbaro in my mind. She won the Breeders' Cup Classic, the hardest race in it and became the FIRST EVER filly to win it aganst all the boys. And she was 5! PLEASE

ZenyattaForever

[Newest]Me and my friend love zenyatta
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9Barbaro
I understand the sentiment of those who think it's not right to put Barbaro on a best racehorse list. For obvious reasons I agree. But those people 1) didn't see him win the Kentucky Derby in one of the best fields in a very long time. Such a natural! Such ease! No sweat - literally. No foam at the mouth. Just a stroll in the park. He was amazing! I would have bet the farm on his winning the triple crown. In fact, after the Derby, I turned to a friend and said, "It would take something catastrophic to keep this horse from running away with the next two races. He loved to run, and it was so easy for him. So sad.
Barbaro was the BEST racehorse in America (not counting Zenyatta, she is so the best female). He won the Kentucky Derby! I mean COME ON! of course he's great
But secretatiat deserves first, I wholeheartedly agree.

ZenyattaForever

Barbaro was a GOOD horse but did not accomplished much to be rank number 8.. it's ridiculous and an insult to racing and other greats to put Barbaro at number 8... ghost Zapper, holy bull at 3 just like barbaro, would had beaten Barbaro very easily.. this horse does not belong in the top 100
[Newest]Barbaro was a great race horse. He ran 6 or 7 lengths ahead in the Kentucky Derby. He deserves to be named as one of the greatest race horses that ever lived. Not only was he a great race horse, but he taught the Nation a lot about the "will to fight".

10Citation
Citation is number 1 folks. The greatest horse of the 20th Century. 27 for 29 as a 3 year old, speaks for itself. Won the Jersey Stakes by 11 lengths in the midst of the Triple Crown. The Pimlico Special was a walk-over - no one else would take him on. Ran on 10 different tracks. To quote Andy Cannon, "If you went to Citation's grave today, and played a bugle, the call to the post; Citation would break out of the ground and beat everything else around". A LOT of folks still feel that that's true. Citation was the winner of the computer simulated race between the greats. There's no doubt about it - he's number one!
Won the Triple Crown in 1948 and it was 25 years later before Secretariat won the Triple Crown
Glad to see Cy on this list as a top ten. He was a TC winner and deserves his recognition. A lot of critiques leave Citation off their top ten list. But against Secretariat he would had the same fate as Sham.
[Newest]Should be higher. People questioned if he was better than MOW.

The Contenders

11Sea Bird II
Sea Bird was the pre eminent racehorse in Europe in the 20th century. He won the Epsom Derby and Prix de l'arc de Triomphe on the bridle , the only horse ever to do this. He was so good that he was never extended so no-one knows just how good he was. I have seen all the great racehorses of the past 50 years, but Sea Bird is the only one who sent shivers up and down my spine. Many people consider him ' Champion of Champions'.
I saw Sea Bird win the Epsom Derby in 1965 and his performance was simply mindblowing. He won the most prestigious Derby in the world in a common canter and 11 of the horses who finished behind him won 15 races between them during the remainder of that season. 'Champion of Champions' is a fitting title for this equine superstar.

eljorich60

The greatest racehorse that ever trod turf. Sea Bird II won ALL his as a 3-year old with the greatest of ease, his wins were totally effortless. There will never be another like him, he was, quite simply, perfection in equine form.

eljorich60

[Newest]The calibre of the fields he beat and the manner in which he beat them marks Sea Bird as worthy of a top three best ranking. But I would have Secretariat at the top of the perch because of his Triple Crown clinching win the the Belmont: simply astonishing!

12Seattle Slew
Was at Belmont the day he became the 10th
Triple Crown winner and the 1st Undefeated
Triple Crown winner. A very tough horse who
came back after a serious illness to defeat
Affirmed and thrill his fans.
I remember the news brimming with Seattle Slew's victory. It seemed that everyone was excited that so much attention was given to a horse and a race somewhere across the country. For a moment, we all felt we were back in some 1940's Mickey Rooney movie (The Black Stallion). And it was also the year my son, Jason Byron, was born. How can I not remember and not vote for Seattle Slew as my favorite?
I think Seattle Slew deserves to be considerably higher on the lost than 11. His running history goes without having to say, he was a fierce competitor and fought as hard as any horse. What he did for the breeding industry should be considered as well. This horse was so dominate that he changes the economics of breeding and that says a lot.
[Newest]He could beat every horse a head of him he was the best horse I've ever seen

13Red Rum
The "greatest" thoroughbred racehorse that has ever lived. In over 100 races he fell only once. Full of heart, full of talent and full of sheer guts... He won the Grand National a record 3 times; with no other horse ever winning it more than once.
Character, Endurance, determination. Red rum had more of it than any of his contemporaries, proven by how many times he won the toughest race in the world. The grand national.
To win The toughest race in the world 3 times speaks volumes for the stamina and bravery this horse had. Everyone has heard of Red Rum that says it all!
[Newest]Best thoroughbred race horse ever won grand national 3 times great trainer, great jockey, great owner, great breeder. Great everything

14Arkle
They lumped hugh weights on this horse to stop him waste of time he was world class, they can say all you like about all flat horses but over the jumps there is only one arkle never will we see the likes of him again super horse
Arkle is the pre eminent steeplechaser of the past 70 years. He is universally regarded as the greatest chaser of all time

eljorich60

Arkle never carried 13st in his life
[Newest]Actually seen arkle getting beat by a neville crump horse at massive odds on..

15Affirmed
Won over $2.34 million, which in 1975 is much more than it is now.
Affirmed had the heart AND the physique of a true champion
Great Horse.. last to win triple crown.. refused to be headed down the stretch against Alydar.. won Whitney stakes.. Tough horse!

16Omaha
Did a term paper that included Omaha. He was a great racer and the research proved it.
Wonderful runner, totally underestimated by most.
Pharlap will never be matched

17Rachel Alexandra
The "Wonder Filly", who is one of the only fillies to ever have been compared to the great Ruffian. Her 20 1/4 length win in the Oaks was impressive, but her win in the Preakness against the boys was something else entirely. Her time at the Mother Goose Stakes was less than a second slower than the record set by Secretariat. She recently ran against the best boys in the country at Woodbine, and she became the first filly to ever win that race. She also set a track and course record. Calvin Borel, who ran Mine That Bird to victory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby and gave up his Preakness ride to jockey Rachel instead, says that she is "The best horse he has ever ridden. " His list of horses whom he had jockeyed is impressive, to say the least.
Great filly.. but not a top 25 horse. Only one great season. Maybe a top 70 horse, but not 25

18California Chrome
I love California Chrome his color is the same as my horses color and I thought that was pretty cool but besides that he Chrome is amazing it would of been cool if he won the triple crown but hey it doesn't matter if you win or you lose just have fun
Gorgeous horse and have lots of devoted fans. He looks very handsome and runs so beautiful.
California Chrome is the greatest horse ever. He is a true champion. Chrome brought awareness to fans who knew nothing at all about the races. He's truly the people's horse. I love Chrome and everything he stands for. His owners and trainers are also awesome.
California Chrome is by far my favorite! He would have one the triple crown had it not been for someone running their horse into him!

19Kauto Star
When Kauto came back to win the gold cup.. Jesus man... what a horse and what a trainer... Wow...
Without a doubt one on the best horses of all time!
Only horse ever to regain the gold cup.
[Newest]Big horse and one of the Al time greats

20Brigadier Gerard
Lots of talk about Frankel being the greatest but has not beaten the quality that the Brigadier beat and Frankel's four year old campaign has been brilliant but not tested him in the Arc for E.G. brigadier still my number one! Nijinsky a close second.
Not at his best when suffering his only defeat in 18 races. Beat the strongest post war Guineas field and proved classy enough to win a King George over a trip beyond his best. Multiple group 1 winner certainly the greatest 1m -1m2f turf horse
He won the greatest 2,000 Guineas of all in 1971. All five runners in that race could have won other 2,000 Guineas.

21Ribot
Second greatest horse in the history of thoroughbred racing behind Sea Bird II. Ribot was unbeaten in 16 races stretching over three seasons.
He should be up there in the top 5, He has won in all kind of distance and in turf/dirt. He won the biggest race in uk and France (twice). He is truly one of a kind.
A temperamental champion. But unbeaten in all his races and by far the best middle distance horse in flat racing.

22Kincsem
Kincsem was undefeated in fifty-four starts. This alone is incredible. Now take into account the amazing advantages she gave her opponents in races. In one race the starter had all the horses but Kincsem lined up. Kincsem was eating some grass off to the side. People tried to move Kincsem, but she wouldn't budge. So finally the starter let the other horses off. Kincsem kept eating grass, watching them running away. Then she decided to run. She won. How many horses do you know of that can stand still at the start of a race and still win? And I think I forgot to mention the weight she carried. If remember correctly, it went as high as 168 lbs.
Raced against the best that Europe & the UK had to offer. Constantly travelled over multiple countries and internationally. Won at distances from 1000 - 4022 metres against all champions & all comers, with weights ranging from 57 kilos to 63 kilos in all conditions ranging from sunny to sodden... Phenomenal!

How can any horse in this list compare to that? None on this list come close.

Kincsem is the greatest racehorse in racing history to this point, and it is highly unlikely, if ever, that her unparalleled record will be approached, let alone beaten.
Define your terms. Does "greatest" mean the same as "fastest"? In my opinion, no. Horses race to beat each other, not to beat the clock. If this is, indeed, the standard, then Kincsem was the greatest.
[Newest]Not the most famous, but the greatest? Most definitely.

23Sham
Sham should be in the Top 5 without a doubt. He is the only horse that could touch Secretariat, would've won the Triple Crown in almost any other year. He has the 4th fastest time ever to run the Kentucky Derby maybe even 2nd because of the lack of the timing technology back then. This rank truly pisses me off.
Sham would have won the Triple Crown in most years... He had the misfortune of running against the greatest of all time. Sham should be at least in the top 10
Sham won 2 longest races track of all time and lost from the #1 greatest races track of all time because of secretariat. But he is still one of the fastest.
[Newest]If Sham would have been born a year earlier or a year later he would have been a Triple Crown winner so he deserves some love.

24Mill Reef
Champion 2yo and 3yo, Coventry, Gimcrack and Dewhurst, Derby, Eclipse, King George, Arc, then 15l winner of Ganay - ignore official distance and check out actual distance, and Coronation Cup as 4yo. Then successful career at National
Stud. Any ground, no problem? Winning distances - you needed binoculars to see the rest. Simply the best middle distance turf horse ever
Simply the best just a shame career was cut short could have gone on to bigger things
His record speaks for itself. For me he made racing a joy to watch.

25Sea the Stars
To have sea the stars in this position tells me how completely stupid this list is. Secretariat deserves his place at no. 1 due to his speed records, to hold the triple crown, break all the records and still hold the Belmont stakes record 40 years on! Unbelievable. But sea the stars has done something that no horse has ever done and many have tried. The Guinness, derby and arc in the same season as well as 3 10 furlong group 1s every month for 6 months. The 2 times he was pushed he broke race and track records for the distance. He always done enough but I have no doubt the better the opposition the faster this colt could go. For me a very close second to secretariat.
Incredible horse.. Only ever did enough and whatever pushed him he would stick his head out... Against anything... The horse I think he would have had trouble against would be franked over a mile... Any distance after that no competition
A truly impeccable 3yo campaign from 1m to 1.4m he beat everything with a touch of class could of won a triple crown had he ran in the st leger, a devastating turn of foot and a cruising speed of a jet. Kinane sat on some terrific horses I. E high chaparral, rock of Gibraltar, Galileo, montjeu, hawk wing and many more his C. V as a jockey was amazing he won many of group 1s all around the world yet there was no doubt in his mind that the star was the best horse he'd ever seen or sat on, as Kim McGrath said when he hit the front in the arc "PERFECTION IN EQUINE FORM' THE GREATEST EVER
[Newest]Won the Derby easy

26Carbine
Carbine was an amazing horse. He is the only horse to have won the Melbourne Cup with more than 65kg. He is one of only two horses to complete the Sydney-Melbourne Cup double, the other being the champion mare Makybe Diva. He was unplaced only once in 43 starts, succumbing to a hoof injury. He was a successful sire and one of his most well known progeny is Spearmint (the great grandsire of Phar Lap) and most great racehorses of today are his descendants including Makybe Diva, Frankel and Black Caviar.
The best of the best check his record also champion sire none will ever compare
He was Australia's best ever race horse, bar none. Someone re do this list please.

27Dancing Brave
Greatest of all time - look at his times for the last 2 furlongs in the derby. Forget his performance in the US - he was injured. The ARC was the best run of all time - to produce that finish off a record pace - truly incredible
Without doubt his arc performance was incredible against the finest field ever assembled. must have been travelling 10mph faster than anything at the finish
The greatest horse never to win the derby, he beat the best in the arc with ease...
[Newest]Brilliant Horse. He won the best quality ARC ever.

28Smarty Jones
He one the Kentucky Derby in 2004! Don't forget that's not it

Horsegirl

Smarty was a great story and a better horse. If it wasnt for early retirement he would be top 5 of this list.
Excellent 3 year old season but not a top100 horse

29Eclipse
Agree. Never headed. Had to quit racing because on one would put a horse against him. The foundation sire of nearly all the thoroughbreds. How could anyone not think he is the greatest since thoroughbreds became a breed?
"Eclipse first, the rest nowhere". That sums him up. The horse is the number one thoroughbred flat racehorse to me. Remember that American horses race for the Eclipse Awards, the benchmark in achievement in the United States.
Named after the Solar Eclipse of 1764, this is the thoroughbred 90% of all modern day racehorses are descended from. He won all of his 18 races, and prior to winning his 2nd race by 240 yards Dennis O'Kelly coined the phrase "Eclipse first, the rest nowhere. "
[Newest]A Wonderful Horse and a Wonderful Sire. It is thanks to him that we have such a high quality of racing today.

30Denman
What a great horse, tough as old boots and tried his heart out in every reach. It is good to see that he had taken to his new career so well.
This is about horse racing thoroughbreds not jumpers.. should be taken off this list and put horses like easy goer in the top ten
One the toughest horses to race in recent years

31Nijinsky
The perfect example of a racehorse not a horse for one. Distance mile upwards to 1 mile 6 furlongs triple crown plus in the king George at ascot he thrashed a previous years derby winner blakeney not like some of these other champions who stick to one distance beating the same horses over a over again no need to mention who
Most versatile horse ever best jockey best trainer best owner time tends to cloud peoples minds but anybody who saw nijinsky run will I'm sure rate him the greatest of them all
Won group 1 races from 6f to 14f, only beaten twice, once in the "Arc " after losing more than 70lbs in weight winning "The Ledger" (and Piggot miss-timing finish) and his last race when he was well over the top. Never off the bit in any finish. Under-Rated.

32War Admiral
Please war admiral should be in to ten for shore. He won the triple crown. You have to give him credit for that.

Gatsby

One of the best except for one race. Secretariat did not carry the weights that Man O War, Seabiscuit, and War Admiral did.

33Dr. Fager
Extraordinarily fast. He won 18 of 22, did the mile in 132.2 carrying 134 lbs running the 2nd qtr in any unbelievably fast 20.6, went under 2 minutes for 1 1/4 miles three times carrying up to 135 lbs. No horse could run so fast carrying so much weight except perhaps Forego. His achilles heel was he couldn't be rated & was given to chasing rabbits. In a match race with only one horse to focus on he would be a formidable opponent for any horse that ever lived.
Must be a top 5. He set the mile record carrying 134lbs. That is unheard of. That record has stood for 46 years. I wonder how fast he would have run carrying 126 lbs.
Lol, maybe a top 5? What about #1 and you can choose any other group or horses as #2
Carried more weight than all horses on average
[Newest]Definitely should be in the top ten! What a horse!
Top 10? Are you for real? Do you know anything about horses and racing? He is #1 period.

34Flyingbolt
A top class steeplechaser from the 1960s and, like his stable companion, Arkle, trained in Ireland. Flyingbolt was the Champion Two Mile chaser and the very next day ran a highly creditable third in the Champion Hurdle.

jeepster


35Hurricane Fly
Superstar son of Montjeu. 2 Champ hurdles and 19 group 1 wins. Quite possibly the best 2 mile hurdler we have ever seen. The Fly, a Legend
One of Ireland top hurdlers
The fly has schieved 22 grade 1, s he should be in the top 10

36Forego
Simply stated - given the weights he carried throughout his long career Forego was the strongest thoroughbred ever to step on a race track... If you look at his races he stands out as different - he wasn't particularly graceful or sleek... Rather his wins were through sheer power and determination... The strength of this horse was breathtaking
This is ridiculous, who composed this list? Forego is counted 8th on the all time great list by Bloodhorse. This great horse had carried great weight and with substantial physical problems with his legs. How much faster and greater this horse would have been without there ailments no one can tell, he was an outstanding giant among giants. Truly one of the best horses to step onto a racetrack.
ONE of the Best horse of all time. I saw him win the JC Gold cup a 2 mile race at the time. Forego was so big it looked like he was in a gallop when passing horses. Forego made it look easy. In most races he seem to carry 130+ LBS. Usually about 20LBS more than the other horses in his races..
[Newest]In top 10 for shore!

37Vaguely Noble

38John Henry
The measure of the greatest race horse isn't how fast it can run on a given day or under certain track conditions. It is how many times he goes to the pay window. Seems the motive today is to find a good horse race him for three years. If the horse puts up exceptional performances retire it to stud and make millions on breeding fees. Most horses don't run more than 25 races. There true potential over time is never proven. On the other hand John Henry had no stud potential so he just ran races. He ran 83 races. Had 39 firsts, 15 seconds and 9 thirds. If you bet John Henry "across the board" whenever he ran you would have gone to the pay window 75% of the time. He was still winning Grade I races at 9 years of age. Any other horse in racing would have been a long time retired before their record could get blemished by time and their breeding value compromised. Racing is all about money.
The meanest, the ugliest, the best and the most loved horse ever. I don't care who he was up against. If John wasn't boxed in and had daylight in front of him, he would do whatever it took to win. He loved to run, especially coming from behind. That 84 Arlington Million Race still brings tears to my eyes when I watch it. John belongs to be much higher on this list. He's earned it!
Whoever decided to have him gilded outta be guilded himself, although it's easy to look back and have 20/20 vision. Was purchased as a yearling for a mere $1,100 yet earned $6.5 million in his racing lifetime. Twice horse of the year 1981, 1984.
[Newest]This horse should be in top 10! What are you people thinking?

39Cirrus Des Aigles
Best horse ever. what a fighter

40Master Minded

41Twist Magic

42Carry Back
Carry Back was a tiny racehorse as studs go. He won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and lost the Belmont to Sherluck. His specialty was coming from behind, often coming from dead last to win by a neck or head. He went on to Europe and won there as well. I saw him years later in Ocala at stud. He was leaning against a corral fence and when I walked up to him he looked like a pony. I couldn't believe how such a small horse could beat the giants. He deserves to be on this list due to his great heart.
Won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness coming from way back which was his specialty. Went on to wins in Europe. I saw him at stud in Ocala and was surprised to see how small he was, not much bigger than a pony. Great heart and deserves the recognition.

43Persian War
This British horse was one of the greatest hurdlers of all time and considered by many, myself included, to have no equal. Won three Champion Hurdles 1968-1969- 1970 and was second in 1971.

jeepster

Persian War was by far the best Two Mile Hurdler in the UK. Apart from Three Champion Hurdle wins and the Triumph Hurdle; he carried big weights to victory in handicap hurdles notably the 1968 Schweppes Gold Trophy. Unlike more recent Champion Hurdlers he beat high calibre horses.

44Winning Brew

45Zarkava

46Whirlaway
Good grief. Triple Crown Winner - won $5 million to help sell Bonds for the War effort. Single leading lone entity to do so. Won the Triple Crown and the Travers Stakes - only horse to this day to do this. Ran 60 times and came in first 32; second 15 times and third 9 times. Was buried at Normandy before being sent back to Calumet. Unbelievable - 49? He deserves far, far better than this.
49? Are you kidding me?! You're rating steeplechasers ahead of one of the greatest thoroughbreds of all time? This is Whirlaway people. One of only 11 triple crown winners. One of the greatest. So I can't put much credence in this list, especially because I haven't seen anyone here who can even put a sentence together.
How could you do this? He should be in the top eleven. For Pete's sake he WON the TRIPLE CROWN. Because 46th? You have got to be kidding me.

47Mill House

48Sprinter Sacre
Still racing but problem one of the best if not the best two mile chasers of all time, his cruising speed second to none.
Lets hope we can see this horse fit and well and racing next season
Best looker in the world and best jumper ever

49Karayel
Best Turkish horse ever
Won all the races...

50Best Mate
Watching him getting boxed in at the Gold Cup just to pull up, move to the right and go again showed the class of the horse. Cryed buckets when I heard he'd died. Simply the bravest horse I've ever seen.
Apart from being a great champion he was such a handsome well made horse.
A brilliant horse a great loss to racing
[Newest]Great jockey that rode him to every time

51Tullock
TOMMY SMITH TRAINED THIS NEW ZEALAND BREED CHAMPION.
IF ANYONE BOTHERS TO CHECK OUT HIS RECORD YOU WOULD BE
ASTONISHED.THE HORSE GOT ILL AND CAME CLOSE TO DEATH, WITH THE TRAINER TOMMY SMITH SLEEPING AT HIS SIDE, UNTIL THE GREAT HORSE PULLED THROUGH.BECAUSE OF THIS
THE HORSE WAS UNABLE TO RACE FOR ONE YEAR, BUT RETURNED IN DEVASTATING FORM. ARGUABLY ON FORM AS GOOD AS OR BETTER THAN PHAR-LAP.IF YOU don't AGREE AT LEAST CHECK OUT
HIS RACE HISTORY. I LOVE THIS PLAIN SWAY BACKED GELDING, CHAMPION HORSE, CHAMPION AUSTRALIAN TRAINER.NEW ZEALAND BRED JUST LIKE PHAR LAP.
This horse was certainly (with illness included) Australia's BEST
Pity his name has been spelt incorrectly.

52Sunline
Probably the best middle distance horse in the southern hemisphere. New Zealand bred mare feared no challengers.

53Robin Van Persie
Had a deadly left foot & could strike at any time. Usually carried his own, and will be fondly remembered by his nickname: The Flying Dutchman.
Always at the front of a field of 22
At least its not David Beckham!

54Night Nurse

55Atlantic Jewel
From memory never run in the cox So you think would be a better choice

56Cigar
It was an amazing horse perhaps top 5. He started running at 4 so he could not run any of the triple crown races. But winning 16 consecutive races as he did was just incredible.
Cigar was one of the most thrilling horses that I ever saw in my childhood. Specially the rider he had Jerry bailey and him were like best friends. Cigar will always be my favorite horse of all time.
I watch him win I think abut 5 races. Couple times at Del Mar and Hollywood Park. He is my all time greatest horse and he would win grade 1 races with ease!
[Newest]Brilliant horse. Jerry Bailey knows

57Street Cry

58Canonero II
Canonero II was an under appreciated horse. He won the Kentucky Derby in near record time. He easily won the Preakness. He lost the Belmont due to an injury. A 1971 Sports Illustrated article detailed why Canonero should not have even run in the Belmont due to that same injury. Add this horse to the list of "almost greats".
To compare American style of racing to Europe is silly, would anyone compare
Steve Prefontaine (spelling) to Bob Hayes you can't. so split it up. In American racing, the Triple Crown in particular, one would have to put Canonero II would be in the top 15 easily.

59In the Spotlight
The best that India has produced. No where near to the all time greats but surely the beat in India.
Big bucks what can't you like about him 19 str wins
Top 1 fastest horse in India

60Mongo
Won 1962 Washington D.C. International beating Kelso as well as a slew of other races. Great horse!

One of the greats all around turf & dirt Awesome!

61Sir Ivor
My favourite racehorse. Simply sensational in the 2000 guineas and derby with a tremendous turn of foot which Lester Pigott used to great effect when he beat Czar Alexander and Fort Marcy in Canada. Best over a mile to ten furlongs. Also a great two year old that won his races by large margins. All in all a true champion.

62Dan Patch
Dan Patch has had more movies and books written about him than any other racehorse.

In the broadway show the "Music Man" the lyrics say:

Not a wholesome trottin' race, but a race where they set down right on the horse! Like to see some stuck-up jockey boy sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil? Well, I should say!

Crowds of 100, 000 turned out for a glimpse of the horse, which possessed an unusually gentle temperament yet radiated charisma. Dwight Eisenhower lined up with his parents at the 1904 Kansas State Fair to see him, and Harry Truman recalled that as a boy he had written a fan letter to the horse.

He never lost a race and held records that lasted for up to 50 years.
Perhaps not the greatest racehorse ever, but certainly, he should be higher on this list than 66.

63Easy Goer
Like his dad Alydar Easy Goer choked when it mattered most. He deserves his spot which would be under Sunday Silence.
Why isn't. Elvestroem. On their
He decerves better than this. GOERis a top ten horse

64Charismatic
Charismatic won the derby an preakness and was in front in the final sixteenth of the belmont when he fractured his leg and finished third he never raced again

65Camelot
Great jockey, Great horse and great training

66Big Brown
This horse had every chance to win the triple crown. I was betting on him from the beginning. He's always been my favorite.

67Foolish Pleasure
Great horse he was the only one who could stay with Ruffisn

68Archer
Certainly a great champ of his era -- his record winning margin will be hard to beat.
Won the first and second Melbourne cups
Not only did he win the first and second Melbourne Cup but he also won the second Cup by the longest winning margine in the Melbourne Cup (8 lengths)

69Solemia

70Birds Nest

71Pioneerof the Nile
2nd place Kentucky derby and one of THE BEST America has ever seen. And he is ridden by Garret Gomez.

72Bold Forbes

73Swaps
If you compare The BLOOD-Horses number 3 and number 4 horses of the 20th Century with Swaps, at the same tracks WHERE THEY ALL RACED AT, Swaps out raced both CITATION AND KELSO. Swaps is a clear winner. Swaps is argubly the greatest horse ever, along with Man o'War and Secretariat, NO Horse ever ran so fast, so easy, and under 130 pounds time and time again as sWAPS DID.
They have Barbaro at #8 and not Swaps above him, for goodness sake, what is going on with this poll? Outrageous.
I remember Swaps winning times not meaning anything as he was pulled up in the stretch of each race, as he broke records at each track. I also remember the match race with Nashua where Swaps broke his leg on the far turn and still caught Nashua at the head of the stretch. Wow

74Treve
The way she won the Arc was simply stunning. Time will tell if she earns a place among the all-time greats
I think she will earn her place amongst the elite. Two Arc wins ranks her up with the best
She's now a two time winner of the arc that's amazing
[Newest]Won both of the races in France so easily

75Pocket Power
Pocket power is something great

76Sage

77Sunday Silence
Sunday Silence beat easy goer 3 out 4 times and beat him in the 2 biggest races (Kentucky Derby, Breeders Cup Classic). Also beat him in that epic stretch duel because Sunday Silence had more heart.
How can you guys leave out the best horse to not win a triple crown
Great horse beat Easy Goer 3 out of 4 times. Proven to be a great sire and now a sire of sires. His grandchildren may prove to be the best middle distance turf runners in the world. Gentildonna Ofevre and gold ship all appear to be runnig in the 2013 arc.

78Gladiateur

79Refrigerator
The Horse won the Champions of Champions race three times.

80Bonecrusher
Bonecrusher also raced to how well his opponents were. No matter who you were you were going to be beaten. He won them at lengths, he won them by a nose and he won them coming last on the straight - he won everything. This is just a popularity contest, line them up over 2000m and Bonecrusher would've smoked it.
On his day unbeatable... I would him up against any of the horses mentioned here over 2000 at set weights on a
Real track (grass)... Likewise, anything else against Kingston Town at Moonee Valley in any October!
Bonecrusher is the greatest racehorse ever. He just had a huge will to win from the most impossible places ever.

81Nashua
One of the top 10 horses of all time. Barely beaten by Swaps in the Kentucky Derby but far and away the better horse as his winning times in the Preakness and Belmonst attest to.

82Big Buck's
How good was he

83Street Sense
Zenyattas brother amazing lost 1 race by a head. Deserves lots better!

Gatsby


84Quevega
Got to be the best mare of all time the way she powers up the hill at cheltenham just wished she would have taken on the best stayers in the world hurdle.
Quevega had won the Cheltenham gold cup six times she is an a lovely mare
Quevega did not win the Cheltenham Gold Cup Six times!

85Golden Miller
His record speaks for itself. His sheer courage got him around Aintree to win. He was a not a natural jumper of the huge pre-war fences in the Grand National.
The most successful cheltenham gold cup winner winning it 5 times and the only horse to win the two nost prestigious steeplechases in the same year something that will never be beaten.

86Dawn Run
Great mare she was
Champion Hurdles in France, Ireland and Cheltenham. Cheltenham Gold Cup. Champion 2 miler, Champion 3 miler. An amazing mare.

87Risen Star

88Giacomo
Giacomo won the 2005 derby with mike smith as his jockey. He rocks!

89Park Top
A fantastic filly. She ran in Group 1 races from ages 3 to 6.

90Lexington

91Red Fella

92St. Simon
A very good horse. Probably too far back in our collective memories to be rated at the very top.

93Balmerino
Top horse who raced in NZ, Australia, UK and France... Beaten by Alleged in the Arc... Saw him up close as a 3 year old in NZ, he was a beautiful animal.. Big hearted and good on any track

94Peter Pan
He won the Melbourne Cup twice, the first time he was crashed into by another horse which made him fall, yet he got up to win and then came back to win it again 2 years later
Very good stayer, just has good as pharlap.
Heotsfield Stud Hunter Valley originally "Saint Patricks Plains the birthplace of the Hunter Valley"

95Rancher
Never beaten over the straight six (furlongs, 1200M) at Flemington - the home of the Melbourne Cup

96Dulcify
Never saw is full potential but I would rank him up with the best watch is cox plate win amazing

97Northerly
If he raced against the best he would beat them. Eye to eye he loved a fight. The fighting tiger

98Humorist

99Dahlia
10 GRADE 1 WINS ; 1st MARE TO EARN $1 MILLION ; WON IN France, Ireland, GREAT BRITIAN, CanadaN, & USA ; TWICE WON KING GEORGE VI & QUEEN ELIZ. STAKES 1973 & 1974 ; EuropeAN CHAMPION 3-YR-OLD 1973 ; U.S. CHAMPION TURF HORSE 1974 ; GREAT BRITIAN HORSE OF THE YEAR 1973, 1974.

100Summer Bird
Yuo kiddin me? HE won the Belmont Stakes aganst Mine that Bird. Of course he's awesome! But Zenyatta is better XD

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This list was created 5 years, 364 days ago and has been voted on over 4,000 times. This top ten list contains 157 items, has been remixed 31 times and has been blogged about 6 times.

Updated Friday, April 24, 2015


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