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.
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
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2Phar 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.
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3Man 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
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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!
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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!
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.
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...
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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.
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7Ruffian
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.
Ruffian should before Secretariat because she won all her races and he won some of his but got beat in a couple, besides I love Secretariat in all I mean who doesn't, but anyway ruffian also ran more races. So who's with me should she or should she not be before Secretariat?
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8Barbaro
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 to be great, but he doesn't belong in the top 50. He didn't accomplish much.. What happens to spectacular bid.. He should be in the top 3.
Barbaro is most definalty deserves this place on the list. Zenyatta deserves to be right after him. Not Phar Lap. Zenyatta won the Classic and the Ladies CLaoic in the Breeders' Cups 2008-2009.

ZenyattaForever

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9Zenyatta
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 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

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

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10Seattle 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?
Wonderful horse. Triple crown winner. Deserves to be well up the list. Secretariat... Best ever!
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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

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12Red 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.
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!
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.
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13Citation
Won the Triple Crown in 1948 and it was 25 years later before Secretariat won the Triple Crown
He won the Sysomby Mile as a three year old against the best older sprinters in the country. The three days later he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup at two miles against the best older distance horses in the country. No one has done that before or since. As a three year old he started 20 times and won 19. Man o War started 11 times and won all 11. Secratariat started 12 times and won 9.
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.
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14Shergar
He was outstanding! Swinburn and Pigott were also outstanding with him. Also very kind and beautiful racehorse.
A true Irish Legend
Still holds biggest winning margin in the Derby by some distance joke of a position
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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
Last triple crown winner that is always underrated. Perfect horse physically. Graceful andpowerful, affirmed is overlooked when it comes to experts. His battles with alydar are classic. The greatest rivallry in racing history. Affirmed is my no 7 horse
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16Kauto Star
Without a doubt one on the best horses of all time!
He is beast. He races like a boss
Probably a greater chaser than even Arkle, another true legend.
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17Kelso
Horse of the year 5 times and track record still stand
Kelso won the jockey club gold cup five times----that's like winning the because Classic today! How many horses can do that?
5 horse of the year awards -greatest handicap horse ever -greatest 2 mile horse ever
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18Arkle
Arkle is the pre eminent steeplechaser of the past 70 years. He is universally regarded as the greatest chaser of all time

eljorich60

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 never carried 13st in his life
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19Makybe Diva
OMG THIS IS THE BEST AUSSIE HORSE, ONLY HORSE TO WIN 3 MELBOURNE CUPS IN A ROW AND THATS THE BIGGEST TOURNAMENT IN HORSE RACING AUSTRALIA!
Amazing to see her blocked behind the other horses then out of no where she clicks and you see it she just makes her move and beats them all I have never been so happy to see a horse win when she won her 3rd melbourne cup.
She should be in the top 10 not number 13.
Proud to say I was there to see her win her third cup in a row. Absolute Australian racing history bar none.
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20Ribot
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.
I think he was a true force of nature, capable of destroy the unlucky challengers in any race, over any distance and, above all, in any moment of the race. And the last one is the one that makes a racehorse a champion (Tesio said)
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21Omaha
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

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.
Greatest of All time, 54 races undefeated. Raced all over Europe including England taking on the best the Monarchs had in each country.
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23War Admiral
One of the best except for one race. Secretariat did not carry the weights that Man O War, Seabiscuit, and War Admiral did.
23rd is way too low for War Admiral
Yes, Sebisciut beat him, but Sebisciut is amazing! War Arimal is truley amazing too! One of the best of the best!

Horsegirl

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24Sea 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.
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
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
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25Sham
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.
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26Rachel 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.

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
If this horse had won the derby he would be called a wonder horse, because from the last 2 furlongs in the derby the jockey had him behind a wall of horses, he had to come out wide to try ^^ win which was truely impossible, but he still finished 2nd beaten only 1L went on to win Arc in devistating fashion.
Without doubt his arc performance was incredible against the finest field ever assembled. must have been travelling 10mph faster than anything at the finish
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28Smarty Jones
Smarty was a great story and a better horse. If it wasnt for early retirement he would be top 5 of this list.
He one the Kentucky Derby in 2004! Don't forget that's not it

Horsegirl


29Denman
My favorite race horse of all time one of the greatest jumpers in his era, the duels he had with kauto star was classic an for that he will always be remembered with happy thoughts. When he ran away with the cheltenham gold cup in 2008. But the best of all was Hennessy when what a friend looked to take the race up with 3 fences to go he drew along side Denman with 2 fences to go Denman looked him in the eye on said come on then an Denman ran up the hill to win the Hennessy pure legend
Great jumper, him n kauto star were brilliant lucky to see 2 great horses duel like they did. Deman was a Great.

30Brigadier 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
Class on his own frankel could not lace his boots
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31Eclipse
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. "
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32Carbine
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.
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33Nijinsky
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
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.
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
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34Mill 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
Take the brigarder out of the Guinea,s. Mill reef will be on a mark of 146. 10 furlong or 12. I cannot begin to think what the brigarder beat. Apart from one race.

35Dr. 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.
Carried more weight than all horses on average
Fastest horse that ever lived. Often carried 130+ lbs. in handicap races.
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36Count Fleet
Triple crown winner, won belmont by over 25 lengths. Same record as secretariat, their careers are a parallal. Beautiful horse that had caring owners who retired him after an injury. Lived to the ripe old age of 33. No 3 horse of all time
Another speechless horse. Have nothing to say

Horsegirl


37Hurricane 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

38Forego
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.

39Cirrus Des Aigles
Best horse ever. what a fighter

40John 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.
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41Master Minded

42Spectacular Bid
I wouldn't put the Bid at #1 (although some would), but he deserves a lot more love than he gets... In American racing the "classic" race distance is 1-1/4 miles on dirt... The Kentucky Derby, the Breeders Cup Classic, and many of the famous Handicaps are run at that distance. Think of all the GREAT horses that have run that distance on dirt... Now remember ask who is the World Record Holder for 1-1/4 miles on dirt?

It is Spectacular Bid as a 4 year old (1:57 & 4/5s at Santa Anita). It does not surprise me that the man in the saddle that day, Bill Shoemaker, has be quoted as saying that Spectacular Bid was the best horse he ever rode and he rode a lot of GREAT ones.
The only races he lost was due to human errors or injury. Could have been undefeated. I don't know if we ever saw how fast this horse was capable of running as he was never threatened. A great horse
Clueless. No way should he be at #36.
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43Twist Magic

44Carry Back

45Winning Brew

46Desert Orchid
Simply the best. That 1989 gold cup with yahoo was the greatest race I have seen.4 King george vi chases 3 in a row in 1988,1989,1990 plus he won a irish grand national despite nearly falling at the last so tell me than why he not number 1 on this list let alone on it until RIP Desert orchid 1979-2006
What 62 should be in the top 10 if not no1

47Zarkava
UNDEFEATED ; WON THE ARC 2008 ; EuropeAN CHAMPION 3-YR-OLD FILLY 2008 ; EuropeAN HORSE OF THE YEAR 2008.

48Flyingbolt

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


49Whirlaway
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.
Let the horse afficiados read his record and then your opinion will change easily top 5
Whirlaway is one of the greatest of all time 49! He helped us win world war2!

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.

51Karayel
Best Turkish horse ever

52Sunline
Probably the best middle distance horse in the southern hemisphere. New Zealand bred mare feared no challengers.
1st SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE HORSE TO TOP $10 MILLION IN STAKES EARNINGS ; EARNED Aus$11 MILLION ; 27 GRADED WINS, 13 GROUP 1 WINS, 12 GROUP 2 WINS, 2 GROUP 3 WINS ; AUSTRTALIAN MIDDLE DISTANCE CHAMPION 2000, 2001 ; 4 TIME New Zealand HORSE OF THE YEAR 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 ; ONLY HORSE EVER TO WIN AustraliaN HORSE OF THE YEAR 3 TIMES, 2000, 2001, 2002.

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.

54Sprinter 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.

55Tullock
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.
More comments about Tullock

56Atlantic Jewel
From memory never run in the cox So you think would be a better choice

57Canonero 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".

58Mongo

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


59Sir 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.

60Charismatic
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

61Princequillo
A better sire than racer. Passed along the large heart gene to many great horses.

62Archer
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)
Won the first and second Melbourne cups

63Solemia

64Camelot

65Persian 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


66Bold Forbes

67Dan Patch

68Easy 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

69Pioneerof the Nile
2nd place Kentucky derby and one of THE BEST America has ever seen. And he is ridden by Garret Gomez.

70Sunday 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.

71Gladiateur

72Refrigerator

73I'll Have Another
He won the Kentucky derby 2 times or more

74Swaps
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
Foot kept him from setting even more records

75Bonecrusher
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.

76Treve
The way she won the Arc was simply stunning. Time will tell if she earns a place among the all-time greats

77Nashua
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.

78Pocket Power
0nly the ones who saw him race, will believe...4 queens plates, 3 jnb mets... Amazing individual

79Big Buck's
How good was he

80In the Spotlight
Big bucks what can't you like about him 19 str wins
Top 1 fastest horse in India

81Giacomo

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


82Red Fella

83St. Simon

84Balmerino
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

85Funny Cide
That chesnut gelding almost won the triple crown with the incredible Jockey Jose Santos... Amazing races against empire maker!

86Peter 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.

87Street Sense

88Quevega
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.

89Humorist

90Big 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.

91Summer Bird

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


92Modred

93Manduro
Won group1 races from a mile to a mile and a half. Would have won the arc if not injured, and would have then stormed the Breeders Cup Classic in 2007!
What a great horse, winning 5/5 in 2007, Would have won the arc in my opinion. Sadly he got injured in the prix foy. It would have been nice to see him thrash Dylan Thomas after already doing so in the Prince of Wales.
A True Champion!

94Park Top

95Lexington

96Rain Affair

97Rancher
Never beaten over the straight six (furlongs, 1200M) at Flemington - the home of the Melbourne Cup

98Dulcify
Never saw is full potential but I would rank him up with the best watch is cox plate win amazing

99Northerly

100Luskin Star

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This list was created 5 years, 94 days ago and has been voted on over 3,000 times. This top ten list contains 137 items, has been remixed 23 times and has been blogged about 4 times.

Updated Monday, July 28, 2014


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