Best Race Horses of All Time

Who are the best race horses of all time? It's hard to choose.

The Contenders: Page 2

21 Mill 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

Great sire won the Derby trained by my grandfather and recovered from a broken leg

His record speaks for itself. For me he made racing a joy to watch.

Quite possibly my number one racehorse on the flat.

V 4 Comments
22 Dancing 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

Best horse I ever saw, won the Arc going away in what was a world class field, never seen a turn of speed like it.

number 1.

V 21 Comments
23 War Admiral War Admiral War Admiral was an American thoroughbred racehorse, best known as the fourth winner of the American Triple Crown and Horse of the Year in 1937, and rival of Seabiscuit in the 'Match Race of the Century' in 1938. During his career toward the end of the Great Depression, War Admiral won 21 of his 26 starts more.

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.

Amazing horse at least top ten I'm surprised he is this low

Almost as amazing as his father

V 7 Comments
24 Ribot

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.

This Italian Horse is the best ever! N.1

V 11 Comments
25 Sea 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

Records tells the story won on every type of ground never gave in the best considering the variety of distances he won over

Truly a great horse and should in the first ten.

V 13 Comments
26 Arkle

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

This must be an American site, what with all those Yankee horses at the top. If Arkle hadn't been shackled with more weight than the rest no other horse would have got near him. 24th on this list is laughable, and so is Brigadier Gerard's placing.

Arkle is the greatest horse ever without a doubt. No American horse can compare with Arkle

V 11 Comments
27 Carbine

Champion racehorse and sire. Still holds Melbourne Cup weight carrying record for winner. Started 5 times in a week in top class races, including 2 races on the same day, for 4 wins and a 2nd. Came back the next year and did it again but won all 5! As a sire, he sired an English Derby winner who in turn sired another English Derby winner and over half of all Melbourne Cup winners have Carbine in their pedigree.

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

Best horse of all time and backed it up as a stallion.

if he was around these days and did what he did back he'd be worth 50 million as a stallion

V 8 Comments
28 Nijinsky

The ridiculously low position given to this amazing horse reflects the insular attitude of the majority of those who have voted. If he could have competed against the seven highest ranked other horses that specialised in running the same distances with all in their prime, I know where my bet would have gone.

I have seen every great racehorse over 50 years and I have never nor do I think I will ever see a horse as good as Nijinsky for as long as I live he was without doubt in my opinion the greatest horse I have ever seen
His King George victory was astonishing he walked across the line there wasn't a horse in history that could have lived with him that day!

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

Nijinsky to me has got to be the best of all time, he won over so many distances which makes him unique, he was also ridden by the best jockey of all time Lester Piggott, and of course trained by easily the best trainer of all time in Vincent O'Brien.

V 12 Comments
29 Kelso

I saw Kelso run many times. His heart was huge and he was classy. He was also very much loved my racing fans everywhere, its just so long ago, many don't know much about him. But no horse has ever won Horse of the Year FIVE times, and he has some pretty good competition. And he was still a winner at age 8! He needs to be in the top ten somewhere.

Kelso set a world record on dirt and an American record on grass in a span 0f 11 days. He ran the mile and one half one fifth of a second faster than Secretariat's Belmont Stakes and he had to run around 3 turns as supposed to Secretariats 2 turns. He raced before they started using steroids.

Horse of the year 5 times and track record still stand

Kelso was, is, and will always be the best all around racehorse ever!

V 14 Comments
30 Count 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

If you put secretariat in the top ten then count fleet needs to be in the top ten.

Another speechless horse. Have nothing to say - Horsegirl

V 1 Comment
31 Kauto Star

When Kauto came back to win the gold cup.. Jesus man... what a horse and what a trainer... Wow...

What a horse kauto star was! Definitely one of the best national hunt racehorses of all time.

Loved his last King George win. People forget that Kauto was as brave as any horse!

The best by far

V 11 Comments
32 Dr. Fager

Dr. Fager was a scary fast racehorse, folks. The only thing that limits his ranking somewhat is the fact that he did not run the Triple Crown races. That he is ranked 32 here is absurd! He is undoubtedly top 10. Many across the pond consider Frankel the best miler, but those who know Dr. Fager, know better.

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.

I was at Atlantic city when he put away all of the best turf horses of his time in the one & three sixteenth mile UN handicap on good turf with 130+ pounds - first time turf & he rated well and came again in stretch! After that he won a 7 furlong grade I stake at aqueduct world record time of 120.2 eased up with 139 pounds on his back! maybe the best all around horse of all time!

Shear speed carried out to a mile and a quarter while hauling top weight

V 17 Comments
33 Sham Sham

Its true, Sham is a footnote in Racing History now, but perhaps he helped make the Secretariat Legend even greater as was the only horse to really push him, his performances in the first two races of the triple crown, would have been more than good enough against almost any other horse, and burned out in the belmont, due to the crazy speed set off at, definitely deserves more credit than he has had with the passing of the years

A forgotten horse by many, but think in any other year would have been legendary, a triple crown winner in record times, some may say finished last in Belmont, but that was mainly because tried to burn off Secretariat and it backfired, would surely have run a different race had the great one not been present, run the second best time ever in a race and only finish second, that's almost seems impossible?

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.

If Sham had been foaled in any other year, he would have won the triple crown and remembered as one of the greats. He just had the misfortune of running against the greatest racehorse that ever lived.

V 20 Comments
34 Eclipse

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. "

Eclipse should be named number 1 on the list.

V 6 Comments
35 Arrogate

Best horse of the 21st century.

He is a good horse,but his defeated in DEL MAR unbelievable.I think it is jockey's mistake.M Smith must got the early speed and inside rail.I am very sorry about ARROGATE.That must be the only defeat for him.

36 Flyingbolt

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

37 Cigar

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.

It is my belief that he is the best American racehorse that has ever lived, though he did not have any records, he had a 16 race win-streak up until he was 6 years old

Cigar should be higher than 37! Should be easily in the top 15.

V 7 Comments
38 Spectacular Bid Spectacular 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

How in the world could Spectacular Bid be ranked #42. I've followed horse racing for over 50 years. He is without question a top 5 thoroughbred.

If you put 12 horses in the gate to run to see who's the best. He would be part of the race and wouldn't be surprised if he hit the board.

V 15 Comments
39 Smarty 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.

One of the best racehorses I ever to see specially when he took the lead

One of the greatest of my time. My mom knew the owners and I still have a piece of smartys tail til this day

V 1 Comment
40 Vaguely Noble


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List Stats

10,000 votes
206 listings
8 years, 300 days old

Top Remixes (41)

1. Secretariat
2. Barbaro
3. Ruffian
1. Secretariat
2. Man O' War
3. Sea Bird II
1. Secretariat
2. Zenyatta
3. Rachel Alexandra

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