Top 10 Best Race Horses of All Time

Who are the best race horses of all time? It's hard to choose.
The Top Ten
1 Secretariat Secretariat was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who, in 1973, became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.

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.

The wins are unlikely to be matched by any horse again. As a 3YO, he won from 7 furlongs to 13 on dirt, slop and turf, defeating 3 future Hall of Famers, 13 World, track or stakes record setting horses, and setting no fewer than 7 stakes, 5 track and two world records, including all three Triple Crown records (marks which have stood for 40 years now). He was capable of remarkable versatility in his running style, running around horses, through horses or on the lead the whole way. He nearly set a track record as a 2YO in an 8.5 furlong race (one fifth of a second off mark). His losses, while unfortunate, mostly came as a result of his handlers' desire to let the country see the horse race before his retirement mandated by the breeding syndicate. He was generally such a sound healthy horse that they made a couple of mistakes with him, but that shouldn't take away from his absolutely remarkable performances when healthy and properly trained.

Look at the numbers, they are there in black and white of Secretariat's races and times. Still standing, record times at all three Triple Crown Tracks, world records at numerous distances. No worthless opinions, or prejudices, just cold, hard, facts. When you look at the numbers and compare all of the other great horses to him where there is a commonality, no other horse is even in the same league. He is truly a man among boys. When you compare Secretariat's best time at each distance mark and all the other horses best times at each mark, his times destroys every other top race horse that ever lived!

I saw most of these horses run their races people. Secretariat would be able to beat them all. I read where folks have said some of these horses didn't set the records because they were so far ahead they didn't need to run full out. For most of his races Secretariat was held back and not let free to run all out. See what he did at the Belmont when he ran full out. Think of what it might have been like at the Derby or the Preakness f he'd been allowed to run full out from the start like he was at the Belmont. My Gosh he was so good. If there were a race between all these horses if they were in their prime today --- my bets on this guy. Secretariat --- by far the greatest race horse ever born.

2 Man O' War Man o' War was an American Thoroughbred who is widely considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time. Several sports publications including The Blood-Horse, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and the Associated Press voted Man o' War as the outstanding horse of the 20th century.

For me, the only real way to compare and judge competitors from different eras in any athletic discipline is in how dominant they were. And in that, Man O' War has no competition. He nearly made a mockery of the sport, and all his latest "races" were really just speed exhibitions, as by then, no one wanted to send their best horses out to be so dominated. And all of that was with some of the highest handicap weights ever assigned. He was retired at 3, because had he raced another year, he likely would've been sent to post with even higher weight assignments - the highest assigned weights of any race horse in history to this day.

People really need to do their homework before just voting for a name they recognize. MOW was killing the competition so bad that the jockey club started forcing him to carry more weight. He was carrying on average 32 pounds more than the other horses and he was still beating them so badly that it actually became hard for him to find anyone that was willing to race. It became so ridiculous that in his fourth year of racing the jockey club wanted him to add more weight. His owner thought that was to dangerous and retired him because he was scared he would get hurt. N'ough said, I love Secretariat but I'm sorry MOW would beat the brakes off of him.

Undefeated in 21 starts if it weren't for a bad restart by the guy with the starting gun. He was facing the wrong direction after a restart when the starting gun went off (only race he ever lost, and t was only 6 furlongs and he lost by a head after spotting everyone 10 lengths. Also raced back in the day when many factors affected the times so they are not comparable to modern day times. If you factor it all in, Man o' War had the fast times of all and never ran a bad race.
In fact the only 1 he lost might have been the fastest any race horse has ever gone considering it was the only one he ever had to give it his all (of course, factoring in the heavier shoes, deeper tracks, etc).

There is absolutely no question that Man O' War is the greatest racehorse of all time. Won 20 of 21 races. The only lose was by a head, coming in second, where the start had Man O' War standing sideways behind the rope line. Worst start in the history of racing. No starting gates back in 1919, rather the horses lined up behind a rope. Ridiculous.
The only reason the Man O' War did not win the Triple Crown was because his owner felt that the Kentucky Derby came too early in the season for a young 3 year old. The vast majority of horse racing experts have correctly identified Man O' War as the top race horse of all time. Secretariat is #2. Not too shabby.

3 Citation Citation (April 11, 1945 – August 8, 1970) was an American Triple Crown-winning Thoroughbred racehorse stallion who won 16 consecutive races in major stakes race competition. He was the first horse in history to win one million dollars. He was foaled at Calumet Farms in Lexington, Kentucky. Citation was the winner of the 1948 Triple Crown. Citation then later retired after the Hollywood Gold Cup. As a sire at Calumet Farm, he produced a number of noteworthy offspring including the Hall of Fame filly Silver Spoon, Get Around (won $164,868), Guadalcanal (won $243,337) and 1956 Preakness Stakes winner Fabius.[7] He is buried at Calumet Farms. more.

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!

Please do your thoroughbred horse racing history. Citation is second to none. S. Fitzsimmons said that Citation was the greatest horse that he ever saw - and he saw Man 'O War. Citation won the Sysonby Stakes mid week, run at a mile; then went on to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup that same week-end, then run at 2 miles. Citation beats Secretariat, any track, any distance, any day.

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.

Citation is number ONE without a doubt. His races across country and the outstanding way he won them, not to mention the computer simulated race between him and all the other great ones, he comes out on top! I love to watch DVD's they have of his triumphs!

4 Dr. Fager

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!

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.

Only horse to run a mile in under 1:33 carrying over 130 lbs. The only American champion to win four end of the year honors: Champion sprinter; champion handicap horse; champion grass horse; Horse of the Year. Only 3 horses ever finished in front of him: Buckpasser, Damascus, Successor--all Champions. 2 out of 4 against Damascus, but Damaascus only won when he had a rabbit. Pssibly the best match race horse, because heads up he will not let anyone beat him.

Blazingly fast horse. Set the record for the mile on dirt in 1968, and it still stands today. A ranking of 32 here is laughable and ignorant. Definitely top 10; arguably, top 5.

5 Kelso

No horse has ever or ever will win FIVE strait Horse of the Year titles. No horse in history beat more great and/or other Hall of Fame, and divisional championship horses. The list includes a who's who of the first half of the 1960's. including Carry Back, Bald Eagle, Tompion, Never Bend, Jaipur, Ridan, Crimson Satan, Beau Purple, Roman Brother, Pia Star, Gun Bow, and Quadrangle. All while spotting huge amounts of weight. No horses today carry anything like what Kelso was forces to carry. And yet he continued to beat the best. Definitely in the Top Five of all time on any reliable list. Like Horse Racing Nation, NTRA, Racing Form. This list here is a joke in many ways.

Saw Kelso run several times. Coming down the stretch with his ears pinned back, nostrils flaring and veins exploding out of his chest he was the most magnificent thing I've ever seen. The five time horse of the year carried weight like no-one but Discovery, and regularly won races from 6 furlongs to two miles. 29th? The only question is whether he was 1 or 2. I suppose Eclipse being ranked 35 shows what time can do to your reputation. By the way. Where's the undefeated Personal Ensign on this list?

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.

6 Black Caviar

The reason that I think that she was the greatest ever racehorse was not only the fact that she won 25 races from 25 starts but the fact that she raced 24 of them over 5/6 furlongs. Followed horse racing for the last 50 yrs and although a lot of horses have had a long sequence of wins, none has won 25 and more importantly those that did win most of their races were from 1mile to 1and a half miles - no sprinter other than Black Caviar has had more than 10 consecutive wins over the shorter distances, somehow they managed to have one or more off days but B.C. always, always found a way to win

Hard to compare her against middle distance and beyond but definitely the greatest sprinter ever. Had a cruising speed that was untouchable in the jurisdiction that breeds and races the worlds fastest sprinters of this era. Did stretch to 7 furlongs but it would be debatable that she could have repelled the stamina of Frankel at that distance. It surely would have been a race to remember if they met and is a big shame as both were in their physical prime at the same point in time. Unfortunately they were on different sides of the planet certainly Frankel's connections had no financial incentive to travel and as it turned out Black Caviar didn't seem to cope well with her trip to England anyway although she still managed to win. Unfortunately due to circumstances Europeans never got to see her awesome ability because if you compared her to some of the recent dominating performances of Australian sprinters that went to Royal Ascot then they would have witnessed her winning by a very big ...more

Won on straight tracks, turning tracks, left handed, right handed, all over Australia and travelled to the other side of the world to win at Royal Ascot, when she injured herself in the run. All time Australasian Group1 wins record holder. World's highest rated horse and highest rated sprinter. Beat world's 2nd highest rated sprinter 6 out of 6 times. Track record holder at Australia's premier track and fastest ever 200m sectional. Defeated 50+ individual Group1 winners and remained unbeaten. 25 starts for 25 wins incl. 15 Grp1 wins (14 open class against colts/fillies/mares), 7 Group2 wins and 2 Stakes race wins for $7.9 million in stakemoney. Champion.

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!

7 Frankel Frankel is a British Thoroughbred racehorse. Frankel was unbeaten in his fourteen-race career and was the highest-rated racehorse in the world from May 2011.

Not a horse in the classic sense, more a unnatural force of nature. On the rundown to the stalls I would get chills, and by the time he was being loaded I'd start to hear white noise...that's the sound of pure hung in the air wherever the horse raced. You could slice the atmosphere with a knife, it was so thick with electricity. No other horse has ever given me these types of sensations. When he ran it was pure adrenaline. The air was thick with that too. He exuded it, and the other horse's felt it, they all knew who was boss before they even went into the stalls, they could smell it and sense it. Frankel was, is and will always be the king of all Alpha's.

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.

By winning in his last race ever, the Champion's stakes at Ascot, frankel completes 14 wins from 14 starts. He had a dreadful start at Ascot, leaving the gate three lengths behind the leader and faced a major challenge from the 2011 winner, the French horse Cirrus des Aigles. On really sodden groun over 10 furlongs, not his favourite distance, he won by just under two lengths.

In the last few furlongs as he had to catch and overtake the field, he made it look as though they were dead in the water. Nobody who has seen him even on video would doubt that he should rank as low as this.

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.

8 Seabiscuit Seabiscuit was a champion Thoroughbred racehorse in the United States. A small horse, Seabiscuit had an inauspicious start to his racing career, but became an unlikely champion and a symbol of hope to many Americans during the Great Depression.

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.

Speed alone doesn't make the greatest horse. Courage and intelligence should count, too. Also, in considering Seabiscuit's winning times for races versus other horses winning times at the same distance, you have to consider he won a lot of handicap races where he was carrying heavier weight than horses who might have faster times in other races. Seabiscuit was also very smart. He had to relearn things in ways horses who were expected to win from 2 years old never had to. At 2, he was used to boost confidence in other horses, taught to always pull up so the other could win. He had to learn a totally different way of doing things then, so he could win races at all. He also learned an unfamiliar starting method just to race War Admiral. Stats on paper are never a complete story.

Seabiscuit won the heart of the nation. He ran past most racehorses retirement age with weights higher than most horses ever run with. I think the most seabiscuit ran with was 133 lbs or something around there. Secretariats highest weight was only 126 lbs. Seabiscuit also taunted his opponents letting them catch up then speeding away from them again. If Seabiscuit had better opponents he would have just gone faster. I would love to see a race between Seabiscuit, who never backed down, and Secretariat, who set multiple still standing track records. I don't know who would win. All I'm saying is no one ever saw Seabiscuit run against a horse he couldn't beat.

There just so many varibales to conceder when trying to figure the greatest racehorse of all time. Seabisuit is he the greatest of all time? I'd like to think so as he is my favorite. Every horse listed in the top ten could lay claim to the title greatest ever. There many more who are not mentioned that could as well. Each horse has a heart of a champion An over whelming desire to win. And the will to fight. I love horse racing and the stories that go with each horse. I do think either Secretariat or Seabiscuit are number one two I just don't know what order. In seventy years or so racing fans will visit this again. Then maybe even Pharoh will be mentioned. Who knows?

9 Phar Lap Phar Lap was a champion Thoroughbred racehorse whose achievements captured the public's imagination during the early years of the Great Depression.

Here are the facts if you compare Secretariat, Man O' War and Phar Lap, taking into account the same facts such as distance, speed/time, weigh carried, weight of horse, track type, age and condition.

You have the following results Phar Lap weighed the most and carried the second highest weight, ran at 59.02 km/h in his last race being 3 years old than both rivals who I compared during their Belmont stakes races in 1920 and 1973 which are considered to be similar races. The Kinetic energy required by Phar Lap is 96,203 Joules, compared to Secretariat and Man O' War both are 79,198 joules.

Taking emotion out you find that Phar Lap was more powerful and exerted more force and Kinetic energy. Easily based on the numbers he was Number 1.

Very few horses ever have their name liveth forever more. Pegasus was the great winged stallion in Greek mythology. Greco-Roman poets wrote about the ascent of Pegasus to heaven after his birth, and his subsequent obeisance to Zeus, king of the gods, who instructed him to bring lightning and thunder from Olympus. One could then say that thousands of years later that the lightning would strike, and strike hard in the world of Thoroughbred racing. In the Thai language the word "Phar Lap" translated to English means "lightning". Pegasus lives on; and so does Phar Lap in the hearts and eyes of many.

He crushed all opposition south of the equator on every type of surface from sprints to 2 1/4 miles. His win in the AJC Plate as a 3yo was his Secretariat moment. At one stage he led by 30 lens, bettering every track record beyond a mile before easing down to win by ten and smashing the Australasian record for the distance by over 6 seconds. He endured extraordinary and well documented challenges to race the best the North America could put against him when racing on dirt for the first time, first up, dropping to last in the early stages, circling the field to lead before set a new track record when winning the Agua Caliente. He ran 2f in under 23 seconds during that surge. Legendary jockeys Willie Carson and Eddy Arcaro were there on the day and were effusive in their praise - the greatest horse they'd seen. The cotton wool champions of today could never match his range and toughness.

Absolutely dominated his opposition in Agua Caliente. Amazing burst on the outside in the back straight. Toyed with them in home straight. His jockey didn't even shake the reins - just whistled to him and won going away from second place-getter by a couple of lengths. A number of respected American horsemen who saw the race said he was the best they had ever seen out of all the great champions who had graced American tracks. First run on dirt track after getting off a ship after Pacific crossing and with split hoof!

10 Seattle Slew Seattle Slew was an American Thoroughbred race horse who won the Triple Crown in 1977—the tenth of twelve horses to accomplish the feat.

I'll never forget his maiden when we all went to the racetrack to see the vaunted Six Crowns (son of Secretariat) run his first race. We went down to the paddock and all of a sudden this humongous two year old was dancing and snorting into the paddock area. There immediately was no doubt as to who would win the race. Six Crowns who? You would never find another race where you could get these odds on Seattle Slew. When Slew entered the track the other horses would start foaming. He never had to run for speed, just enough to frustrate his opponent. His best race ever maybe one he lost to Exceller. Slew had already defeated the field including Affirmed in the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup. He was easing home with a furlong left when Exceller came charging past on the far outside. Slew caught a glimpse and began a second sprint to nearly catch Exceller at the finish line. He wasn't just a horse, he was a personality.

To put Seattle Slew below Zenyatta is a joke to the world of horse racing. The zenyaheads are out, obviously! Slew was the only undeafeated Triple Crown winner, he did it with ease, he beat another Triple Crown winner in a race, and this horse is one of the few horses that changed racing forever by being an incredible stallion when he was retired. His life still lives on today, in my mare, in many horses and I rather doubt that it will ever die out. He was a beautiful horse, despite when young being called Baby Huey, a 17, 500 bargain of the history of racing. He beat quality horses as well, and unlike Zenyata she only raced male horses twice and lost once to them. A fine mare, but nowhere above the incredible Seattle Slew. TD

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?

How can they possibly rank the great Seattle Slew this low? He was the ONLY undefeated Triple Crown winner (up until last year) and as a breeding sire can arguably be deemed the greatest of all time, bar none. This list is complete BS--Slew should be ranked either #1 (if you also include passing on his talent to his get--no one else even comes close) or at the very least #2 if you are only comparing what each horse did on the racetrack.

The Contenders
11 Affirmed

Won more Grade 1 races than any other horse, 22 for 29 lifetime racing against Alydar, Seattle Slew and Spectacular Bid! If you exclude Affirmed from your top ten list you lose credibility in my opinion.

Magnificent horse. Won the triple crown races under increasing stretch pressure like no other winner ever endured. Too much heart to allow Alydar to get his nose in front!

Affirmed when he retired was a horse they knew could set world records. Affirmed broke hroses Hart's there will to ever race again. He is right up along side Secratairat.

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

12 Zenyatta

Zenyatta had a human quality about her. She was an amazing race horse. I've never seen a horse behind 3 lengths with a furlong to go and win the race after kicking into the highest of gears. Zenyatta winning the Breeders Cup Classic in 2009 was the equivalent of the New England Patriots' Adam Vinatieri winning the 2002 Super Bowl with a field goal on the last play of the game. Even better possibly? Zenyatta running down St. Trinians in the 2010 Vanity. Simply Amazing. If not for jockey error, Zenyatta would have also won the 2010 Classic, and gone 20-20 all time. Mike Smith shook her loose, inexplicably, 2 seconds too late. She beats Blame going away if he plays that race right. Still, one of the best ever!

She should be second on list. I'm not even into horses or racing but honestly followed ONLY while this female ROCKET was out laying the smack down to anybody who dared get near her. The ONLY reason she ever lost was all Mike Smith's fault, he even owned up to it and other jockeys just kept mouths shut because that knew there hasn't been a horse like her ever. Nobody even touches her times today! Her personality was amazing, I mean she actually danced for the cameras and crowds. She's at WORST top 5 all time, these others are just big names everybody knows THE Z TRAIN IS#2 FOR SURE

I love Zenyatta! She never failed to entertain us. Her personality made millions fall in love with her. I follow her now as a broodmare and I have to say she's just a great mother. She has two striking colts and a beautiful filly. Can't wait to see them on the track. Cozmic One is two and so is Rachel Alexandra's colt, Jess's Dream. We never had the chance to see a Rachel vs. Zenyatta, but maybe we will have the honor to see these two regally bred colts square off on the track.

What makes the worlds best race horse? Wins, track times, records. Zenyatta has all of these but also something else. She has showmanship, carisma- before her races she would dance for the crowd. She knew she had won her races and carried herself like a queen. Every race she had you at the edge of your seat screaming for the impossible and she delivered time and time again. Not to mention she was a filly taking the boys to task at the age of 5!

13 Sea 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'.

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!

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.

The greatest I ever saw - until maybe this week. Frenkel is a magnificent racehorse who simply does the business. For forty years I have considered Sea Bird to be the best I ever saw. This may possibly be equalled by Frenkel and, almost unbelievably, even surpassed. Is there more to come from him?

14 Ruffian

Her records speak for themselves; but records come and records go. She was gloriously good because she had courage and in the knock 'em down and drag 'em out of tight finishes courage trumps ability. Ruffian was so brave that her courage was the eventual cause of her death. In the pantheon of all great racehorses there is Ruffian and then there are The Rest.

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.

The others on this list are magnificent, but Ruffian was my heart. I honestly believe she could have given the others on this list beaten many of them outright, if not given them a run for their money. We never saw this filly's bottom.. She was leaving Foolish Pleasure behind even as the break occurred. Zenyatta could not have caught her simply because Z is a closer, and at the top of the stretch Ruffian's jockey Jacinto Vasquez would have turned Ruffian loose to run just as Zenyatta was getting started. And look no further than Secetariat's trainer, Lucien Lauren, who said "As God is my judge she might be better than Secretariat. That man had to reason to lie.

I've read books on all the great American thoroughbreds. Ruffian's story touched me the most, and I place her among the most notable because she exhibited that indomitable winning American spirit and shear will to always give her very best. (Which she did brilliantly, winning all ten races she completed). Sadly, this combination of qualities would not allow her to reduce speed in spite of a crippling injury she suffered while racing Foolish Pleasure, which ultimately led to her being destroyed at the young age of 3. She gets my vote. Go girl power!

15 Barbaro Barbaro was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who decisively won the 2006 Kentucky Derby, but shattered his leg two weeks later in the 2006 Preakness Stakes, which ended his racing career and eventually led to his death.

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.

Understood that his career was curious short, but his KD was one of the greatest and strongest ever run. His second half split was crazy. His career leading up to that day was impressive as anything and thinking for a second that hea wouldn't have won the Preakness had he not been cut off and had to slow up and misstep, then you aren't being realistic. That was a very strong field at both as well as the Florida Derby. He is more than "a feel good story", he was a beast and he was a machine.

Barbaro was an ok race horse, but not in the top 20 or maybe even top 50. There are so many other deserving race horses like the #9 Zenyatta. No offense to Barbaro lovers- but the only reason Barbaro is relevant is because he won the Kentucky, and died on the track. Only one great accomplishment is his life.

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".

16 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.

It's a joke that this horse is not on the top 10-15. A Triple Crown winner if he doesn't step on a nail in the paddock before the Belmont. Incredible horse.

This morning at the training center. Tim Stewart told us about this horse he spent 9 years with. In all his years in racing he was most special horse he was ever around. What he accomplished. Champion 2 yr old colt. Eclipse winner 78,79,80. Eclipse Award Horse of the Year. Hall of Fame 1980. Back when they would run races sometimes a week apart.

It is Atrocious to think The Bid is not Top 3 on this list.. I have him at 2 on pure raw talent horse ever could match him at 4 years of age from 6 panels to 1 1/4 mile... He has multiple Track and Stakes and World Records and it is said he averaged a mid 120 + Beyer his 4 year old season... unheard of... ever.

17 Winx

Winx is a great barometer horse. She is a freak. I have never seen a horse win races so comfortably. Her stride rate is freakish. Maybe she is a modern day sea biscuit version but she is a freak. She regularly finishes off the last 4 furlongs at unheard of speeds easily with consistently. In this regard I think she could beat Frankel. In fact Winx could sit on Frankel and go past him such was her sustained burst. Its interesting because Black Caviar would beat Frankel for sure up to 1200 at least. Winx would beat Frankel probably 1800 and beyond. Having said all this Phar Lap is a different level of freak compared to Winx. Winx is an all time great but pedestrian compared to what Phar Lap pulled off!

A good horse no doubt but not the best. The class of opposition she beat was generally moderate. She never travelled overseas and in her final race today an ordinary horse from Japan, Kruger, got close to her. This horse wouldn't have gotten within cooee of Frankel, Sea Bird or the mighty Ribot. And what about Kincsem, unbeaten in 54 races. And Kincsem "TRAVELLED" unlike Winx. I am confident Winx would have met her Waterloo had she gone to Ascot to face Enable. Des

Just have a look at the distances she has won over, plus the caliber of her opposition. End of story or the beginning of her story. Watch what she does to her opposition. I would hate to own a champion racehorse and run it against her. I am so glad to be able to say I have seen her.

Winx has won 19 Group 1's. 30 horses have ran second or third to her 24 have won group one's. She IS beating great racehorses. She IS the greatest in Australia and no matter how many champions come along in my lifetime, from my eyes, in my life there all in winx's shadow. A true champion.

18 Brigadier Gerard

Interesting breeding which shouldn't have produced a horse of this higher calibre. He was a terrifically physically impressive specimen who oozed power and apparently he was not "molly-coddled" as a youngster. A horse who looked his best when galloping up the hill at Newmarket in '71.

My two work mates went to Newmarket on that fateful day. They both firmly expected Mill Reef to
overturn the form with My Swallow. I told them watch for the Brigadier. The rest is history, thrashed them both. On returning one of my friends remarked how how was the mos magnificent looking horese
in the field. I also shed tears when he got beat. The greatest...

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.

A true great! Seabird's Arc, Secretariet's Belmont, Frankel's 2000 G, and the Brigadier's thrashing of Millreef and My Swallow are the highlights of my racing memory.

19 Kincsem

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.

Should be #1!
Greatest racehorse ever against both sexes! Carried unbelievable weights and won over all her 4 seasons. Still holds the record at the list of most undefeated horses. Black Caviar is 2nd with just 25/25, but didn't race against the best of the best. Kincsem did!

Definitely deserves to be top. She has the most wins of any unbeaten horse in the history of the sport, having won 54 races from 54 starts. The next closest such record belongs to Black Caviar, with an unbeaten record of 25 wins from 25 starts!

20 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

I would have sea the Stars at number 1, and definitely in the top 3.
No other horse has achieved what he did, and in the manner which he achieved it. A class apart.,..

2000 Guineas over 1 mile, Epsom Derby & Arc de Triomphe over 1 1/2 miles, Eclipse & Irish Champion Stakes and York International Stakes over 1 1/4 miles all Group 1 races won over 6 months. Wow!

21 Red Rum

,Unfortunately there are too many Americans voting who simply don't appreciate what the National is.

It is the ultimate test over the ultimate jumps over the ultimate distance.

To win it once is incredible, to win it twice is phenomenal, to win it thrice is verging on impossible, throw in a Scottish national in the same year & its other two appearances also being in the top 4 finishes, is simply one of the most outrageous achievements which anybody has ever heard of.

I mean I get that Secretariat was a phenomenally quick horse and has hammered records that have stood for years, and still holds those records today...but the Belmont is only a 12f race.

The Grand National, to put into perspective for people who don't know. Is a National Hunt Steeplechase, which is two laps of the track & over 30 fences, the field is usually around 50 horses, but has been as many as 66 before, the fastest time which has ever been run is just under 9 minutes, the race is just ...more

Greatest Horse of all time with the biggest heart, and in my opinion it's like Sprinters or Marathon Runners - Flat or Distance Horses - Jumpers over Distance are the Bravest and the fittest horses of the lot, especially ones that win over 4m 4f! Take a look at the National in which he beat Crisp @ Red Rum "1973" Grand National: Enough said, no need to bore with times, tracks, excuses for losing or not being unbeaten. Takes a true Class horse to come back after a taste of defeat to beat the best in the greatest test of horse racing... 3 times!

Speed isn't everything. You wouldn't say Usain Bolt is the greatest athlete of all time, just because he's the fastest. The ability to win over a distance of 4m 4f, jumping 30 fences over two laps, speaks for itself. They don't called it "the ultimate test of horse and rider" for no reason. Red Rum won this not only once, but three times, and finished second in the two intervening years. A feet that surely will never be equaled.

Greatest Racehorse of All Time - Just like Sprinters v Marathon Runners - With Distance v Sprint Horses it's the Distance Horses who dig the Deepest... Especially Jumpers. Any horse who can taste defeat then come back to win the greatest Steeplechase Races like him should be #1 on this list. And also to win the Toughest and Greatest Horserace in the World over 4 1/2 Miles Distance and Fences 6ft+ is the greatest in my eyes... And not just once - 3 times... And in every way, from the front, held up, from miles off the pace, Rummy is the most gifted of them all and the heart of a winner! And I don't need to bore anyone with reasons for winning or losing, what track, what opposition, what times, what splits...blah blah blah - Take a look at Greatness for yourselves @Red Rum "1973" Grand National

22 American Pharoah American Pharoah is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the American Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2015. In winning all four races, he became the first horse to win the "Grand Slam" of American horse racing.

I watched him when he won the Arkansas Derby and every race after that. And when I saw him run I just knew that this was the horse to do it. He runs so flawlessly that you can't take your eyes off him. I know he's no Secretariat and I wasn't around during that time. But to me he gives you that hope like Secretariat did. And that's all that matters. Winning the triple crown only seemed like a pipe dream. But when he won, it looked like he won it with ease. He turned that dream into reality. Then he won the Breeders Cup Classic in record time. And I cried when he crossed the finish line. I never had that much emotion for any racehorse. Thank you Pharoah you gave me hope and I hope one day that I will be able to meet you. I think he deserves a rank because he turned non horse fans into racehorse fans. If that makes sense.

No where near as talented as Secretariat, or Man O' War, but was a winner. He was an amazing racehorse. But he had a winner mentality. Won all 4 races, putting up an amazing time in the Belmont race. This horse is definitely better than Arrogate because Arrogate never even ran in an of the Triple Crown races. The Arrogate fans need to calm down, he barely beat an old California Chrome. Also, California Chrome injured himself before another time him and Arrogate faced off, and that is why he lost that one. Arrogate also doesn't have the best competition. American Pharoah went right into breeding after the Breeder's Classic, so he never faced off against Arrogate. But we all know American Pharoah would come out on top. American Pharoah is the best horse with Zenyatta of the post 2000's so far.

There are not many horses that come around like him. One of the most unique strides of a horse ever, and he used it to his advantage over the others. He was able to conserve energy and eat up tremendous amounts of ground in the mean time. He came within half a length of sweeping the Triple Crown along with the Travers and Breeders Cup Classic. Still, winning the Triple Crown and the Breeders Cup Classic may well stand the test of time. He will always be one of the most popular of all time great horses with that very unique and kind demeanor that he had towards people.

Three years ago American Pharoah won not the Triple Crown, but the Grand Slam of horse racing. I feel that some people overlook that saying that the horses he was up against were not as good as those previous Triple Crown winners raced against. But the same could be said about any other racehorse, that he/she won just because the other horses weren't that good. What makes Pharoah special is that he wasn't those other horses that could not continue racing after the strain of the Triple Crown and his owners and trainer felt that he had the strength to continue. He won the Grand Slam, the only horse to EVER do so which is why I think he is definitely as good as Secretariat and any other racehorse ranked higher than him. Personally, he is my favorite racehorse of all time, not just because of his impeccable career but because of his loving disposition, public appeal, and simply the way he won his races. I am so grateful that I was alive to watch him change the racing industry, and show ...more

23 Forego

Many horses listed don't belong, little common sense and some knowledge will eliminate many I see listed. American Pharaoh is there because a host of people experienced there first triple crown and so they vote for him. I believe of all triple crown winners he is the weakest. Secretariat, Man O'War, PharLap, Citation, Kelso, Native Dancer, GallantFox, Ribot Seabiscuit, Zenyatta all belong way up there and also does FOREGO three time Horse of the Year, four time Handicap champion, and amazingly Sprint champion. Carried lots of weight saw him lose to a horse who had only 108 pounds while toting weights of 138, 137 pounds. Came from the clouds under 137 to nail stakes winner Honest Pleasure in one of the greatest races ever the Marlboro Cup. Overcame weight and injuries to beat a who's who of buzzsaw thoroughbreds over his career. He belongs right there with Kelso and close to the top. Forget these lists they don't do many of these legends justice.

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.

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

During totatalisator worker strike, no one could bet on the race. 15,000 people came out to Belmont on a workday just to take pictures of Forego running in a race that had no wagering. He gave them his usual good show with a heart pounding stretch run that started deep into the final turn and ended by a nose at the wire. Among the legends of horse racing.

24 Rachel 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.

I think this horse deserves recognition. The race between her and Curlin was one of the best and thrilling races I have ever seen. She should have ran against the boys in the Kentucky Derbyshire. You never know, she had the potential to beat the boys.

A win in the Kentucky Oaks, two weeks later defeats colts in the Preakness Stakes...!

Great filly.. but not a top 25 horse. Only one great season. Maybe a top 70 horse, but not 25

25 Shergar

Probably the greatest Derby winner of all time and would have been a great stallion at stud had it not been for the scum that killed this fantastic horse. May they rot in hell.

His Derby win in 1981 ranks alongside Frankel's 2'000 Guineas win as a wonderful spectacle. Truly mesmorising. A great advertisement for our sport.

He was outstanding! Swinburn and Pigott were also outstanding with him. Also very kind and beautiful racehorse.

Shergar won the darby by 10 lengths, how is he only 14th?

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