The Kentucky Derby is one of the most iconic sporting events in history, and many of its participants have left an indelible mark on the sport. For over 140 years, horses from around the world have competed in this illustrious event, leaving behind legacies of athleticism and courage that live on to this day.
From Secretariat to American Pharoah, there are a select few horses whose names will forever be remembered in the annals of racing lore. So, as the Kentucky Derby draws near and live horse racing betting at racing.fanduel.com platforms gear us on, here is our list of 6 of the most memorable horses in the history of The Kentucky Derby.
Secretariat – 1973 Kentucky Derby Winner
The Kentucky Derby is one of the most prestigious horse races. In 1973, a horse named Secretariat made history by winning this coveted race. However, Secretariat’s victory was not just a triumph for the horse but also for his trainer and owner.
His impeccable speed and endurance during the race were pure magic, leaving everyone stunned. Many consider Secretariat to be the greatest racehorse of all time, and it’s not hard to understand why. His victory in the Kentucky Derby began a legendary career that would cement his place in horse racing history.
American Pharoah – 2015 Kentucky Derby Winner
When it comes to horse racing, American Pharoah is a household name. This athletic champion raced to victory at the 2015 Kentucky Derby, securing his place in history as a true superstar. His impressive performance left the crowd on their feet, cheering in excitement as American Pharoah crossed the finish line first.
With his powerful strides and unwavering determination, he proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with. It’s no wonder so many racing enthusiasts are still talking about American Pharoah’s historic win all these years later.
Seattle Slew – 1977 Kentucky Derby Winner
In 1977, Seattle Slew won the prestigious Kentucky Derby, becoming the tenth horse to win the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. This magnificent racehorse was born with a star-studded lineage, but he proved himself on the track with sheer talent.
Seattle Slew was known for his unmatched speed and endurance, making him noticeable in every race he entered. He captured the hearts of millions with his unwavering determination and grace, leaving a powerful legacy in horse racing. Even today, his remarkable achievements inspire new generations of equestrian enthusiasts to strive for greatness.
War Admiral – 1937 Kentucky Derby Winner
War Admiral, the 1937 Kentucky Derby winner, was not the favorite to win. In fact, he was considered the underdog, facing tough competition from his stablemate, Pompoon. However, War Admiral surprised everyone with a strong finish, coming from behind to clinch the win by a length and a half.
This victory marked the beginning of a legendary racing career for the powerful bay stallion, who also won the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes that year. War Admiral’s impressive performances on the track cemented his place in racing history, and he remains a beloved figure in horse racing.
Man O’ War – The Horse That Never Ran in the Kentucky Derby
Man O’ War, the name alone strikes awe and reverence in the hearts of horse racing enthusiasts. While his legacy as one of the greatest horses to ever grace the sport is undisputed, what many people may not know is that Man O’ War never actually ran in the Kentucky Derby.
Despite setting multiple records and earning an impressive $249,465 in career earnings, his absence from the Derby has left racing fans wondering what could have been. Nevertheless, his dominance on the track and his unrivaled spirit has cemented his place in history, ensuring his legacy will live on for generations.
Mineshaft – 2003 Kentucky Derby Runner-up
In 2003, the Kentucky Derby was a race that will be remembered for years. One standout in that race was Mineshaft, the runner-up. Although he didn’t take first place, his impressive performance made him a name to remember in the racing world. Mineshaft was a powerful horse known for his strength and stamina.
Fans and experts alike were impressed with his ability to run with such tenacity, even in challenging conditions. Despite not crossing the finish line first, Mineshaft’s impressive showing on the field earned him the respect and admiration of those who witnessed his incredible run in the Kentucky Derby.
Mine That Bird: The Longshot Winner
Mine That Bird was a thoroughbred racehorse who won the Kentucky Derby in 2009 at odds of 50-1, making him one of the biggest longshot winners in the history of the race. Prior to the Derby, he had not won a race since his maiden victory as a two-year-old. Jockey Calvin Borel masterfully guided Mine That Bird along the rail, taking advantage of a seam to surge past the field in the final stretch to win by nearly seven lengths.
His unexpected victory was a shock to the racing world and a testament to the unpredictable nature of the sport. Although he did not win any other major races, Mine That Bird will always be remembered for his stunning triumph in the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby has featured some of the most renowned and beloved racehorses in history — Secretariat, American Pharoah, Seattle Slew, War Admiral, and even Man O’ War, who never ran in the Kentucky Derby. Together these thoroughbreds have made a lasting impression on the racing world that will be celebrated for generations.
Not only do we remember them for their contributions to horse racing but also their unforgettable performances at Churchill Downs. One thing is certain — you won’t want to miss this year’s exciting selection of horses in the 2021 Kentucky Derby! Who will join these memorable horses in racing history? It’s sure to be an eventful race season!