Horse racing is a fast-paced sport in which horses race each other towards the finish line. The excitement of the races often have crowds gasping as they see each horse pulling ahead of each other. Betting on this sport is a standard, and a lot of people enjoy the races with the occasional stakes.
When it comes to choosing a particular breed, there’s no clear cut winner. Standard races are often restricted to single breeds such as Thoroughbreds. However, an influence to sway over the favor of most bettors is a horse’s name. If you look at a race card, you’ll find that a lot of horse’s names are funny and creative.
Here are some famous horses that you should know about. These horses have feats that are legendary and remain unbroken even up to this day.
Don’t let the name fool you. Seabiscuit may sound like a funny name for a horse, but this horse means business. Sea biscuit was the grandson of Man O’ War, another legendary racing horse. Even though he came from a strong bloodline, Seabiscuit did not show a lot of signs of being a good racehorse.
Enter 1936, when trainer Tom Smith turned Seabiscuit into the mythical racehorse he’s known for today. Efficient training, guidance, and help from jockey Red Pollard elevated Seabiscuit to legendary status. The following year, the team won an unprecedented 11 out of 15 races. Before retiring in 1940, Seabiscuit faced off with another legend in War Admiral. Their race was known as the match of the century.
Seabiscuit’s life became an inspiration for a lot of people as it became the topics for several books and movies. Most importantly, Seabiscuit’s life had a film aptly titled “Seabiscuit” which went on to win several academy awards.
War Admiral was the son of Man O’ War. A lot was expected from War Admiral as he had big shoes to fill in. At first, the horse was stubborn and didn’t respond well to its trainers. He was also relatively small compared with other proven horses at that time. With persistence, however, War Admiral became the horse that he is and eventually won the American Triple Crown.
The horse’s record was an astounding 21 wins out of 26 starts with earnings of about $273,000. That amount in today’s numbers is more than $4,000,000. The match of the century had Seabiscuit winning, but the race wouldn’t have been possible without a worthy opponent in War Admiral.
In Thai, Phar Lap means “Lightning.” Phar Lap is a thoroughbred foaled in New Zealand and trained in Australia. Another name that Phar Lap was known for was Big Red. He was called such because of his astounding speed, height, endurance, strength, and his chestnut-colored fur. For some, Phar Lap’s started slow and wasn’t showing a lot of promise. However, he slowly improved and racked up 37 wins against 51 races while setting eight track records.
Due to his improvement and nightmarish speed, Phar Lap struck fear in the heart of U.S. gangsters. These people feared that the horse would bring in losses for their illegal activities. Phar Lap mysteriously died in 1932 due to a sudden illness. After 70 years and intense forensic investigation, it was established that Phar Lap was poisoned by ingesting large quantities of arsenic.
Bárbaro or Barbarian took the world of American horse racing in the early 2000s by storm. Bárbaro was best known for his convincing win in the 2006 Kentucky Derby. With a strong pedigree and winning streak of 1st win finishes, Bárbaro was destined to win it all, including the Triple Crown in 2006.
Two weeks after his Kentucky Derby victory, Bárbaro ran in the Preakness Stakes. He was a heavy favorite by a lot of people to win the race. Before he could achieve glory, tragedy struck. Bárbaro broke three bones in his right hind leg. The horse was immediately rushed to a hospital to attend to his injuries. From there, Bárbaro had to undergo five more operations for his right hind leg to recover.
Things were looking great but took a turn for the worse as the horse developed laminitis on his front hooves. After a promising start to his racing career, Bárbaro was euthanized. A memorial was held, and a statue of Bárbaro outside Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum was erected in his honor.
Always B Miki
Harness Racing is another type of race that uses horses. One of its stars is Always B Miki. As a strong and hardy standard bred, the horse started young and was showing a lot of promise in his storied racing career. Always B Miki is known for his intelligence, endurance, and a signature white star on his forehead.
Always B Miki has earned a total of $2,719,368 and currently owns the world record for the fastest pacer, finishing the whole course in just 1:46 seconds. He also holds the record for the quickest finish in Canada, with 1:47.1 seconds. Today, Always B Miki is healthy and happy in at Diamond Creek Farms as a retired harness racehorse.
Zenyatta is a mare thoroughbred who won the 2010 Race Horse of the Year and is famously known as the Queen of Racehorses. She is currently retired with a record of 20: 19–1–0, and has earnings of more than $7,000,000.
A retired Australian thoroughbred worth over $200,000, Black Caviar holds a mind-bending record of 25: 25–0–0. Twenty-five races, Twenty-five wins, and Zero losses. Black Caviar has career winnings totaling to $7,953,936.
A list of the greatest racehorses wouldn’t be complete without Secretariat. Secretariat was an American thoroughbred who became the first triple crown winner in 25 years. He also has racing records that still stand as of today.
Secretariat was buried whole, a rare practice in honoring racehorses. For a lot of people, Secretariat is the greatest racehorse ever to grace the tracks.
Whether it’s the tracks of yonkers raceway or the Churchill downs, there’s always a horse that’ll capture your imagination. Famous racehorses are majestic animals that will always be remembered in history for their feats and tremendous skill. Secretariat, Seabiscuit, War Admiral, Zenyatta, Always B Miki, are just some of the famous horses that everyone should know about.