Three of the Greatest Horses in the History of Horse Racing

Three of the Greatest Horses in the History of Horse Racing

Since the earliest human societies, humans have built a special relationship with horses. They’ve been with us throughout our history, dating back as early as 5000 BC. Horses have been used as beast of burden, pets, trophies, transport, and even tools of war. And throughout history, they have also been used as entertainment.

Horse Racing and Betting

Horse racing, as a sport, can be dated back to the most ancient human civilizations. In Babylon they organized chariot races, which soon became popular in Egypt, Greece, and even Rome. Today, the practice continues, and horse racing is one of the most popular sports in the world. It especially enjoys huge fame in the world of betting. Many sportsbooks, whether they be local, brick-and-mortar shops, or reputable online websites like have reported that horse racing is one of their most profitable sports, simply due to the volume of wagers placed on the horses.

But, as we said, the popularity of the sport goes further back than anyone can imagine. In the 20th century, horse racing was absolutely huge. This was also the era that produced some of the most popular horses in the sport’s history. In this article, we are going to take a look at a few of the greatest horses to have ever run the tracks.

The Secretariat

Without a doubt, the most popular horse of all time. Secretariat has become a household name in the 21st century, even among people who are not aware of horse racing, and have never spent a second at the ponies. Born in 1970, Secretariat was often called “too beautiful to race”. However, any misgivings people might have had about him were shattered, when the horse made his debut at the Kentucky Derby. To this day, Secretariat holds the record for fastest finish at the Derby. The horse’s popularity is such, that he is placed among the top 100 athletes of the 20th century, next to people like Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, etc.


The story of Seabiscuit might rival that of the Secretariat. Quite a few people will surely be familiar with the horse thanks to the film starring Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Elizabeth Banks, which focuses on the life of the horse and his jockey. Others will know Seabiscuit from his towering fame as one of the greatest horses of the 20th century. Certainly, the highlight of Seabiscuit’s career came in 1937, when he was four years old. He raced against another champion of his time, War Admiral, and defeated him by four lengths, cementing himself as one of the greatest race horses in the history of the sport.

War Admiral

Today, War Admiral might be remembered as the horse that lost to Seabiscuit. However, in his time, War Admiral was a champion horse in his own right. Born in 1934, War Admiral was one of the first to win the American Triple Crown. When he was 3 years old, he was elected Horse of the Year, and for a long time, he was the highest-earning race horse in the sport. Off the tracks, he was an outstanding sire, whose descendants went on to become champions in their own time.