Top 10 Racehorses

Aside from the current top horses, you can also check and compare the top jockeys and famous racehorses from the last 50 years ago!
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Pretty Mischievous certainly has an impressive racing pedigree and a noteworthy start to her career, embodying the kind of talent and resilience that makes horse racing so exhilarating. Bred in the lush landscapes of Kentucky, she’s the spirited second foal of the illustrious Godolphin’s Pretty City Dancer, mingled with the prowess of Tapit, one of the most influential stallions in North America. Her lineage speaks volumes, with Tapit being known for producing top-class racehorses and Pretty City Dancer having her own acclaim. This blend of genetics has clearly imparted Pretty Mischievous with the physicality and spirit needed for racing success. Plus, with the meticulous guidance of Brendan Walsh, she was polished to racing excellence. Her inaugural season in 2022 as a sprightly two-year-old played out like a symphony of speed and elegance, shimmering with promise, marred only by a single brush with defeat during her third outing in the prestigious 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes at the iconic Churchill Downs on the brisk autumn day of November 26.

As she gracefully transitioned into her 3-year-old saga, her crowning moment was the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2023. Pretty Mischievous, poised, and calculated, she bided her time in fourth before making her bold move, sweeping through the stretch to claim her triumph, outpacing the tenacious Gambling Girl and clocking an impressive 1:49.77 over the 1 1/8 miles. However, her legacy was far from complete, as she returned merely five weeks later on June 9, dominating at the Acorn Stakes, graciously hosted by Great Jones Distilling Co., on Belmont Park’s hallowed grounds. Pretty Mischievous outmaneuvered the frontrunner Munnys Gold in the early stretch, stood her ground against Dorth Vader’s challenge and clinched victory by a head.

Her journey continued to the Test Stakes at Saratoga on the balmy day of August 5, 2023. Destiny once again waved its wand, turning Maple Leaf Mel’s misfortune into a lucky break for Pretty Mischievous, transforming a near miss into a stroke of luck as Maple Leaf Mel, the one about to cross the finish line, faltered at the final hurdle just shy of triumph. In that electrifying moment, Pretty Mischievous, with the cunning of a seasoned gambler, seized her chance and was officially declared the victor by a head.

Pretty Mischievous triumphs are because of her character on the track. She’s no frontrunner who burns out too quickly; instead, she’s the brilliant tactician, the clever shadow just off the pace, conserving her vim and vigor for that perfect, heart-stopping moment to surge ahead and seize victory with a burst that leaves us all spellbound. Her trainer paints a portrait of a filly that’s not just physically agile but mentally sharp, a dream to behold.

In the rich mosaic of thoroughbred legends, we’ve recently added a spectacular thread with the arrival of Arcangelo, a captivating steely-gray mystery hailing from the illustrious bloodlines (second crop) of Arrogate, the 2016 colossus of the Travers Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Classic, hailed as the Longines World’s Best Racehorse. Born amidst the verdant bluegrass of Kentucky, courtesy of Don Alberto, the renowned breeding and racing titan, Arcangelo is a gem crafted by the visionary Chilean pair (mother and son) Liliana Solari and Carlos Heller Solari. Their unwavering commitment to the sport has been spectacularly manifested in Arcangelo, celebrating their first Grade I triumph on American turf with a steed bearing their standard.

Initially underestimated, written off as an “ugly duckling” at the sales ring, fetching a mere $35,000, blossomed into a magnificent swan, a spectacle of equine excellence. His transformation was nothing short of a fairy tale. At the ripe age of three, he unveiled his true prowess, dominating the field with his triumphant gallops in the two G1 stakes, the Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes, earning the title of the best sophomore male in the United States.

The Belmont Stakes victory was a landmark moment, not just for Arcangelo but also for his connections. It was a celebration of firsts—marking the first Grade I victory in the United States with a U.S.-bred horse for the Solari family and a historic win for Jena Antonucci, the astute trainer who became the first woman to clinch a Triple Crown race, placing her name amongst the elite few women to touch the prestigious Triple Crown’s final gem. As the 11th female trainer to have a horse in the final jewel of the Triple Crown, she is the first to secure that rare victory.

Yet, every story has its trials. Just when Arcangelo was basking in the glory, fate threw a curveball—an injury that curtailed his ascension in the racing world. A condylar fracture in his left hind foot caused him to miss the last three training days, and so the harsh stroke of luck led him to bow out from the esteemed Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, a twist that tugged at the heartstrings of his admirers. This hurdle, halting his racing pursuits, led to the agonizing decision to retire. As the resonance of his stride was hushed, the announcement on October 16, 2023, proclaimed his retirement to the tranquil haven of Lane’s End Farm, where he begins a fresh chapter, threading his legacy into the tapestry of future progeny.

The tale of Cody’s Wish is a profound reminder of the deep connections that can form between humans and horses, transcending the conventional boundaries of interspecies relationships. It’s a narrative that highlights not just the competitive spirit of horse racing but the emotional, almost spiritual, bonds that can develop in this world, enriching the sport with stories of hope, resilience, and mutual healing.

Cody’s Wish could not be Cody’s Wish if he had never met a courageous young man, Cody Dorman, battling the relentless waves of Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome. This rare genetic disease causes congenital heart defects, intellectual disability, seizures, and delayed growth and development. Their paths crossed through the Make-A-Wish program Farm tour in 2018, crafted a poignant moment that it is as though the cosmos plotted their union. The colt, unnamed at the time, sauntered over and nestled his head tenderly in Cody’s lap, a silent communion blossoming into an enduring companionship, hence gifting him his moniker, a homage to a friendship rooted in unspoken empathy. Bourne suggested Cody’s Wish and Cody’s Dream, along with a third name she could not recall. Obviously, the approved name was the first choice.

As the seasons turned, their rapport flourished, offering Cody a beacon during trying times when he was cloaked in grief from his grandfather’s passing in February 2019. Cody’s family called Bourne and set up a visit in the fall of 2020 when Cody’s Wish was still an unraced 2-year-old colt to help ease the sadness in the young man’s heart. They initially thought Cody’s Wish could harm Cody since the horse is no longer a harmless foal but a colt full of vim and vigor. Hence, they planned only to see the horse from a distance. However, Cody’s Wish acted like a normal human being who had just seen a good friend after being separated for two years. Unexpectedly, Cody’s Wish did not even misbehave or get aggressive. Instead, he carefully approached Cody and let him rub his nose. He found comfort in his four-legged confidant’s presence, a testament that sometimes, the most profound healing is ushered in on four hooves with the gentlest nuzzles. A miracle happened when Cody laughed, knowing his family rarely saw him laugh and show immediate reaction or emotion. Their heartfelt reunion, with a symphony of genuine emotion, displayed the colt’s soothing nature, rekindling an ethereal connection as Cody’s laughter, a rare and treasured melody, broke the silence of his adversities. It then solidified their undeniable friendship as Cody reacted similarly in succeeding visits, and the horse has never failed to acknowledge Cody.

Cody Dorman also became Cody’s Wish’s source of strength and power when Cody’s Wish did not successfully debut in his three maiden special weight races. Cody said that Cody’s Wish would not win until he showed up to his race and showed his support for his friend. Like it was destined, when Cody attended Cody’s Wish’s race at Churchill Downs on October 2, 2021, the horse valiantly galloped his hooves infused with the spirit of his human counterpart, dashes across the finish line, and finally debuted, winning the race by two lengths. It displays their unspoken pact and shows everyone how horse racing is more than just a test of speed and stamina; it’s a canvas where remarkable tales of courage, companionship, and mutual respect are painted.

Starting that day, Dorman attended as many of Cody’s Wish’s races as he could, and the two became a living image of the bond between horses and humans. Their tale, enchanting the masses, turned every competition into a narrative rich with perseverance, companionship, and the purest joy born from a destiny intertwined. Hence, Cody Dorman’s connection to Cody’s Wish led to Dorman’s recognition as the 2022 “Big Sport of Turfdom.” The award, given by the Turf Publicists of America, recognizes a person or group who enhances coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with racing media and publicists. Furthermore, the story of Cody’s Wish and Cody Dorman was voted the FanDuel/National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s “Moment of the Year” for 2022 after Cody’s Wish climaxed the year by winning the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

In the year 2022, the racetracks virtually echoed with the thunder of his hooves as Cody’s Wish clinched victory in four out of his five stakes races. Among these were two prestigious Grade I triumphs – the illustrious Forego Stakes at the historic Saratoga and the much-coveted Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at the scenic Keeneland. These victories were not just won but masterpieces of speed, stamina, and heart, painting a picture of a champion who knew how to claim the spotlight.

As the calendar turned to 2023, Cody’s Wish showed no signs of slowing down, his spirit as indomitable as ever. He once again gloriously won four of his five starts, a testament to his unwavering excellence and enduring vigor. His victories read like a list of the who’s who of horse racing – the Grade I Metropolitan Handicap, the Grade I Churchill Downs Stakes, and the Grade II Vosburgh Stakes. But the jewel in his crown was the defense of his title in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at the enchanting Santa Anita Park, a feat that solidified his status as a racing icon.

As Cody’s Wish steps away from the racetrack, it’s not merely the close of an era, but the dawn of a legacy immortalized through his lineage and in the souls stirred by his remarkable odyssey. It marks the end of his racing career but not the end of his story. His legacy lives on, not just in the record books of horse racing but in the powerful narrative of healing and friendship he represents. He ventures into Jonabell Farm’s verdant embrace, his saga interwoven with the dreams of a boy who discovered happiness in his shadow and those inspired by their profound alliance. His narrative stands as a monument to connection, echoing the belief that life’s most significant bonds are often those unforeseen yet deeply cherished.

In the chronicles of the racetrack, many a champion has etched their legacy, yet few have woven their essence into the sport’s very lore. Cody’s Wish is not just a horse of racing lore but a symbol of hope, strength, and the indomitable power of friendship, the bond that fueled his journey. His story isn’t merely about the races won, but the hearts touched, the spirits lifted, and the unbreakable bond that forever changed the course of two extraordinary lives.

Proxy’s racing career paints the picture of a horse with notable consistency, versatility, and a knack for staying competitive across various tracks and conditions. His journey from a narrow loss in his debut to a six-time winner, including prestigious Grade 1 and Grade 3 victories, illustrates his quality and resilience. One of his best triumphs was the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup on July 22, 2023, mastering nine furlongs with a lead that never wavered from start to finish.

Despite hitting the winner’s circle in just 6 of his 20 starts, the tale of Proxy is painted with consistent brilliance with a track record of 20:6-7-3. It is rare to find him missing from the leading pack, with just four outings placing him outside the top three. With most finishes in the top three, it shows he rarely ran a bad race. Proxy’s ability to lead a race from start to finish, as he did in the Monmouth Cup, or to charge late and still secure a win or place demonstrates his adaptability and strategic versatility under different race conditions. His performances weren’t just about speed; they were about tactical intelligence, whether adapting to the pace, overcoming track variations, or outmaneuvering competitors.

Rewind to his debut at Monmouth Park, a vibrant 2-year-old barely missing victory by a whisker, finishing a heartbreaking second. But the tables turned at the Fair Grounds when Proxy dazzled the spectators, going gate-to-wire to triumphantly break his maiden.

The peak of his career echoed through the halls of Churchill Downs at the Grade 1 Clark Stakes on November 25, 2022, where he outshined a field of stars, including the celebrated 2022 Kentucky Derby winner, Rich Strike. Through subsequent highs and lows, he stood as a paragon of steadiness, his career a testament to tenacity, his achievements resonating beyond mere victory counts. Yet, the narrative doesn’t end there. The following year, Proxy resumed his winning ways in his 5-year-old season at the prestigious Grade 2 $1 million Oaklawn Handicap on April 22, 2023, outpacing his rivals in a heart-stopping photo finish – a three-way photo finish over Last Samurai and Stilleto Boy. Though a subsequent race saw him falter in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster race in July, he quickly regained his stride, clinching victory at the Grade 3 $400,000 Monmouth Cup by a 2 ½ length, a performance that was nothing short of spectacular.

As Proxy approached the twilight of his racing days, his fighting spirit was still as fierce as ever when he almost snatched another Grade 1 title, finishing a nose behind Bright Future in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes on September 2, 2023, at Saratoga. His storied career reached a crescendo at the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, a testament to his enduring spirit, securing a respectable third place and capping off a season of remarkable earnings – his highest earnings, marking the pinnacle of his journey as a five-year-old stallion.

As he gracefully strides into retirement, he prepares to grace the pastures of Darley’s Jonabell Farm, joining a prestigious roster of stallions. His legacy is a treasure chest of memories, enriched by the praises of his trainer, Michael Stidham, who admired him not just as a phenomenal athlete but as a spectacle of joy. Echoing through the stables of Godolphin America, Michael Banahan’s words highlight Proxy’s exceptional late bloom, commanding aura, and tactical ingenuity—qualities that have cemented him as a racetrack icon from his early days to his seasoned finale. He is a beacon of equine excellence, demonstrating that true champions can shine brightly from the energetic age of two to the seasoned age of five. His tale is not merely one of victories and defeats but a celebration of the enduring essence of competition and the perpetual enchantment of the horse racing world.

Art Collector’s tale unravels like a spellbinding story, brimming with vibrant shades of victory, tenacity, and heartfelt goodbyes. His story exemplifies the unpredictability and the highs and lows inherent in sport, embodying the transformative journey many thoroughbreds undergo. Art Collector’s initial performances as a starting two-year-old with modest beginnings didn’t hint at the greatness to come. After his initial modest triumph in a second maiden race, the subsequent four contests saw him somewhat fade into the background, never finishing better than sixth or seventh.

But his early days in 2019 were merely a prelude, an unsung hero in the making. Art Collector’s tale in 2020 took a turn akin to a phoenix rising. His transition from grass to dirt and the consequential change in trainers to Thomas Drury Jr. marked a turning point in his career. Drury’s guidance unlocked Art Collector’s latent potential, leading him to a triumphant streak in his three-year-old season. He secured victory in four back-to-back races, including the prestigious Blue Grass Stakes and Ellis Park Derby. This impressive run earned him a golden ticket of 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby, an event steeped in tradition and prestige. But let’s not gloss over the bumps on the road. Missing the Kentucky Derby due to a slight setback was a twist in his tale, testing his grit. A slight issue with his left front heel had kept him from basking in the Derby’s limelight.

Not one to dwell in the shadows of what-ifs, Art Collector made a commendable return, although the Preakness Stakes held a chapter where fortune didn’t favor the brave, placing him 4th. Advancing into 2021, now a seasoned campaigner at four years old, he showcased his prowess by clinching victories in three out of five races, including the prestigious Alydar Stakes, Charles Town Classic, and Woodward Stakes. His narrative as a five-year-old in 2022 was adorned with two victories from four outings. In his swan song season of 2023, he opened with a breathtaking victory at the Gulfstream Park’s Pegasus World Cup, dazzling the crowd with a stunning 4 ½ lengths victory; it was an exhibition of his majestic talent, a moment that captured the awe of everyone watching.

Beyond the track, Art Collector was a soul of gentle grace, a serene horse that even the youngest of fans could befriend him. His penchant for admiring his reflection wasn’t vanity but only added layers to his lovable character. As a young horse, he was initially unremarkable. His journey was a testament to the transformative power of growth, blossoming into a standout figure, revered by those who knew him best. Art Collector flourished under Travis Durr’s guidance at South Carolina’s Webb Carroll Training Center, emerging as a distinguished figure admired for his elegance, intellect, and genial demeanor.

However, a somber shadow casts itself over the Art Collector’s journey. Confronted by the harsh reality of laminitis at Saratoga Racecourse, he fought courageously against the relentless progression of this ruthless condition. His final race on August 5, 2023, was intended to defend his Charles Town Classic crown, but destiny held a different script. The disease swiftly engulfed all four hooves, subjecting him to excruciating pain, and the solemn decision to bid farewell to him on August 17, 2023, was realized. His passing stirred a wellspring of emotion, evoking a poignant mix of tears and nostalgic reminiscences from his owner, Bruce Lunsford, who fondly remembered the exhilaration and pure joy Art Collector infused into their lives. Lunsford’s tribute painted a vivid picture of a horse celebrated not just for his victories but for his “cool personality” and the lasting impression he made on all who had the fortune to cross his path.

Auguste Rodin is an Irish-bred marvel, a living ode to equine excellence, who carries the legacy of the legendary Deep Impact. At the same time, his dam, Rhododendron, infuses him with the spirit of Galileo. He was named after the famed French sculptor, a name that resonates with the artistry and drama of the legendary sculptor.

In June 2022, the curtains rose on Auguste Rodin’s captivating narrative, where his inaugural performance, though marked by a second-place finish, sparkled with the promise of unfolding epics, heralding a symphony of future victories. He painted his legacy with swift, victorious strokes, clinching top honors in a series of races and etching his name as a leading light among Europe’s juveniles. He dazzled the crowds, securing the Group 2 KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes and the illustrious Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes with flair and finesse.

The 2023 season beckoned with the promise of greatness, yet the tale took an unexpected twist. The 2000 Guineas saw our colt adrift, finishing a baffling 12th at the 2000 Guineas. However, like a maestro reclaiming the melody, Auguste Rodin made a glorious comeback, triumphing at both the Epsom Derby and the Irish Derby, his luminescence unclouded and determination steadfast.

The suspense escalated at Ascot’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, where the atmosphere buzzed with anticipation. He was cloaked in high expectations, and the event was supposed to be his crowning moment. The event started great, and the horse entered the gate with a powerful look. He looked magnificent and did everything great; hence, he was the favorite of the race. Yet again, it turned into a puzzler when he finished last. He suddenly dropped off in power during the race and cannot decipher how Auguste Rodin’s power just disappeared, and his legs softened. Ryan did the right thing and did not take any chances when he felt the power of Auguste Rodin was disappearing, as, for some reason, the power did disappear. It left the racing connoisseurs pondering over this enigmatic hiccup.

However, the chronicle of Auguste Rodin was far from concluding. Like the masterpieces of his namesake, he returned to the limelight with commanding wins at the Irish Champion Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Turf. His awe-inspiring resurgence at the Longines Breeders’ Cup was a masterpiece of strategy and skill, a thrilling chase from the rear that culminated in a triumphant surge by three-quarters of a length. A victory that didn’t just salvage his honor; it added a golden layer to his legacy.

With career earnings nearing five million dollars and a record of spectacular victories and heart-wrenching defeats, Auguste Rodin’s journey is narrative-rich with the essence of horse racing’s unpredictable drama. As he prepares to grace the tracks as a 4-year-old in the 2024 season, the racing world watches with bated breath, eager to witness the next chapter in the saga of this equine virtuoso, whose every stride is a brushstroke on the canvas of Thoroughbred greatness.

Idiomatic indeed sounds like a spectacular filly, embodying the essence of thoroughbred greatness. Her impressive string of Grade I victories in 2023 – the Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga, Spinster Stakes at Keeneland, and the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park – not only showcases her exceptional talent but also her consistency and resilience at the highest level of racing. She was bred with care in the lush fields of Kentucky by the renowned Juddmonte Farms under the keen eye of Fahad bin Khalid. The farm was significantly involved in breeding Idiomatic’s lineage, including her dam, grand dam (Rising Tornado, by Storm Cat), great-great-grand dam Monroe, and maternal grandsire.

Her journey is one for the books, from an awkward, lanky filly to a powerhouse of agility and grace on the track. Initially, her path to glory wasn’t clear-cut, her towering presence and latent talent making for a slow burn of anticipation. Yet, those in the know, including her exercise riders and the sharp-eyed Florent Geroux, sensed the emerging legend beneath her glossy coat. In the 2023 season, Idiomatic spread her wings, transforming into the queen of the track before our eyes. Her triumphs were not just victories but affirmations of her spirit and grit. She dazzled in the Grade I arena, clinching titles at the esteemed Personal Ensign Stakes, Spinster Stakes, and, in a crowning achievement, the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Each win celebrated her spirit, echoing her sire Curlin’s legendary stamina and might.

Guided by the expert hand of Brad Cox, Idiomatic grew into her impressive frame, turning what once seemed like a challenge into one of her greatest assets. Her speed and consistency on the track are undeniable, a reflection of her journey from a promising filly to a racing icon.

As 2024 dawns, the racing community is on the edge of their seats, eagerly awaiting the return of this luminary. The buzz around her potential title as Horse of the Year is palpable, a fitting tribute to her remarkable season. Idiomatic, once a rough diamond, now shines as a paragon of horse racing excellence, her tale not just one of victory but a captivating saga of potential reaching its zenith in the thrilling arena of thoroughbred racing.

Up to the Mark is a spirited contender who has danced his way into the history books with a trio of Grade I victories: Turf Classic Stakes, Manhattan Stakes, and Coolmore Turf Mile Stakes, setting the 2023 racing scene ablaze with his feats. But what is particularly captivating about Up to the Mark is his narrative arc, from a promising youngster on dirt to a turf titan, showcasing a story of growth, learning, and eventual mastery.

As a fresh-faced three-year-old, he sprinted to triumph in a Maiden Special Weight race, a dazzling six furlongs of dirt, on July 21, 2022, at the Saratoga. Yet, this victory stood as a solitary star in the dark, for the following four races saw him grappling with shadows, his earlier success on the dirt eluding him. Hence, his connections decided to try him on turf, sending him to Florida.

In a twist fit for the tales, Up to the Mark’s narrative took a dramatic pivot towards the welcoming arms of the turf. The transition to turf unlocked Up to the Mark’s latent prowess, allowing him to showcase his true potential. His dominant performance at Gulfstream Park was merely a prelude to the triumphant symphony he was set to compose in the 2023 season, as he majestically secured wins in five out of seven turf battles. Winning the Turf Classic Stakes, Manhattan Stakes, and the Coolmore Turf Mile Stakes – all Grade I events. It is a feat that places him among the pantheon of turf legends. This isn’t just winning; it’s making a statement, a declaration of his supremacy on the grassy expanses where the ballet of racing unfolds with each thunderous stride.

As we look forward to his stud career, it’s clear that Up to the Mark carries his genetic legacy and the tale of his triumphs, the lore of a horse who transcended initial limitations to redefine his destiny. Lane’s End Farm is not just acquiring a sire; they’re welcoming a living legend, a horse whose progeny will carry forward the legacy of a champion who rose to the pinnacle of turf racing with grace, speed, and an indomitable spirit. The echo of his hooves at Lane’s End will be a reminder of his remarkable journey, inspiring future generations to race boldly, adapt wisely, and conquer gloriously.

Track Surface – Dirt, Turf & Synthetic or Artificial

Mage is known for making a spectacular splash, streaking across the finish line with unmatched zeal in his first outing. His stunning debut made an unforgettable entrance with that wire-to-wire victory by 3 ¾ length. It was an exhibition of pure equine prowess, as he outshone the competition in the seven-furlong maiden race for 3-year-olds at the illustrious Pegasus World Cup on January 28, 2023, at Gulfstream Park.

Moreover, what makes Mage’s narrative truly mesmerizing is his belated start; he was absent from the track as a 2-year-old but managed to triumph in the Kentucky Derby on his fourth appearance. His trajectory was anything but conventional, bypassing the typical sequence of races that most young thoroughbreds undergo. Not merely a fleeting wonder, Mage has permanently inscribed his name in the chronicles of racing, registering two awe-inspiring 100+ Beyer speed figures (BSF) in just three races, symbolic of his roaring gallops and exhilarating performances, hinting at a promising Derby future.

Yet, the story of Mage, woven with threads of promise and grandeur, was also tinged with the delicate twines of fate. On the cusp of a championship season as a 4-year-old, a twist in the tale emerged. A routine scan by his vigilant caretakers unveiled a looming issue, a slight setback necessitating a pause from his glorious days on the track. The announcement on November 27, 2023, though tinged with the sadness of what might have been, heralded the beginning of Mage’s new chapter. Transitioning from the exhilarating echo of racetrack cheers, he now embraces the tranquil life at Airdrie Stud, poised to father the forthcoming racing prodigies. With a stud fee of $25,000, his legacy is set to cascade through the lineage of future champions, each inheriting a fragment of his indomitable essence.

The saga of White Abarrio is a captivating tale that mirrors the essence of horse racing’s unpredictable yet thrilling nature. This colt’s journey from a promising newcomer to a dominating presence in the Thoroughbred racing scene is a testament to the collaboration between innate talent and meticulous cultivation of skill. His evolution from those initial victories at Gulfstream Park to becoming a multiple Grade I winner is a testament to his development, adaptability, and the skill of his team.

From 2021 to 2023, this colt’s journey through time has been a splendid display of equine brilliance. Starting his career with back-to-back wins is no small feat, especially at a competitive venue like Gulfstream Park in Florida. His victory in the Florida Derby in 2022 marked him as a significant contender, showcasing his ability to compete and triumph against top-tier three-year-olds and where this equine prodigy’s strategic acumen truly shone. Positioned modestly in fifth at the half-mile mark, White Abarrio didn’t rush or dawdle. Like a skilled conductor timing the crescendo, he paced himself impeccably around the far turn, then with a spectacular surge, he clinched victory, crafting the final brushstrokes of his racetrack masterpiece.

His performance at the Florida Derby set the stage, but his astounding evolution through 2023, culminating in the Breeders’ Cup Classic victory, truly showcased his exceptional prowess. The four-year-old marvel captured the prestigious Whitney Stakes at the revered Saratoga, and then, under the enchanting California skies, he clinched the ultimate gem – the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita, a stage where equine dreams are realized. White Abarrio’s transformation from a budding contender to a monarch of the meadow is a tale of unyielding progression. Initially, White Abarrio was a promising horse, yet not quite the powerhouse to threaten the titans at the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, only a mere silhouette of potential. But as the seasons changed, the tables turned in 2023, and he emerged rejuvenated, his brilliance intensifying, heralding an epic journey to soar even higher. It speaks to the unpredictable nature of horse racing, where a horse can find that extra gear, that additional burst of speed and stamina, propelling them from being merely good to truly great.

As we look to the future, pondering what lies ahead for White Abarrio is exhilarating. The indication that White Abarrio is still improving is thrilling, suggesting that we might see even more impressive performances, more broken records, and more exciting moments on the track.

White Abarrio’s approach to the race is a masterclass in patience and timing, qualities that mark not just a champion racer but a creature of almost philosophical profundity. The way he conserves his energy, only to unleash his full power in a defining crescendo, speaks to an understanding of the race that transcends mere physical capability. Chip Dutrow’s comparison of White Abarrio to the legendary Saint Liam adds a layer of historical resonance to this narrative. It’s a testament to White Abarrio’s potential to carve out a legacy that could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the titans of the turf.

Track Surface – Dirt, Turf & Synthetic or Artificial

The tiny champion of Secretariat, Lady’s Secret showed racing fans that big things sometimes come in small packages. Her pace style was that of a front runner, and it earned her 25 wins in her 45-race career, with nine seconds and three thirds. Also known as “The Iron Lady”, Lady’s Secret was an unstoppable force when pitted against other fillies, and extremely competitive against males as well.

Lady’s Secret had her first major win at age two in the Mocassin Stakes in 1984, and followed it up with three more big wins at age three, including two Grade I events. In 1986, she defeated the nation’s best male horses four times, winning ten graded stakes races of her fifteen starts that season. That same year, she also became the first female to win the Whitney Stakes since Gallorette in 1948, and she finished the season by winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Her performance throughout the 1986 racing season earned her the Outstanding Older Female Horse award along with the prestigious Horse of the Year award from Eclipse.

Lady’s Secret is ranked 76th by Blood-Horse magazine in their list of the Top 100 U.S. Thoroughbred champions of the 20th Century. She was 14th among the 26 fillies and mares on the list. The Iron Lady retired at age five in 1989 and produced 12 named foals, but none of them were particularly remarkable.

Track Surface – Dirt, Turf & Synthetic or Artificial

Personal Ensign was both a talented athlete and a prolific broodmare, finishing her career undefeated in 1988 with 13 wins before going on to produce nine great foals. She was the first notable American racehorse to go undefeated her entire career since Colin in 1908.

Personal Ensign won her first race in 1986 at two years old with a late burst of speed that resulted in a win by 12 ¾ lengths, but she was tested in her second race, winning by a head. After these two races, she suffered a fractured pastern that nearly ended her career, but she bounced back from surgery as fast as ever. She was known for having amazing races even against male horses, such as her victory in the prestigious Whitney Handicap in 1988. Her 1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff race was noteworthy because of her incredibly close victory over Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors, an amazing finish that was ranked 42nd  in Horse Racing’s Top 100 Moments compiled by The Blood-Horse.

She won the American champion older female horse award in 1988 from Eclipse and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1993. Personal Ensign was rated #48 among the top 100 American racehorses and ranked fourth among the 26 fillies and mares of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by The Blood-Horse.

Personal Ensign never stopped impressing people even in retirement. Nine of her ten named foals started and won, and she was named the 1996 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year. She was an alpha mare in the Phipps broodmare band and possessed a strong protective instinct towards her foals. She survived a potentially lethal case of peritonitis in 1996.

Track Surface – Dirt, Turf & Synthetic or Artificial

The fleet-footed Miesque was the kind of racehorse that you couldn’t take your eyes off of or you might miss an unexpected burst of speed that would change the entire race. She was the first horse to ever win two consecutive Breeders’ Cup races, a feat that’s even more impressive when you consider that she was up against a strong field of older males that included Warning, Bet Twice (a Belmont Stakes winner), and Steinlen in her second Breeders’ Cup. She was also a Group One/Grade I (G1) winner at two, three, and four years old, for a total of 10 G1 wins.

Miesque’s wins earned her the champion miler and three-year-old champion filly awards in France and England. She was inducted into the American Racing Hall of Fame in 1999, and she ranked 82nd among the greatest American racehorses of the 20th century and 19th among the 26 fillies and mares of the 20th century by an expert panel convened by The Blood-Horse.

Aside from being a great racer, Miesque was also a successful broodmare, producing five stakes’ winners, including French Classic winners Kingmambo and East of the Moon.

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Rachel Alexandra came from rocky beginnings before rising to greatness, culminating in an undefeated 2009 racing season and being named American Horse of the Year. Her amazing season in 2009 was one of the best ever seen from a 3-year-old filly, and she was the only 3-year-old filly to win the Horse of the Year award since the Eclipse Awards began in 1971. Out of 19 starts, she had 13 wins, five seconds, and just one major loss, when she took sixth in her first maiden race in 2008.

As a foal, Rachel Alexandra was rejected by her dam right after birth, and Rachel’s owner, Dolphus C. Morrison, described her as ““a little raw-boned and a little scruffy.” She was almost included in the 2006 Keeneland November Sale as a weanling due to her physical appearance. Fortunately, X-rays revealed a “minor development problem”, and Morrison scratched her from the sale, believing that she wouldn’t fetch the $125,000 that he thought she was worth. Instead, she was sent to Diamond D Ranch in Lone Oak, Texas, where Jimmy “Scooter” Dodwell broke her in. Morrison asked Dodwell if Rachel was ready to be entered in a Florida sale in 2007, and Dodwell described her as having “a ton of speed, with a long stride”, and recommended that she wasn’t sold. His judgement came at a crucial time and gave Rachel Alexandra the chance she needed to earn glory on the racetrack.

Rachel started her career with the jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., earning just two wins out of five races, before switching to the jockey Calvin Borel. Under Borel, her performance improved dramatically; he rode her to 9 consecutive wins, and she never finished below second place again. After her remarkable 2009 season, Rachel had a comparatively average record in 2010 with 2 wins and 3 seconds, and she was retired after 5 races that year.

In addition to being the first 3-year-old filly to receive Horse of the Year, Rachel Alexandra was also the first filly to win the Preakness Stakes race in 85 years (the last filly to win was Nellie Morse in 1924). She won races in six states (Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey), on eight different tracks, against fillies and Grade 1 colts and older horses, achieving a long string of consecutive wins, including numerous Grade 1 stakes.  She was inducted into the Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame in 2011 and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2016.

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Flightline could be described as one of the fastest horses in history. The blazingly fast bay ran undefeated throughout his entire racing career with an average winning margin of 10.125 lengths. Flightline’s short but memorable career included winning the Grade I Malibu Stakes in 2021 and the Metropolitan Handicap, Pacific Classic, and Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2022. His incredible victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic by 8 ¼ lengths was the largest winning margin in the history of the race. In the 2022 Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, he was given a rating of 139, the highest ever awarded to a runner on the dirt, beating Cigar’s rating of 135.

Flightline was an undeniably fast horse on the racetrack, and his trainer, John W. Sadler, joked that he only lost to inanimate objects like a door latch or a wall. An energetic horse, especially in his youth, Flightline wanted to run at full speed all the time but was also prone to small accidents. The most serious accident happened when he was two; he was startled while being saddled for a training session and hit himself on a stall latch, leaving an L-shaped scar on his right hip near the tail.

The white spots on Flightline’s neck are from a port that was placed for antibiotics during recovery, which prevented him from racing as a two-year-old. He also suffered a hoof crack that interrupted his three-year-old season followed later by a strained hock that delayed the start of his four-year-old campaign. Despite his status as a talented racehorse, he could be clumsy in a unique way.

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Cigar started his racing career as an unremarkable three-year-old in 1993. He was a low-grade stakes/high-class allowance horse that only won two out of nine races in his first year and two out of six in his second year. However, he was able to turn this around at the end of his second year where he won his last two races of 1994 and then proceeded to go on an incredible 16-win streak, tying the win streak set by Triple Crown winner Citation in 1948-1950.

During Cigar’s undefeated era in 1995, he had 10 consecutive wins with outstanding performances that earned Beyer Speed Figures of 108, 114, 116, 121, 114, 117, 118, 111, 111, and 117. When he was under consideration for the American Horse of the Year award in 1995, the judges were nearly unanimous in their decision: only two of the 306 ballots that were cast did not vote for him. Cigar was also awarded the American Champion Older Male Horse award that year, and he became the nation’s top money earner until 2008, when he was surpassed by Curlin.

Cigar was ranked 18th by BloodHorse in their list of the top 100 thoroughbreds of the 20th century and was later inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The sportswriter Andrew Beyer called him the “best of the 1990s.” A life-size bronze statue was unveiled at Gulfstream Park to honor Cigar on “A Salute to Cigar Day” on February 2, 1997. A bronze statue of Cigar was also erected at Kentucky Horse Park’s Walk of Champions at his grave, which was unveiled on October 27, 2015.

After he retired from racing, Cigar proved infertile and quickly retired from stud. He spent his long retirement at Kentucky Horse Park before dying at 24.

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Forego’s best racing years began in his second year of racing (1974) and continued through his fourth year. His long career proved that he was a versatile racehorse and earned him the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Older Male Horse for four years in a row (1974 to 1977) and the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year for three years in a row (1974 to 1976). He was also inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 1979.

Forego started his racing career at three years old and ran until he was eight. He registered 24 stakes victories, including 14 Grade 1 wins. His wins had him frequently handicapped to carry more than 130 pounds (59 kg), and he still won races like he wasn’t carrying anything at all. His career record includes 57 races, with 34 wins, 9 seconds, and 7 thirds.

In his first year of racing at three years old, Forego had 18 starts resulting in 9 wins, 3 seconds, and 3 thirds for $188,909 in earnings. In his second year, he won 8 races, with 2 seconds, 2 thirds, and 1 fourth. In his third year, he won 6 races, with 1 second, 1 third, and 1 fourth. In his fourth year of racing, he won 6 races, with 1 second and 1 third. He won 4 races, with 2 seconds in his fifth year. He raced twice as an eight-year-old before his chronic fetlock problems ended his racing career.

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Although Ghostzapper did not run as many races as other racehorses, he took first place in 9 out of 11 of the races he ran and received several awards for his incredible performances. He was undefeated during his third year in racing, winning four stakes races consecutively. Ghostzapper was initially viewed by many as a good sprinter, but one who may not be capable of handling longer distances. He astonished people when his stamina was finally tested during the 2004 Philip H. Iselin Breeders’ Cup Handicap, where he won by 10 ¾ lengths in 1:47.66. He earned a 128 Beyer Speed Figure from Daily Racing Form, causing them to declare, “There can be no argument that Ghostzapper is the fastest horse in the country.”

Ghostzapper had tough competition in the 2004 Breeders’ Cup, including the defending Breeders’ Cup winner Pleasantly Perfet, but he led the entire way and finished the race in first by three lengths. In his last year of racing (2005), he was only able to run in one race due to health issues that year: the Metropolitan Handicap (Met Mile) at Belmont Park. He ran an amazing race and won by 6 ½ lengths, and his time was a mere 2/5 of a second short of the stakes record. His trainer, Robert Frankel, said that Ghostzapper “impressed people in the Met more than he did in the Breeders’ Cup, and he ended his career in style.”

Ghostzapper was retired one month later when it was discovered he had a hairline fracture of his left front sesamoid bone. He was awarded the American Horse of the Year award, the American Champion Older Male Horse award, and was named the world’s top-ranked racehorse by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) with a rating of 130. Ghostzapper may have only run 11 races, but his incredible speed and amazing performance in the Breeders’ Cup and Met Mile make him one of the all-time great horses in racing history.

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Spectacular Bid was a horse that lived up to his name and created some truly spectacular races. He broke seven track records during his career and had a 12-win streak, followed by a 10-win streak. He even set the world record for the fastest 1 1/4 miles on a dirt track, which still stands to this day. Spectacular Bid had a great shot at winning the Triple Crown in 1979, if not for a freak accident. After winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, on the morning of the Belmont Stakes, it was discovered that Spectacular Bid had stepped on a safety pin and it had become embedded in his hoof. Although he performed well early on and held the lead before the halfway point, Spectacular Bid eventually fell behind and finished third.

This pivotal injury led to an infection that took two months for Spectacular Bid to overcome, but it was clear when he returned to racing that he was still a force to be reckoned with on the track. Hall of Fame jockey Bill Shoemaker rode Spectacular Bid to victory by more than 17 lengths in the allowance race at Delaware Park and set a new track record for 11⁄16 miles, 1:41.6. His next race that year (1979) was a slap in the face to those who doubted him during the Belmont Stakes: Spectacular Bid not only won the Marlboro Cup at Belmont Park, he also beat both horses he had previously lost to in the Belmont Stake, Coastal and Golden Act.

These incredible performances earned him the title of American Champion 3-Year-Old Male Horse at the Eclipse Awards in 1979 despite losing the Belmont Stakes. Spectacular Bid would go on to rack up even more wins in the following year when he won all nine races and set five records. He ran undefeated that year and concluded his glorious career with a walkover in the Woodward Stakes on September 20, 1980, and was named the American Horse of the Year by Eclipse.

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Considered by many to be the greatest racehorse of all time, Secretariat was a truly remarkable horse that earned his place in horse racing history with his amazing performances. Also known as Big Red, his incredible win in the Belmont Stakes by a record 31 lengths earned him the Triple Crown in 1973. His lead over the next-nearest horse, Twice A Prince, was so great that CBS cameras at the track could barely show both horses in the same shot. Secretariat not only won – he also set speed records in multiple races, including all three Triple Crown races.

This awe-inspiring performance catapulted Secretariat to fame and made him a household name. Secretariat won several awards as well, both during his career and after, including the American Horse of the Year in both 1972 and 1973, and he secured a place in the US Racing Hall of Fame in 1974. His enduring legacy has inspired dozens of books and a movie that was released in 2010, and statues of Secretariat were erected at Belmont Park, Kentucky Horse Park, Grand Falls, and in Lexington.

Secretariat ended his 21-race career with 16 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third. Aside from his maiden race, every race where Secretariat didn’t take first was due to a disqualification or a health issue, such as a mouth abscess at the Wood Memorial or a viral infection at the Whitney Stakes. Secretariat’s incredible career guarantees that he will be remembered for all time, and his speed records at Churchill Downs for 1 ¼ miles and at the Belmont Stakes for 1 ½ miles still stand to this day.

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