From upsets to incredible comebacks, horse racing is never boring. If you are a fan of this exhilarating sport, you don’t want to miss these most incredible horse races in history.
Throughout the years, the Triple Crown races have produced some of the most memorable moments in horse racing history. They have shown just what horses and their jockeys are capable of achieving. These historic races have gone down in history as some of the most iconic moments in the sport.
Here are the 10 best horse races in history.
10. 2004 Belmont Stakes: Birdstone vs Smarty Jones
With victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes under his belt, Smarty Jones was ready to capture the Triple Crown. Despite a solid start in the Belmont Stakes, his lead was swept away by Birdstone.
Against his 36-1 odds, Birdstone surged through in the final stretch to secure the victory. He passed the favorite Smarty Jones with just enough time to snatch the win from the Triple Crown hopeful. Though Birdstone finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby and skipped out on the Preakness Stakes, he had one of the most memorable wins in the Belmont Stakes.
9. 1989 Belmont Stakes: Easy Goer vs Sunday Silence
In the 1989 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Sunday Silence had beaten out Easy Goer to take home the first two legs of the Triple Crown. However, in the Belmont Stakes, Easy Goer came through with the win, denying Sunday Silence the Triple Crown.
After a close match-up between the two great horses, Easy Goer broke through to take the lead in the final stretch. Easy Goer, the son of Alydar, came through to win the Belmont Stakes. He recorded the second-fastest time in the Belmont Stakes before American Pharoah took the spot.
8. 2016 Belmont Stakes: Creator
At the 2016 Belmont Stakes, Creator was not a favorite in the race. However, he proved the crowd wrong to take home the win.
Throughout the race, Creator spent most of the time at the back of the pack. It wasn’t until the last stretch of the race that he pushed through to take the lead. In an epic final sprint, he finished nose-to-nose with Destin, just barely snatching the win.
7. 2005 Preakness Stakes: Afleet Alex
After coming in third in the Kentucky Derby, Afleet Alex entered the Preakness Stakes ready to win. However, Scrappy T led the final stretch until a dramatic turn of events.
In the final turn, Scrappy T lost his composure, clipping the heels of Afleet Alex. This caused Afleet Alex to nearly fall down and almost sent his jockey flying off. However, despite the setback and almost disastrous situation, Afleet Alex prevailed to take home the Preakness Stakes win.
6. 2002 Belmont Stakes: Sarava
At the 2002 Belmont Stakes, War Emblem came in with the hopes of taking home the Triple Crown. However, Sarava surprised the crowd by winning the race.
War Emblem had an unfortunate start to the race, shattering his pursuit of winning the Triple Crown. Despite a 70-1 odds, Sarvara came through to take the unbelievable victory. He won with the biggest long shot in Belmont Stakes history.
5. 1998 Belmont Stakes: Victory Gallop vs Real Quiet
At the 1998 Belmont Stakes, Real Quiet was trying his hardest to take home the Triple Crown. However, Victory Gallop had other plans.
In the exhilarating race, Real Quiet appeared to have secured the win the last stretch, but Victory Gallop came through for a nose-to-nose finish. In both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, Victory Gallop had come in second place just behind Real Quiet. This time, however, Victory Gallop came through for the win, with Real Quiet losing by the smallest margin in Belmont Stakes history.
4. 2009 Kentucky Derby: Mind That Bird
At the 2009 Kentucky Derby, Mind That Bird wasn’t given a good chance to win, with 50-1 odds. However, he came through to have one of the most shocking Kentucky Derby wins ever.
After spending most of the race in last place, Mind That Bird made an incredible comeback in the final stretch. He set the record for the longest-odds horse to win the Kentucky Derby in 85 years and he also had the biggest lead to win the race in 60 years. His stellar performance stunned the audience, as he defied the odds.
3. 2015 Belmont Stakes: American Pharoah
It had been a long 37 years since the last Triple Crown winner until American Pharoah changed that in 2015. After winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, American Pharoah defied the odds to win the final leg of the Triple Crown.
American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes in fashion. After a rough start out of the gait, the stunning chestnut made it to the first position and never looked back. He won by five and a half lengths and set a record for the second-fastest Belmont Stakes behind the legendary Secretariat.
2. 1978 Belmont Stakes: Affirmed vs Alydar
Affirmed and Alydar had one of the greatest rivalries in horse racing history. Their skills were put to the test at the 1978 Belmont Stakes for the ultimate showdown between the two legendary horses.
That year, Affirmed had already won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, with Alydar finishing in second both times. At the Belmont Stakes, Alydar tried his best to win the final leg of the Triple Crown. Throughout the race Affirmed and Alydar were nose to nose, with Affirmed coming through to complete the Triple Crown in an epic face-off.
Also read, 7 facts you didn’t know about Affimed.
1. 1973 Belmont Stakes: Secretariat
As one of the greatest racehorses ever to live, Secretariat soared past the competition in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. His historic win earned him the coveted title of Triple Crown champion.
In the race, Secretariat won by a whopping 31 lengths, blowing away his competition to make history. Not only did he set a record for the fastest Belmont ever, but he had also set the record for the fastest Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The exhilarating race brought people to their feet, as it was one for the ages.
Also read, 8 Facts You Didn’t Know About Secretariat