The Kentucky Derby is known as the most exciting two minutes in sports and is one of the most highly anticipated events in horse racing. The race is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, and features the best three-year-old thoroughbreds in the world. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable Kentucky Derby horses throughout history.
Secretariat: The Triple Crown Winner
Secretariat is widely considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time. He won the Kentucky Derby in 1973, setting a record time of 1:59.40 that still stands today. He went on to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 25 years.
American Pharoah: The End of the Triple Crown Drought
American Pharoah ended the 37-year Triple Crown drought in 2015, becoming the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes in the same year. He was trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by jockey Victor Espinoza.
Seattle Slew: The Undefeated Champion
Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby in 1977, finishing the race in a time of 2:02.20. He went on to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first undefeated Triple Crown winner. He retired with a record of 14 wins in 17 starts.
Citation: The First Million-Dollar Winner
Citation won the Kentucky Derby in 1948 and went on to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, becoming the eighth horse to win the Triple Crown. He was the first horse to earn more than $1 million in prize money, a significant amount at the time.
War Admiral: The Match Race Champion
War Admiral won the Kentucky Derby in 1937 and went on to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, becoming the fourth horse to win the Triple Crown. He is perhaps best known for his match race against Seabiscuit in 1938, which he lost by four lengths.
The Kentucky Derby has produced many legendary horses over the years, each with their own unique story and accomplishments. From Secretariat’s record-breaking performance to American Pharoah’s end of the Triple Crown drought, these horses have left an indelible mark on horse racing history.
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