Four out of eleven of Man o' War's champion offspring, left to right:  Bateau, American Flag, War Admiral, and Battleship.

Before 1936, the method of gaining championship status was haphazard.  The horse was declared a champion by acclamation.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.  In a competitive year, there could be many rivals laying claim to various titles.  Champions from 1887-1935 were chosen as "official champions" in retrospect.  Those champions from 1936-1978 were decided in separate elections held by two different associations.  Since this method could also chose multiple champions for individual categories, it was replaced in 1979 by the Eclipse Awards, which are selected by an amalgam of the groups.

There are links to charts of the Consensus American Historical Champions and the  American ('Eclipse') Champions above.  Additionally, there are the lists of American classic winners, the inductees into the the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga, New York, and lists of the Top Racehorses of the 20th Century according to various polls.  Man o' War and his descendants are marked in orange.