Top Racehorses of the 20th Century

 

Several organizations offered opinions on the top horses of the 20th century as the year 2000 loomed.

In 1992, Sports Illustrated magazine created a panel of seven experts: ABC Sports broadcaster Jim McKay; Arlington International Racecourse steward Tommy Trotter; retired California racing official Frank E. Kilroe; executive columnist of the Daily Racing Form Joe Hirsch; Hall of Fame trainer Woody Stephens; secretary-treasurer of the National Turf Writers Association Jim Bolus; and columnist and author William F. Reed.  They chose Man o' War and Secretariat, in that order, as the top two of the century.

In 1999, the Associated Press asked a panel of six voters a similar question; four chose Man o' War as best, one named Secretariat, and the sixth picked Tom Fool. Below left are their choices for the top 10 competitors.  Apart from Big Red himself at the top of the list, all horses marked in orange are descendants of Man o' War.  If you'd like to check on any horse's pedigree, click here: www.PedigreeQuery.com.

In 1999, The Blood-Horse magazine assembled a seven-person panel of eminent horse racing people: Daily Racing Form columnist and author Jay Hovdey, California senior steward Pete Pedersen, Gulfstream Park steward Tommy Trotter, Keeneland racing secretary Howard Battle, Louisville Courier-Journal racing writer Jennie Rees, Maryland Jockey Club vice president Lenny Hale, and Sports Illustrated senior writer and author William Nack. Each of the experts compiled a list of horses they considered to be the top 100 Thoroughbred racehorses of the 20th century.  The lists were then compiled into a master list, the final order decided by averaging the placement of specific horses on the individual lists.

Below right are their choices.  Again, apart from Big Red himself, all horses marked in orange are descendants of Man o' War.  Check on any horse's pedigree at www.PedigreeQuery.com.

Click on the buttons along the top to reach the lists of Consensus American Historical Champions, Official American ('Eclipse') Champions, American classic winners, and the list of the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame inductees with Man o' War blood.

 

Associated Press Top 10

Rank

Horse

1

Man o' War

2

Secretariat

3

Citation (tie)

3

Native Dancer (tie)

5

Kelso

6

Tom Fool

7

Dr. Fager

8

Count Fleet

9

Spectacular Bid

10

Forego (tie)

10

Seattle Slew (tie)

Sports Illustrated Top 2

Rank

Horse

1

Man o' War

2

Secretariat

The Blood Horse Top 100

MAN O' WAR: RACING ICON