The Best American Racehorses Of All Time

America has produced some of the world’s best racehorses. From Zenyatta and Seattle Slew to Secretariat and Man o’ War. Punters up and down the country have been fortunate enough to watch these runners over the years. They broke a plethora of records on their way to greatness, some of which still stand today.

During this write-up, we’ll look back at some of their best achievements. Secretariat and Seattle Sound, for instance, won the Triple Crown. On top of that, they won several prestigious awards including American Horse of the Year and American Champion Male Turf Horse. Runners like this usually only come along once every generation, but the USA has produced its fair share of talented runners.

The Greats

Man o’ War – This horse won dozens of top-class races in the early 1900s. During his illustrious career, he picked up 20 wins from 21 runs. Man o’ War’s only defeat came at Saratoga Race Course in 1919. What’s more, he picked up wins at the Dwyer Stakes, Travers Stakes, and Hopeful Stakes.

As if that wasn’t enough, this all-time great has his very own statue at Kentucky Horse Park. The Man o’ War Stakes also takes place at Belmont Park every year in his honor.

Secretariat – According to, Secretariat won a host of major races during his prime. In 1973, he became the first Triple Crown winner for 25 years. To do this, a horse must win the Belmont Stakes, Preakness Stakes, and Kentucky Derby. This colt won all three with ease. Despite winning the race more than four decades ago, he still holds the record at Churchill Downs. That’s a testament to just how fantastic he was.

Furthermore, Secretariat won several major accolades including American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt. He was also inducted into the US Racing Hall of Fame in 1974.

Zenyatta – Veteran trainer John Shirreffs played a huge role in much of Zenyatta’s success. She won dozens of thoroughbred races during 2008 and 2009 including the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Lady’s Secret Stakes, and Apple Blossom Handicap. What’s more, this horse was renowned for her excellent finishes. She could overtake anyone at any stage of the race.

Zenyatta was inducted into the US Racing Hall of Fame in 2016. Anyone that watched her race will never forget the name. She has cemented her legacy as one of the best American racehorses of all time.

Seattle Slew – This list wouldn’t be complete without Seattle Slew. In 1977, he became the tenth winner of the Triple Crown. However, that’s not all. He also won the Champagne Stakes, Stuyvesant Handicap, and Woodward Stakes. To put the cherry on top of the cake, he also picked up the American Horse of the Year and Leading Sire in North America Awards.

His 1977 Kentucky Derby win was a joy to behold. After an incredible race, he beat Run Dusty Run to the line. This was arguably Seattle Slew’s greatest victory, and he had many.