Majestic thoroughbreds, legendary trainers, and outstanding jockeys make up the epic moments in horse racing history. From upsets to incredible comebacks, there’s never a dull moment in horse racing.
If you’re a fan of this thrilling sport, then you should know your history and what incredible horse races you may have missed.

Since its inauguration, horse racing has produced numerous epic moments in horse racing history.

The following examples show what jockeys and horses can achieve; continue reading to learn more about the most iconic moments ever.


1973 Belmont Stakes

Photo: Unsplash

In 1973, nobody expected that Secretariat would be a known name in horse racing today and be one of the greatest racehorses to live. His historic win in the 1973 Belmont Stakes earned him the title of the Triple Crown champion. 

In the 1973 Belmont Stakes, he won by a whopping 31 lengths; Secretariat blew away his competition to make history. It’s why this moment is the first on this list. He set the record for the fastest horse to race Belmont Stakes tracks ever and the record for the other two races. 

In the first leg of the Triple Crown series, people were hooked and captivated by this mighty horse. Watching Secretariat in the three races brought the audience to their feet. 


2015 Belmont Stakes

It has been quite a long time before a Triple Crown winner was called in 2015, but American Pharaoh changed that. You read that right: American Pharaoh won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the last leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, which makes this race one of the most epic moments yet. 

Undoubtedly, American Pharaoh won the Belmont Stakes in fashion. He had a rough start out of the gait, but this stunning chestnut horse made it to the first position and never looked back. He quickly raced through the dirt tracks and won by five and a half lengths. He set the record for the second-fastest horse in Belmont Stakes after the legendary Secretariat.


2005 Preakness Stakes

Afleet Alex only came in third in the Kentucky Derby, and it’s why he entered the Preakness Stakes to win. However, its opponent, Scrappy T, led the final stretch in the face, and the race took a dramatic turn for Afleet Alex.

Unluckily for Afleet Alex, Scrappy T lost his composure in the final turn, and he clipped the heels of Afleet Alex, causing him to fall down and almost sending his jockey flying. Despite this disastrous setback, Afleet Alex still managed to maintain his composure and stance and take home the Preakness Stakes win. The 2005 Preakness Stakes was a dramatic race with the audience at the edge of their seats.


1978 Belmont Stakes

When you look back on horse racing history, one of the greatest rivalries ever to exist is Affirmed and Alydar. In the 1978 Belmont Stakes, the skills of these two horses were put to the test. It was also the ultimate showdown between the legendary horses.

The same year, Affirmed and Alydar competed in the first two legs of the Triple Crown series. Affirmed already won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, while Alydar scored second place. These two horses were always nose to nose, and their race in the Belmont Stakes was no different. 

Alydar and his jockey tried their best to win in the last leg, but Affirmed speeded off and won as the 11th winner of the Triple Crown series. 


2009 Kentucky Derby

The 2009 Kentucky Derby is a teaching moment that underdogs can win the race too. Mind That Bird wasn’t expected and given an excellent chance to win, with only 50-1 odds.

It spent most of the race in last place, but in the 2009 Kentucky Derby, Mind That Bird made an incredible comeback and won the most shocking race ever. His stellar performances shocked bookies and audiences everywhere; he defied the odds against him.


1989 Belmont Stakes 

In 1989, a horse named Sunday Silence seated out Easy Goer, making Sunday Silence the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, two legs of the Triple Crown. Sadly, in the last leg of the race, the Belmont Stakes, Easy Goer won and snatched the chance for Sunday Silence to win the Triple Crown. 

These two horses were always competing for the winning cup, and in the final stretch, Easy Goer finally broke through. Easy Goer recorded the second-fastest time in the last leg of the Triple Crown before American Pharaoh took its place. 


Final Thoughts

As you may have noticed, horse racing has a rich history and tradition. It’s been around for centuries, and its popularity is only increasing. And it’s thanks to the moments mentioned above this sport became as popular as it is now. 

Are you considering placing your bets or watching horses run through dirt tracks? Then, read up on the epic moments mentioned above and stay up to date with TVG terms and odds to learn more about what you should look for in a horse.


Featured Image: Unsplash
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