American Pharoah enters record books as one of the greats
American Pharoah ended his career on the racetrack in spectacular style on Saturday by completing the Grand Slam. The perfect finale was sealed with victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic where he blew away the field by over six lengths.
Bob Baffert’s runner wrote his name into the history books at Belmont Park back in June when he became the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to complete the Triple Crown with his win in the Belmont Stakes.
American Pharoah has been instrumental in attracting the wider media to the sport of horse racing. He now joins the history books as one of the greats. Here are four other horses who were able to catch the imagination of people outside of horse racing:-
In the UK, Red Rum is synonymous with the Grand National, the most famous steeplechase in the world. Trained by Ginger McCain, he was trained locally to Aintree, the racecourse for the contest and would often workout on one of the local beaches.
He was successful in the 1973, 1974 and 1977 Grand Nationals. Still to this day no horse has won back-to-back runnings of the race, although Many Clouds tops the betting on the Grand National 2016 after scoring back in April for trainer Oliver Sherwood.
You know a horse must have had a spectacular career when Walt Disney Pictures made a film about it. That is exactly what they did for Secretariat who many people in North America consider to be the greatest horse to ever live.
Not only did Secretariat complete the Triple Crown in 1973, but he broke the record in all three races, of which all three still stand today.
The huge, physically-striking chestnut is also included in an ESPN list of best North American athletes of the 20th century, where he sat 35th in that ranking – which included Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Jesse Owens.
The Queen of racing, Zenyatta had a fan base seldom seen on a racecourse before. She was loved by America due her unique running style.
by Lisa Andres
Zenyatta won 19 of her 20 career races. Sadly her unbeaten record came to an end in her final start, the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic, where she was defending her crown after success in the 2009 running.
What made Zenyatta so special was she was taking on her opposite sex and getting the better of them. America and the world really took a shine to her and the way she came from last to first in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic will long live in the memory.
Not only did Cigar have a huge amount of success in the United States, with the highlight of his career being success in the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic, but he also was crowned the best in the world, quite literally, by scoring in the inaugural Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba in 1996.
When Cigar retired he was the leading money earner in thoroughbred racing history with earnings just shy of the $10 million mark.