The Most Famous Racehorses of All Time

min read
Three horses racing on a dirt track.
BetMGM @BETMGM Jan 13, 2023, 12:54 PM

Horse racing is one of the most popular spectator sports, with its origins dating as far back as 700 BC. For many, going to the races is also a social event, as it provides the perfect platform to unwind and interact with other horse racing enthusiasts. Through conversation at the races, you could also find out about the different types of horse racing, as well as which might be most suitable for you. Now, with the option to bet online, horse racing has become even more popular and easier to access, which has only added to its mass appeal and reach.

As a bettor, you may be familiar with some of the most renowned racehorses of all time because they’ve cemented their names in horse racing history. But the question is, do you know why and how they gained their acclaim? That’s a question you’ll get the answer to here. Having a holistic view of horse racing betting and the traits of leading racehorses could make both your live and online sports betting efforts more effective and lucrative.

Tips for betting on racehorses

Whether you’re a novice or experienced bettor, you may find yourself coming across terms that you’re not familiar with. For example, you might be wondering what arbitrage betting entails or how to read horse racing odds. Therefore, it’s imperative to get a good grasp of the sport if you’re looking to potentially win big.

Here are some tips for betting on racehorses:

  • Spend time going through horse racing terms. Having a good understanding of any sport’s terminology and basic gameplay can help you better strategize and increase your chances of succeeding. When you can have horse racing bets explained or learn how to identify a potential winner in a race, your bets will be thought out and not made on a whim.
  • Don’t always follow the crowd by betting on the favorite. When it comes to horse racing, no two races are the same and things can change in a split second. Because of how unpredictable horse racing can be, take your time before placing a bet.
  • Familiarize yourself with the horses, trainers, surfaces, and jockeys. Certain horses will perform better on a particular surface than on others. Surface type will also impact their running style. Do some research into the track records of the relevant stakeholders and people who directly impact your chances of winning.

Most famous racehorses of all time

With horse races being held across the globe daily, a racehorse needs to be particularly special to stand out. The topic of the leading racehorses of all time is a highly debated one. However, very few things are as telling as the statistics that a racehorse has under its belt. To truly leave a mark in history, a racehorse needs to have a great track record that speaks for itself, notable career achievements, as well as overall longevity.

These are some of the most acclaimed racehorses of all time, in no particular order.

Red Rum

Born with an incurable bone disease, Red Rum’s never-say-die spirit was truly an inspirational one that made him stand out from other racehorses. Before retiring in 1978, he emerged triumphant at the Grand National three times and placed second in his other two runnings of the race. Initially thought of as an unlikely winner, Red Rum is bound to have prompted some late bets early in his career while bettors sussed him out.


Horse racing enthusiasts would probably tell you that Affirmed was one of the most promising and lucrative horses during his tenure on the tracks. Throughout his career, he reportedly won more than $2 million, with a 1978 Triple Crown win that established him as a leader in the sport.


Dubbed “Big Red,” Secretariat was initially said to be too good-looking to be a racehorse, but he went against the grain and became one of the most memorable. He won eight consecutive races at the age of two before going on to secure Triple Crown victory. Some of his accolades include winning the Marlboro Cup and walking away with more than $1 million in prizes, and being named the American Horse of the Year in 1972 and 1973, among others. His death in 1989 left many horse racing enthusiasts heartbroken.


Winx holds the world record for the greatest number of highest-level race wins with 25 Grade/Group 1 successes! These form part of her 33 consecutive race wins, which cemented her as a racehorse that will go down in the history books. Some of her accolades include being named the Australian Horse of the Year between 2015 and 2019, setting a record with four consecutive wins at Cox Plate at Moonee Valley as well as being inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2017.

Man O’ War

This is one racehorse that was aptly named. Known for his violent temperament, many attributed the resurrection of horse racing in America to Man O’ War. He made his horse racing debut in 1919, and he suffered only one loss in his two-season career at the Sanford Memorial Stakes.

Place your bets at BetMGM

The excitement and thrill of horse race betting online is something you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. If you’ve spotted a potential winner and are ready to place your wager, then you’ve reached your destination. BetMGM and NYRA Bets bring you some of the most exciting races in the world while giving you access to an extensive sportsbook; all of this when you register with us to start placing your bets.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.