Female Racehorses of the Top 100 20th Century Rankings and Their Ancestry
In the rankings of the book Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century, by the Staff of Blood-Horse Publications,1999, only one achieved an undefeated career, only one had over 70 career posts, just three won the Kentucky Derby, six were voted Horse of the Year, and none were listed in the book's Top Thirty. Who are they?
Females of the Top 100 Kind
They are the females of the Top 100.
Personal Ensign was undefeated in her career of 13 starts. Gallorette posted up 72 times. Regret was the first female to win the Kentucky Derby, taking home the roses in 1915, followed by Genuine Risk in 1980 and Winning Colors in 1988.
Beldame (1904), Regret (1915), Twilight Tear (1944), Busher (1945), All Along (1983), and Lady's Secret (1986) were the 20th Century females voted Horse of the Year.
Regret is easily seen as the most accomplished of these feisty 20th Century females, yet she is ranked by Blood-Horse staff as low as No.71, while lifetime unbeaten Personal Ensign rates only No.48.
Females that hit the Top Fifty in the rankings include the following:
- No.35 -- Ruffian (foaled in 1972, sired by Reviewer),11: 10-0-0
- No.40 -- Busher (1942, by War Admiral), 21: 15-3-1
- No.45 -- Gallorette (1942, by Challenger II), 72: 21-20-13
- No.48 -- Personal Ensign (1984, by Private Account), 13: 13-0-0
- No.50 -- Dahlia (1970, by Vaguely Noble), 48: 15-3-7
Twenty-One Females After No.50
An amazing 21 females grace the roster of the lower fifty top ranked racehorses of the 20th Century named by Blood-Horse's publication. They are:
- No.51 -- Susan's Girl (1969, by Quadrangle), 63: 29-14-11
- No.59 -- Twilight Tear (1941, by Bull Lea), 24: 18-2-2
- No.62 -- Cicada (1959, by Bryan G.), 42: 23-8-6
- No.66 -- Top Flight (1929, by Dis Donc), 16: 12-0-0
- No.68 -- All Along, FR, (1979, by Targowice), 21: 9-4-2
- No.70 -- Shuvee (1966, by Nashua), 44: 16-10-6
- No.71 -- Regret (1912, by Broomstick), 11: 9-1-0
- No.72 -- Go for Wand (1987, by Deputy Minister), 13: 10-2-0
- No.76 -- Lady's Secret (1982, by Secretariat), 45: 25-9-3
- No.77 -- Two Lea (1946, by Bull Lea), 26: 15-6-3
- No.79 -- Gallant Bloom (1966, Gallant Man), 22: 16-1-1
- No.80 -- Ta Wee (1966, by Intentionally), 21: 15-2-1
- No.81 -- Affectionately (1960, by Swaps), 52: 28-8-6
- No.82 -- Miesque (1984, by Nureyev), 16: 12-3-1
- No.87 -- Gamely (1964, Bold Ruler), 41: 16-9-6
- No.89 -- Bewitch (1945, by Bull Lea), 55: 20-10-11
- No.90 -- Davona Dale (1976, by Best Turn), 18: 11-2-1
- No.91 -- Genuine Risk (1977, by Exclusive Native), 15: 10-3-2
- No.94 -- Artful (1902, by Hamburg), 8: 6-2-0
- No.95 -- Bayakoa, ARG, (1984, by Consultant's Bid), 39: 21-9-0
- No.98 -- Beldame (1901, by Octagon), 31: 17-6-4
These females left in the lower fifty were stalwarts of fine pedigrees. Bull Lea of the French stallion sensation Teddy; Kentucky Derby runners Swaps, Gallant Man, Secretariat, Nashua; and others like Nureyev are their heralded sires.
Miesque was a champion of the Breeders' Cup Mile, winning the distance back-to-back (1987-1988) competing against male fields.
Go for Wand scored in the 1989 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies contest.
Argentina's Bayakoa triumphed in the 1989 and 1990 Breeders' Cup Distaff at the ages of five and six, respectively.
Personal Ensign captured the Distaff in 1988, and Lady's Secret beat her rivals in the same race in 1986.
Females With Top Flight Families
Of the female Thoroughbreds who are ranked among the best 100 of the 20th Century, several of their sires are rated in the Top Twenty -- Secretariat (Lady's Secret), War Admiral (Busher), Bold Ruler (Gamely), and Swaps (Affectionately).
Ruffian's sire was fathered by Bold Ruler, as well. Her dam, Shenanigans, was sired by Native Dancer, and she traced to Discovery in both houses of her parentage. Teddy's son Sir Gallahad III sired one of Ruffian's maternal great-grandsires, Fighting Fox.
Busher traced to offspring of Man o' War, one of America's all-time great sires. Bubbling Over, 1926 Kentucky Derby victor, sired Busher's first dam, Baby League. Teddy and Ajax served her maternal house, and Sweep showed ancestors in each house.
Damascus, Sword Dancer, Buckpasser, and Tom Fool are in Personal Ensign's paternal house, while Tom Rolfe, Ribot, Hyperion, and War Admiral were stud relatives in her maternal mix.
Hyperion served in both houses of Dahlia's ancestry, while 1930 Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox sired her third dam, Gilded Wave, and Nearco sired Noble Lassie, Dahlia's paternal granddam.
These females on the list of America's best ever 100 racehorses may be rated lower on the list than top ten Triple Crown winners Secretariat, War Admiral, Citation, Count Fleet, and Seattle Slew, but they are no less thought of by their owners, breeders, and family stable connections for their contributions to the Sport of Kings.
- Rating the Best Thoroughbreds of the 20th Century
Blood-Horse Publications ranked the top 100 racehorses in 1999.
- American Horse of the Year
Thoroughbred Heritage web site American Horse of the Year.