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Horse Racing Videos - The Greatest Horse Races of All Time

Updated on July 22, 2009

What are the greatest horse races of all time? I can't claim to have seen them all, since my horse racing consciousness only starts with Secretariat's amazing Belmont Stakes win in 1973, which I watched with awe at home with my family crowded around the TV set. From then on, I was hooked on the sport of kings. This is a selection of my choices for the greatest races since 1973, pulled from the great treasure trove of horse racing videos on Youtube. Feel free to add your choices for the best races in the comments section below.

1973 Belmont Stakes - Secretariat Wins Triple Crown
How could I start with anything else? I still get chills from watching this race, in which the great Secretariat not only sealed the Triple Crown, but shattered the record for 12 furlongs on the dirt. Chic Anderson's superb race call complements the greatest race ever.

1978 Belmont Stakes - Affirmed vs. Alydar
In the culmination of their great Triple Crown battle, the two greats battle neck and neck around the track, with the game and gutsy Affirmed prevailing by a head. Note how Alydar fails to switch leads in the stretch, a flaw which may have kept him from besting his rival.

1989 Preakness - Sunday Silence vs. Easy Goer
It's hard to imagine a more dramatic race than this. East coast stalwart Easy Goer was out to avenge his Derby loss to California-based Sunday Silence. Did Pat Day move prematurly and comprimise Easy Goer's chances? Judge for yourself.

1989 Breeders Cup Classic - Sunday Silence vs. Easy Goer
Who was better, Easy Goer or Sunday Silence? This epic race may have finally answered the question, with former champion Blushing John tossed into the mix for good measure.

1987 Breeders Cup Classic - Ferdinand vs. AlyshebaThe two Derby winners hook up in a classic of Classics. Even though I know who wins, I still found myself leaning in my chair as the two crossed the line together.

1981 Arlington Million - John Henry
The great John Henry made the inaugural running of the Arlington Million a memorable one. You have to pity The Bart, who looked a winner all the way round only to get out-bobbed at the wire. But of course John Henry, one of the smartest horses as well as one of the best, did have a habit of doing that.

1988 Breeders Cup Distaff - Personal Ensign vs. Winning Colors
The undefeated Personal Ensign in her last career race runs up against the former Derby winning filly, a revivified Winning Colors. A desperate finish ensues.

1991 Breeders Cup Juvenile - Arazi
The European superhorse Arazi stunned the world with his electrifying move to the front, passing horses like they were standing still. Sadly, he never lived up the the hype thereafter, but this amazing race was the real deal.

1996 Dubai World Cup Classic - Cigar
The mighty Cigar was going for his fourteenth straight win in the first Dubai World Cup. Fighting a quarter crack, he may not have been at his physical best here, but his heart was never in doubt.

1996 Jockey Club Gold Cup - Skip Away vs. Cigar
Two of the greats of the 90's hook up in the Jockey Club at Belmont. Cigar may have been just a trifle past his sell-by date after a long campaign that year, but he still gave Skip Away all he could handle. Preakness winner Louis Quatorze and Belmont winner Editor's Note completed the field.

1997 Preakness Stakes - Silver Charm et al.
Silver Charm, Captain Bodgit, Free House, and Touch Gold, all amazing horses in their own right, battle it out in one of the best Triple Crown Races ever.  Keep an eye on Touch Gold, who stumbled at the break, but may have run the best race of all.

2001 Breeders Cup Classic - Tiznow vs. Sakhee
Taking place just a month after the tragedy of 9/11, this Classic matched defending champion Tiznow against the Arc de Triomphe winner, Dubai-owned Sakhee. Tom Dirkin's "Tiznow wins it for America", may seem a bit over the top in retrospect, but at the time it had a real resonance. The embedded video below is just the finish of the race; the full race can be seen at this link.


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    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 

      2 years ago from Essex, UK

      Some great races here. Sadly many are no longer available on the original YouTube sources, but it was nice to see the others. I'm not a great racing fan I must admit, but I do watch the biggest races in the UK, and one horse which always remains in my memory was Dahlia.

      I love seeing horse races (or indeed human races) in which a competitor comes from way behind, and in 1973 Dahlia - one of the greatest ever fillies - did just that. At the very start of the video, Dahlia is right at the back of the field (green checks with a white cap) of the prestigious King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. Even after the last turn, Dahlia is hemmed in on the inside without a hope, and yet somehow came through to win by 6 lengths from a strong field including Derby winner Roberto. Dahlia repeated the feat in 1974, though it's the '73 race that I particularly remember. Both are included in the video. Alun

    • profile image

      Eric R. 

      7 years ago

      How could you miss the 1998 Belmont, when Victory Gallop ran down Real Quiet to deny him the Triple Crown by a nose?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i guess no one remembers Forego

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This pre-dates your time reference, but lets not leave out the historic match race between the wellborn triple crown winner War Admiral and the peoples prince Seabiscuit. An equine David and Goliath, with the little guy (Seabiscuit) triumphing- just like the biblical story goes.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Im heart broken with Ferdinand he and hall of famer Exceller were sent to a slaughterhouse when they were "old and useless" by the owners, what a shame, i hope one day karma comes their way, RIP champs you should have never died such a brutal way, but thanks to your horrible deaths many will be safe. You both still running for ever in my memory and in the memory of many, c u soon!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Sadly its not about some Australian horse or some English horse its about the fact that those people who live in USA just see the world as the USA. It is obvious to the rest of the world that in fact the other countries see all countries. I mean no malice by this it is just a very sad fact as it deeply affects the world; and the world and America are a far worse place because of it. There is no defence necessary this is just a factual comment. It cannot be said enough.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      These were all amazing races, all true all time greats but what about Dr. Fager's world record mile? ( ) or Spectacular Bid's world record mile and a quarter ( ) also the dead heat between High Chaparral and Johar in the 2003 Breeders Cup Turf. ( ) Or Zenyatta and Blame in the 2010 Breeders Cup Classic! ( ) And how about Zenyatta's first Classic! That was one impressive win! ( ) Zenyatta is like the Secretariat of fillies and mares. She'll always be remembered as one of the greats of the greats.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Francis. I think you're referring to McCoy's ride in Wichita Lineman in a 3 mile chase on the Tuesday on the festival in 2009. He galvinised the horse from start to finsh.

    • profile image


      8 years ago from shropshire

      just come across your greatest races blog and have to agree about Arazi's 2 yo performance as one of the greatest i have ever seen, Harbingers destroying workforce in the king george was an awsome performance especially after the latter won the arc. we will never know his true potential as he sadly injured. Dancing Braves arc victory was amazing and his derby defeat was prbably more due to walter swinburn stealing tactics rather than every body blaning greville starkey. Dahlia was another amazing horse i remember him winning 2 king georges then after being in the doldrums returning to an amazing victory in the benson and hedges against some top class opposition. My first love however is jumping and us brits were treated to epic performances such as Night Nurse and Monksfield's dead heat, Dawn runs gold cup win. Arkle's many great handicap exploits. Pendil and The Diklers battles, Denman's hennesey performance. Master Minded at his very best when winnin his first champion chase was awesome. Burrough hill lad was amazing in the welsh national. One Man bursting on the scene in his hennessy. Moscow flyer and Azertyuiop what titanic battles. The latest horse to really excite me is the possible heir to Big Buck's title as world hurdler in the shape of Grand Crus. Icant wait for Cheltenham. I would love to see some of those races again so fresh in my mind. sorry McCoy riding for jp Mcmanus at cheltenham in one of the handicaps and the name has escaped me for a moment please refresh my memory as he was beaten as soon as the first fence yet tony kept at him all the waqy and got up after the last to get up and win on the horse who no other jockry ever could of won on if the race was run a hundred different times. Happy exciting memories

    • profile image

      just as blind 

      8 years ago

      hey just a joke, i am an aussie too mate but you don't practise what you preach as you obviously have the southern cross plastered firmly over YOUR eyes

      you can't expect everyone to know about bonecrusher and our waverly star or the cox plate although it would have been nice to see some melbourne cups at the least but you need to give credit where credit is due and these are some of the greatest american races ever

      this is an opinion of the person who made this and you should give respect as well as acting like a total hypocrite and naming the aussie greats

      besides i don't think any horses you named there were actually aussies to begin with

      think about it

    • profile image

      what a joke 

      8 years ago

      you have missed out some of the greatest races and race efforts ever because you can see through your red ,white & blue eye patch .

      The 1986 cox plate , 2000 cox plate , 1984 japan cup ,1930/1983/2004/2005 melborne cup , 1932 Agua Caliente .

      Just to name a few .

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      One more, Canonero's Preakness... that was incredible after the way the KY Derby was.

    • hansbergson profile image


      9 years ago from Edinburgh, UK

      Great Hub! I am a huge horse race fan! Why no add Barbaro?

      I saw him live at the Kentucky Derby and i will never forget that finish! He left the others behind as if they weren't running. Tragically he died soon after.

    • profile image

      Natural Horsemanship 

      9 years ago

      what a great hub.. very informative..

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great videos, I watched them when i was a kid most live on tv.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Admirable work and some great races here.... but hope to see Sea the Stars and some European racing on the next one!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I realize that this was before your time, but Dr Fager's work record in the mile on dirt set in 1968 is right up there with the greatest performances of all time. Dr Fager carried a staggering 134 pounds. This is the only thoroughbred record set by a horse carrying more than 130 pounds. Tens of thousands of horses have run this distance including all of the greatest horses since Dr. Fager, and none have been able to break the record. Moreover, virtually every horse that has run this distance did so carrying 8-25 pounds less than Dr Fager did. What is equally amazing is the ease with which Dr Fager won. His jockey, Braulio Baeza, never used the whip and simply let the horse go. Baeza had a reputation for never pushing a horse more than he needed to win a race and actually eased up on the horse with 1/16 of a mile to go. Someday a horse will break this record, since this distance is run multiple times each day of the racing season at tracks around the country. However, it is likely that no one will ever do it so easily and carrying as much weight as Dr. Fager did.

    • Ponus profile image


      9 years ago

      Some great races here and, like you, my all time favorite is Secretrait's Belmont. The John Henry clip is also a classic.

      Here's a Youtube link you may want to look at:

    • Win2Win profile image


      9 years ago from Wales

      Thanks for them. I must be getting old, I was at Arazi's Breeders Cup win, didn't realize it was that long ago.

      What a fantastic racehorse though.

    • blue dog profile image

      blue dog 

      9 years ago from texas hill country

      what a refreshing break from this summer heat.

      great job compiling this! ah, the memories.


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