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Thoroughbred Females Ranked Below Fifty On the Top 100 Racehorses List
A total of ten females in Thoroughbred racing history have scored on ballot voting for Horse of the Year, and two-thirds of them performed in the 20th Century.
Four included on the all-time list are Imp (1899, by Wagner--Fondling, by Fonso), a black five-year-old mare when she received the honor of being named Horse of the Year; Azeri (2002, that year's Breeders' Cup Distaff winner, by Jade Hunder--Zodiac Miss (AUS), by Ahonoora (GB) ); Rachel Alexandra (2009, by Medaglia d'Oro--Lotta Kim, by Roar), a three-year-old unbeaten sensation that season; and Zenyatta (2010, Street Cry (IRE)--Vertigineux, by Kris S.), who vyed for the top honor in three straight undefeated seasons and finally reached the award finish line at the age of six.
None of the four of them performed in the 20th Century when the staff of Blood-Horse Publications came out in 1999 with a volume called Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century.
In those 100 years of racing in the 20th Century judged by the Blood-Horse book editors, only six females became Horse of the Year, and only Busher, who was so voted in 1945, appears among the first fifty Top 100 selections. Horse of the Year Busher, a War Admiral daughter and Man o' War granddaughter, is ranked No.40.
Females Between 51 and 60 Among Top 100
Bay filly Susan's Girl, ranked No.51 on the 20th Century Top 100 Racehorses list, raced to nine stakes wins in 1972, her best season from a career of 63 lifetime starts. By Quadrangle--Quaze, by Quibu, Susan's Girl also had in her pedigree sire line Bull Lea, by Bull Dog, by Teddy, a family of breeding phenoms in the 20th Century. She was named Champion Three-Year-Old Filly and topped the $1 Million mark in lifetime earnings ($1,251,668).
Twilight Tear was a bay filly sired by Bull Lea, one of many Teddy progeny who became prolific sires of stakes winners. In 1944, Twilight Tear went to post 17 times and triumphed in 14 of her races. She was named Horse of the Year for that campaign. Her Blood-Horse ranking is No.59.
Females Ranked Among 60-69 of Top 100
Bubbling Over won the Kentucky Derby in 1926 and went on to sire Bossuet, who sired Cicada dam Satsuma. The bay Cicada, rated No.62 on the Top 100 Racehorses list, completed her best season in 1961, her first, winning 11 of 16 starts. She was voted a championship trophy at the ages of two, three, and four, the first female to achieve that status.
Top Flight, ranked No.66, wasn't an obvious winner from her pedigree, but the dark brown filly surprised by garnering victory in all seven of her races in 1931, her beginning season. Named Champion Two-Year-Old Filly, Top Flight twice beat the likes of future (1932) Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Burgoo King.
A bay filly foaled in 1979 and named All Along established lifetime earnings of $3,018,420 racing in France, England, and Japan, as well as America. Ranked No.68, she became the first Thoroughbred to be honored as Horse of the Year (1983) from a season run only on turf. Prolific victor Round Table, by Princequillo, sired All Along's sire, Targowice.
Females Among 70-79 of Top 100
In New York, Shuvee (f. 1966) showed her shine against the boys, beating all the top male handicappers in the Jockey Club Gold Cup...twice...at two miles! A chestnut Nashua filly, Shuvee cornered the market on the old Filly Triple Tiara (then equivalent to the males' Triple Crown) in 1969. She won that trio of races, the Acorn Stakes, the Mother Goose Stakes, and the Coaching Club Amercian Oaks, for just the second time in history. She's ranked 70 in the Top 100 race.
Regret (f. 1912), the big chestnut filly of 1915, is the only female in Thoroughbred racing to win the Kentucky Derby and go on to receive that season's Horse of the Year award. Her Run for the Roses triumph helped turn the Kentucky Derby into the premier race of America. Sired by Broomstick, by Ben Brush, she is rated No.71.
Go for Wand (f. 1987), ranked No.72, became a career millionaire, bringing in $1,373,338 from two years of racing that included 10 wins from 13 starts. A Deputy Minister daughter and Northern Dancer great-granddaughter, Go for Wand's career ended tragically. Battling Bayakoa in the 1990 Breeders' Cup Distaff, the bay filly suffered a sudden misstep while nursing a slight lead and crumpled to the inside of the track. Her compound fracture of the right front ankle was quickly diagnosed as irreversible. She was euthanized and later buried at Saratoga' race track.
A gray filly born from the pairing of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat and Great Lady M., by Icecapade, Lady's Secret (f.1982) became 1986's Horse of the Year. Ranked No.76, she raked in lifetime earnings of $3,021,325 from 45 starts. She won 25 of her races.
Two Lea (f. 1946), another Bull Lea daughter, ran in 26 races and won 15, while finishing second six times, and is ranked No.77 on the Top 100 list. A bay filly, Two Lea labored for the famous Calument Farm with the only two-time Triple Crown-winning jockey Eddie Arcaro on her back.
Gallant Bloom (f. 1966), daughter of Gallant Man of 1957, and great-great-granddaughter of the elite War Admiral in her maternal house, raced against such female powerhouses as future Hall of Famers Shuvee and Gamely. In her hey-day, the bay filly swept 16 wins from 22 starts in three years, capturing six of 10 races in 1968.
Females From the 80 to 100 Rankings
Enjoy learning about the ten other female Thoroughbreds ranked in the 80 to 100 group of the Top 100 in another Hubpages article by the above author.
- Female Racehorses of the Top 100 20th Century Rankings and Their Ancestry
Discussion of the female Thoroughbreds ranked in the Top 100 Racehorses list.
- American Horse of the Year
Thoroughbred Heritage web site American Horse of the Year.
- Davona Dale Remains Only Thoroughbred to Win Filly Triple Crown and Triple Tiara
Davona Dale's spectacular Filly Triple Crown racing season in 1979 was overshadowed by Spectacular Bid's bid for the male Triple Crown. Both Thoroughbreds earned Eclipse Awards.