Kentucky Derby Legends
Secretariat, also known as 'Big Red' would probably be the choice of any racing fan to be the first horse included on a Kentucky Derby legends list. We agree and he is one of threee superstar horses that have helped make the Kentucky Derby one of the great races in the world.
This wonder horse was rightly called the greatest racehorse in the world in 1973, after winning the US Triple Crown, made up from the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes and the Belmost Stakes. In those first two runs, he broke the track records, for which he still holds and as such he has become a permanent fixture of Kentucky Derby history. He is only one of eleven horses to have won the Triple Crown and won a total of 16 races from 21 starts, that included fourteen Grade Ones. He is ranked second behind, Man O War in the Top 100 US racehorses of the 20th century.
The tenth winner of the US Triple Crown, Seattle won the coveted crown in 1977, just four years after Secretariat and in so doing became the only unbeaten horse to have achieved the feat. He is ranked ninth on the all time top 100 Racehorses of the 20th century. Seattle Slew won the top two year old racehorse of 1976, the top three year old racehorse of 1977 and even won the Top Male older horse in 1978. He retired to stud at the end of the 1978 season and then became champion sire in 1984.
The last Triple Crown of the 20th century, Affirmed won the title in 1978 just a year after Seattle Slew, but his reputation as the greatest ever racehorse was tarnished when defeated by Seattle Slew in the Marlboro Invitational Handicap. it was the first time US Racing history that two triple Crown winners had met in a race. The Triple Crown win by Affirned centred much on the rivalry between Him and Ayldar. The two were by far away the best two three year olds around and in total they met ten times in their careers. However, Affirmed won all three of the Triple Crown races, with Aylred finishing second on each occasion, which in itself is a US record.Affirmed won a total of eighteeen graded races.