Notable Racehorses In The History Of Kentucky Derby

Labeled as the “Run For The Roses,” Kentucky Derby, is America’s longest-running major sporting event. The famous race first held in the year 1875 at the racetrack of Louisville, Churchill Downs. 

The league trademarks three-year-old Thoroughbreds, competing against other horses to a distance of 1.25 miles away. Every year, thousands of individuals gathered at the racetrack every first Saturday of May for the Kentucky Derby race. 

Kentucky Derby Betting makes the event more interesting, and the race is well-known in the sports as having the most significant two minutes of people’s time. While watching the game, derby fans have its tradition to sing “Old Kentucky Home” while drinking mint juleps and wearing charismatic hats. 

Moreover, as the race is famous for its traditions and history, it is also remarkable as a dwelling of notable racehorses. Below are some of the well-known:

  • Secretariat

Undoubtedly the most iconic of all of the horses who took part in the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Secretariat, run in the 99th running of the event. Secretariat was not only the first horse to compete in 25 years. But by exceptional 31 lengths, he won the Belmont Stakes, the longest and often regarded the most strenuous of the three other races of the Triple Crown. 

Even though Secretariat broke out of the entrance last, he strode throughout the horse racing event by winning and ending the race with a time of 1:59:40, which is still an outstanding record today. The horse retired later that year in 1973 and carried on to sire dozens of foals, 57 of whom became winners of stakes. 

  • Monarchos

The biggest triumph of Monarchos came in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Down in the year 2001. The horse bumped at the beginning of the race by Point Given and went from the outside stretch to capture the other contender, Congaree. 

Monarchos does not get the same attention as the other famous horses at the Kentucky Derby who won the elusive race. But he, along with Secretariat, was the only horses who ran the race in less than two minutes. 

The horse’ time of 1:59.97 with Jorge Chavez as the jockey, was after the record of the famous Secretariat with a time of 1:59.40 for the 1973 Triple Crown champion. 

  • Donerail

In the year 1913, this horse won the Kentucky Derby by a lengthy shot in winning. He was the first longshot winner in the Derby horses at 91-1, who brought garland of roses back home. 

Multiple horses kept the lead during the race, but Donerail along with his jockey Roscoe Goose stepped forward and won the race. A shot longer than any contenders that take part in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, the horse turned on the fire in the field run of the 1913 race for a win. Thus, reliable rewards for the smart bettors that chose him. 

  • Seattle Slew

According to ESPN Classic, Seattle Sew bought by the owner for only $17,500 at the public auction. The horse became the only unbeaten Triple Crown winner in the year 1977. 

Seattle Slew maneuvers his humble origins off and on the track. He ended up winning 14 races out of 17, earning over $1.2 million. Thus, he is also a solitary Triple Crown winner in the year 1978 Marlboro Cup to beat another winner, Affirmed, by three lengths. 

The unbeaten career of Seattle Slew became among the most important occurrence of all in the racing history. 

  • Genuine Risk

Genuine Risk won the Kentucky Derby in the year 1980, and one among the three other fillies who won the same race, namely: Regret who won in 2015, and Winning Colors in the year 1988. 

Fillies rarely struggle to win Kentucky Derby races, but in the 1980 Run for the Roses, Genuine Risk defies the odds and takes home the awards. 

A panel of experts convened by the Blood-Horse ranked Genuine Risk #91 among the substantial American racehorses of the 20th century. 

  • Nyquist

A fifth-generation descendant of the great Secretariat, Nyquist, won by one and  ¼ lengths the year 2016 Kentucky Derby.

He was the second winner of Kentucky Derby who won the competition as an undefeated season champion for two-year-olds. Moreover, his trail for the race of Run for the Roses was loaded with brilliance and defeating a troubled trip in Juvenile Breeders’ Cup. 

Nyquist surpassed Santa Anita’s Exaggerator, demeaning the undefeated Mohaymen on his Florida home track, and notably winning the Kentucky Derby in the motion picture-script manner. 


While there are several famous horse racing events in the world today, Kentucky Derby is among the renowned sports. Even today, people are still looking forward to witnessing the race.

Even as the horse racing industry continues to evolve into a more exciting and enjoyable event, numerous notable racehorses in the world became part of history and remained to become well-known. Thus, Kentucky Derby is just one of the many homes that are training competitive racehorses.

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