To many, horse racing has been a favorite pastime for centuries, tracing its roots back to ancient Greek and Roman empires. Throughout the years, lots of races have been run, creating some truly amazing memories. From races during which a special horse startled the world, to those where the underdog beat the champion, horse racing has it all. Today, operators like the Royal ascot betting also allow fans to wager on their favorite horses, making the races even more memorable.
Below is a compilation of some of the most epic moments in horse racing.
1. Mine That Bird – the Kentucky Derby 2009
The Kentucky Derby of 2009 was met by awful weather. A heavy downpour of rain accompanied by heavy winds made it difficult for both the riders and their horses. Mine That Bird, an amateur rider that had odds of 50 to 1, wasn’t expected to perform well on that day. However, to everyone’s surprise, Mine That Bird outran every other horse on the track, reaching a lead of over six lengths and conquering the race.
2. Devon Loch – the Grand National 1956
It was during the 1956 Grand National when one of the greatest mysteries in the horse racing history happened. Devon Loch, an experienced racer, was racing down the track, in the lead, and not far from the finish line. All of a sudden, his horse came to an abrupt stop, its legs stiffening and collapsing to the ground before the horse behind him raced past him and won the race. Devon was analyzed, after the race, and was found to be in good health, with no injuries. However, the reason why he fell remains a mystery.
3. Affirmed and Alydar – Belmont 1978
Cited as one of the most exciting moments to have ever happened on the track, the race at Belmont in 1978, between Affirmed and Alydar, is the stuff of legends. These two battled for the trophy neck to neck right up to the finish line until Affirmed managed to pull ahead in the last few moments to win the race.
4. Secretariat – Belmont 1973
Secretariat, a legend among legends, is among the most well-known horses in the world. His greatest moment was in Belmont in 1973, where he won by an incredible three lengths, a record he still holds to this day.
5. Wise Dan
Colic is a common disorder that affects horses, and for racers, it almost means an end to their career. However, this was not the case with Wise Dan although his colic was severe that it required surgery, he was back in the winner’s circle in two months, surprising everyone.
6. Canonero II – Kentucky Derby 1971
After his birth in Kentucky, the 1971 Kentucky Derby winner Canonero II was shipped to race in Venezuela before returning to Kentucky for the Derby. With no-win odds, he surprised everyone with a 3-length win at the Derby. While not reckoned an outstanding horse, his victory is a true underdog beating the challenge put before him.
7. War Emblem – Belmont Stakes 2002
Leading the race, War had won both the Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby, meaning a Triple Crown was on the line. However, Emblem tripped at the start and practically eliminated his shot at winning, ultimately finishing eight. The surprise of the race was the successful run of Sarava, who chased Medaglia d’Oro to win the Belmont at odds of 70-1, the biggest long shot in history to win.