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5 Fastest Horses In History Of Racing

5 Fastest Horses In History Of Racing

Witnessing incredible moments is what makes horse racing so exciting. With more than 500 years of modern-day horse racing history, it is safe to say that the sport has its fair share of incredible moments that stunned people.

And what’s the most important thing in horse racing? – Of course, speed!

After all, it is the first thing handicappers look for in a horse before they make a bet.

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Over the years people involved in the sport have constantly been trying to breed a horse as fast as some of the legends of the sport, but to this day, even scientists have a tough time explaining how these horses achieved such a great speed.

In this article, we will turn back the clock and go back to the prime time of some of the horse legends.

Without further ado, let’s find out which are the fastest horses of all time.

What is The Average Top Speed of a Horse

In order to get a sense of how fast these horses really were, let’s have a closer look at horse speeds.

Horses are magnificent creatures that on average can walk at a speed of 4.3 miles per hour, trot at 8 miles per hour, and canter 10-17 miles per hour.

When galloping horses can achieve an average speed of 25-30 miles per hour. However, this is only for regular untrained horses.

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Racehorses that are actually trained on the race track, can achieve speeds of 40-44 miles per hour.

Fastest Horses of All Time


The fastest horse of all time is an absolute legend that has set record times on some of the most popular racetracks that still remain unbeaten.

The Secretariat is a thoroughbred horse that got its nickname Big Red due to its enormous size. Secretariat was the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 1973 after 25 years.

The Secretariat average Kentucky Derby Speed was 37.7 miles per hour meaning that the top speed is way above 43mph.

Even after the horse died, scientists were trying to explain how he managed to achieve such great speed and decided to make an abduction. They found out that the horse had an enormous heart weight of 22 pounds, which is a beast compared to the average heart of a horse which comes in at 8.5 pounds.

Men O’ War – Speed 43.97 miles per hour

This is another legendary horse that also shared the same nickname as the Secretariat “Big Red”, although he never won the Triple Crown.

Men O’ War won all apart from one race he competed in and was the unofficial American Horse of the Year in 1920.

The horse’s genetics still thrive to this day, and sired multiple champions like War Admiral, Nightingale, Maid at War, and Battleship.

Winning Brew

Winning Brew might not have quite as popular a name as the other two we mentioned, but it was quite a fast horse.

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The fastest speed recorded was 43.97 miles per hour, and it is a Guinness World Record holder for the fastest horse of all time. In 2008, she managed to cover two furlongs in just 20.57 seconds.


Now we move way back in time to 1948, where Citation truly shocked the world. The horse managed to win 32 races in its professional career with wins in 16 major races consecutively.

Although we don’t have the data about the horse’s top speed, we can all agree that it was quite a fast horse.


Seabiscuit is another legendary horse that you might know from the movie. This incredible horse ran 82 times at 16 different distances throughout its career and was demolishing the competition.

Seabiscuit was named American Horse of the Year in 1938 and it was well deserved. The year before, Seabiscuit managed to beat War Admiral (Man O’ War’s son) and won the Triple Crown by four lengths.

Final Words

These are some of the fastest horses of all time. Now even with modern technology and a much deeper understanding of horse genetics, we still cannot create another Secretariat.

However, we hope that in the upcoming years, we see another legendary horse that enters the horse racing history books and sets a new benchmark that is impossible to beat.


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