Now the answer to this isn’t as easy as you might think. If we were to ask this question about humans, many would probably say, it was Usain Bolt. Bolt is still the fastest man in history after setting a world record at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin with a sprint time of 9.58 seconds in the 100-metre event. However, would he still be the fastest man if we were to change the criteria slightly. Who is the fastest man over 200m, 400m, a mile? Well of course all these answer then change. This can be the same with horse racing.
Over very short distances, there are any number of horses with claims to the title of fastest horse in terms of maximum speed achieved but the gaps between them over short distances such as 1–2 furlongs are so small, it is difficult to say “this was definitely the fastest horse of all”.
However, it is quite apparent that a majority of horse racing followers would all agree that Secretariat was the fastest and greatest horse of all time.
Secretariat put in many a great performance during his career, but his 1973 performance in the third Triple Crown race at Belmont Stakes, where he beat his main rival by an unfathomable 31 lengths, is widely considered one of the most stunning horse races of all time.
Derby – Secretariat accelerated his pace at every quarter-mile of
the race and finished with a course record that still stands of 1:59
1973 Preakness – Secretariat again came from
behind to win the race. His final time was disputed, due to two
separate timings, until a 2012 forensic review revealed it was 1:53
flat, which remains an unbroken course record.
- The 1973 final race of Triple Crown at Belmont Park – Secretariat became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. He bolted from the gate the time in front and secured good placement along the inside lane. By the half-mile mark, Secretariat pulled away. And he just kept accelerating. Secretariat crushed the competition, winning by a jaw dropping 31 lengths.
Secretariat ended his racing career in 1974 and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He went on to sire 582 offspring, including 41 stakes winners but non of his offspring went on to replicate his amazing career.