A horse writes their name in history when they win the Kentucky Derby. While the thrill of victory is always exciting, the horses below ran their hearts out at Churchill Downs to get to the top of the Kentucky Derby list and stamp their respective years into the 10 fastest editions of all time.
10.) Funny Cide, 2:01.19, 2003: Funny Cide, “the gutsy gelding,” was the first gelding since 1929 to win the Kentucky Derby. He was also the first New York bred to win the race. He went on to win the Preakness before finishing 3rd in the Belmont. Funny Cide now resides at the Kentucky Horse Park in the Hall of Champions.
9.) War Emblem, 2:01.13, 2002: War Emblem was one of three Bob Baffert trainees to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but fall short in the Belmont. He has returned to the U.S. after stud duties in Japan and is now retired at Old Friends in Georgetown, Kentucky.
8.) Fusaichi Pegasus, 2:01.12, 2000: Fusaichi Pegasus was the first favorite to win the Kentucky Derby since Spectacular Bid in 1979. He was 2nd in the Preakness and did not run in the Belmont. Ashford Stud is his current home where he stands as a stallion.
7.) Grindstone, 2:01.06, 1996: Grindstone was one of four horses trained by D. Wayne Lukas to win the Kentucky Derby and was sired by 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled. Unfortunately, Grindstone did not run again after his Kentucky Derby victory due to an injury.
6.) Proud Clarion, 2:00.60, 1967: Proud Clarion was a 30-1 upset in the Kentucky Derby. He followed that effort with a 3rd in the Preakness.
5.) Decidedly, 2:00.40, 1962: Decidedly was also sired by a previous Kentucky Derby winner. He was by Determine, who won the 1954 edition of the race.
4.) Spend a Buck, 2:00.20, 1985: Spend a Buck caused a Triple Crown uproar when his connections chose to skip the Preakness and Belmont and point their Kentucky Derby winner for the Jersey Derby, where he was eligible for a $2 million bonus. Luckily for his connections, Spend a Buck did win the Jersey Derby, but others were left feeling bitter with no shot of witnessing a Triple Crown that year.
3.) Northern Dancer, 2:00.00, 1964: Northern Dancer is one of the most prominent bloodlines in the Thoroughbred industry. He was a Canadian bred who won the Preakness following his Kentucky Derby win, but finished 3rd in the Belmont.
2.) Monarchos, 1:59.97, 2001: Some of the fastest fractions the Kentucky Derby has seen helped with this speedy victory. After winning the Kentucky Derby, Monarchos finished 6th in the Preakness and 3rd in the Belmont.
1.) Secretariat, 1:59.40, 1973: The immortal Secretariat holds not only has the fastest Kentucky Derby time, but the fastest Preakness and Belmont times as well. He was named champion three year old and horse of the year in 1973. Many still consider Secretariat to be the greatest racehorse ever.
By Christine Oser