Race of the Week 2017

All-Time Greatest Females Rankings Coming Soon!

When you think of the greatest thoroughbred racing fillies and mares in history what names immediately come to mind? It’s pretty much a well known fact that we have recently seen two of the best fillies in the last 50 years, the last century even, when it comes to Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, but no list of all time greats is complete without several luminous and well known names.
I have personally never scanned a single list without the amazing and ill-fated Ruffian occupying one of the top three spots with Go For Wand, Serena’s Song, Gamely, Shuvee, Bewitch, Ta Wee usually shuffling around in the top ten. Genuine Risk, Winning Colors, Lady’s Secret, Azeri, Rags To Riches, Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, Personal Ensign, Bayakoa, Serena’s Song, Bayakoa and Go For Wand all came after 1980 and must bear the burden of stacking up to the fillies from the golden ages. Fillies like Top Flight, Twilight Tear, Dahlia, Gallorette, Busher, Gallant Bloom, Miesque, Affectionately, Davone Dale, Beldame, Regret, Cicada and Artful all set the standards by which great fillies are measured. How can you compare Zenyatta to Affectionately? One started 19 times in her career, winning all but one, the other started 52 times in her career, winning 28. It’s the boundaries across time and space that make ranking and comparing the modern age horses with the horses of yesteryear so difficult.
[Who do you think is the greatest female horse of all time? See where they currently rank on Horse Racing Nation's All-Time Top 250 Horses page.]

There is an abundance of lists to rank the greatest thoroughbred racehorses in history but Horse Racing Nation will be taking a unique stance this week when we release our All-Time Greatest Females rankings for you pleasure. It’s a chance for the sometimes underestimated fairer sex to be showcased and prove they have equal billing and just as much importance as the males in racing history. Time and again our grand fillies have proven they can easily take the worst of it in competition and often time give it. In Triple Crown history victories by a filly are rare and always enrapturing. From Regret to Genuine Risk and Winning Colors in the Kentucky Derby, to Nellie Flag and Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness and Tanya to Rags to Riches in the Belmont Stakes, the female runners have taken the greatest stage in US sports to a new level with their dynamic and gripping tales of heroism.

Some personal favorites will inevitably suffer in the process of ranking the all time greats but there’s no need to remain silent when they do. Let the Nation know, have your opinion heard and make the case for your filly or mare. All it takes is some typing, a click and you’ve started the discussion. So hold onto your hats, the first ever Horse Racing Nation All-Time Greatest Females list is about to be released!  


Shuvee  |  Azeri  |  Affectionately  |  Gallant Bloom  |  Regret  |  Go For Wand  |  Artful  |  Bayakoa  |  Rachel Alexandra  |  Winning Colors  |  Zenyatta  |  Lady's Secret  |  Busher  |  Gamely  |  Ruffian  |  Serena's Song  |  Top Flight  |  Gallorette  |  Genuine Risk  |  Bewitch  |  Rags To Riches  |  Cicada  |  Personal Ensign
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Older Comments about All-Time Greatest Females Rankings Coming Soon!...

Rachel Alexandra had a much better season than either of Zenyatas last 2. If you look at the stats on Goldikova vs Zenyatta . Goldikova has a much stronger record.
Anyone who says RA is better the Zenyatta is an ass....Sissy boy Jess Jackson knew he could not beat her and avoided her like the plague...
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • blooy · rachel is better in 2009 zenytta in 2010. argument clear. to be honest more impressed with a powerful front runner than a closer. rachel was more of a pace setter than waiting for the field to fall. to be able to do that and run that great 3 year old year is impressive. zenyatta is still a good closer of course. you can't talk about jackon dodging when shirreffs does the same thing for a few years. · 2368 days ago
  • KyOaksRunner · @sdnaples - Try to keep is mature and civil please (aka no swearing). · 2367 days ago
16 G1s many in open company. 3 Breeders cup miles. Cosostent ,fast and always racing the worlds best.
Zennyatta, Ruffian, Personal Ensign
  • blooy · ruffian, black caviar, goldikova. · 2368 days ago
  • blooy · probably thought i would say rachel, i put logic over favorites. · 2368 days ago
Goldikova never won the classic and is a miler..and people say Zenyatta raced crap horses...i never saw zen finish 7th in a race.
  • blooy · goldikova faces the best turfs horses there is. zenyatta is good, but face grade 1 horses twice. the races were listed grade 1 but her foes were grade 3 top besides the classic. goldikova has face grade horses her entire career. challenged more than once a year. there is your difference. · 2368 days ago
Seriously? This is debated everyday on here. Your list will only complicate matters.
Interesting to note is that no one has mentioned Makybe Diva.
Not sure a list is even needed. Just enjoy each champion for what they did for the sport. @ crosseyedlemon- Smarty did the same thing in 2004. There are MANY horses that brought thousands of new fans in over the decades, not just Zenyatta. I am interested to see this list, I personally would have Zarkava on Top Which I am sure Many will disagree with. Cheers
  • Show All 4 Comments
  • TimSmith · All Time Greatest Female. · 2368 days ago
  • xMystix · TimSmith, sorry. I was merely just furthing a point by naming other horses have impacted the sport, especially in different ways. · 2368 days ago
How can you rate Zenyatta better than Goldikova? I dont think you can.
First, I am going to separate out the mares that ran exclusively on grass from the mares that ran exclusively on dirt/synth. I really don't know how you can compare the two. When I'm done here, I'll list what I believe to be the best grass mares with which I'm familiar, with the hugh caveat that I know nothing about the Japanese mares, and little about the European mares that didn't run over here.
  • cigar · When it comes to voting on these horses, I do the same thing... create my criteria, then stick to it. For example, 10 stars is for the best of the best. 9 stars is for strong G1 horses, 8 stars for solid G2 horses etc. · 2368 days ago
  • xMystix · This is a good idea, actually. Might have to go back and look further from those perspectives. · 2368 days ago
Well, I wanted to go to a new paragraph, but I guess that caused my first paragraph to be entered. Sorry. Anyway, I've been watching the races for 50 years, so my rankings will cover that time period. 1. Zenyatta I think she's simply the best racing mare I've ever seen. 2. Personal Ensign. 3. Ruffian. 4. Rachel (probably had the best single year ever). 5. Gamely. 6. Azeri. 7. Lady's Secret. 8. Go For Wand. 9. Princess Rooney (vastly underrated in my view). 10. Inside Information (ditto). Now for the grass mares. 1. Goldikova. 2. All Along. 3. Miesque. 4. Royal Heroine (I'm prejudiced here - she's one of my all time favorites, and I think it's a crime that she's not in the Hall of Fame). 5. Waya. 6. Dahlia. 7. Ouija Board. 8. Miss Alleged. And I've probably forgotten some that belong here.
Great...like there isn't enough name calling and fighting going on now.
1. Ruffian 2. Personal Ensign 3. Goldikova 4. Rachel Alexandra 5. Zenyatta
1. Ruffian 2. Goldikova. 3. Gamely 4. Lady's Secret 5. Rachel Alexandra
I'm going old school, and in no particular order, Miesque, Beldame, Regret, All Along, Lady's Secret, and Gallorette.
#1 Ruffian #2 Personal Ensign #3 Rachel Alexandra #4 Gallorette #5 Goldikova #6 Zenyatta
Dubby30, I am tough. In fact, I love to debate and discuss a topic of interest to view everyone's facts on the matter. Because that is how you learn more. But all I want to see and/ or hear is the facts. Yes, it's nice to see everyone's emotional side on the matter, but what I don't like is when people belittle others. I've seen enough flaming comments on the internet to recognize who is a hater and who isn’t (and I’m not just talking about comments on here, but everywhere else that is not a horse racing site, too). There is, too, the factor of how, like what you said, people present themselves, so the utilization of social tact is also an important factor to consider. Another thing to point out is how one reads another’s post, too. In my post below, I was by no means condoning the use of telling one's opinion. I have fallen victim to people trying to belittle me, even when I do present facts, straight and true, ever so trying to keep my wits about me. But one can’t always and continuously keep their cool. Unfortunately, sometimes, even when you do present the facts, people go about with the name calling. One cannot argue with a child. I like facts; I drink it in. That's why I mostly observe, and read, read, READ. And that is why I like reading blogs, like this one. Even if they are opinion pieces, sometimes I come across ones that I entirely disagree on, so then, I go research on what they talked about, to see further into the truth. I’m a curious person. Since I’m not a knowledgeable veteran of the sport, but rather a young person who fell in love with racing at an even younger age ten years ago, I try my honest hardest to learn more. I respect people who have an opinion, but I respect those more that have an opinion resulting from having a veteran-like experience in the sport. What you say is true, but like in my first post below, I was giving a bit of advice so that people can take a chance at discovering other horses that would not be recognizable to today’s generation, because every one of them deserves respect, since every one of them have transcended and impacted the sport in a different way. I also said at the end of that post that this should get interesting, meaning it will be interesting to see the end results, because with each passing age, the generations view things differently. Just like when I opined that this shouldn’t be a popularity contest, which I’m afraid it will be, it should also be interesting how things present themselves. There is a difference between opinion (which is supported and backed by facts) and flaming (which people often mistakenly call it as their own opinion when in fact it isn’t and go about belittling others to make themselves feel more superior); thereby, everyone is entitled to their own opinions but not to flaming. Thank you for letting me to take the opportunity to clarify myself. I sincerely respect all that you have written here on HRN, and even agree with a lot of things you have said. But forgive me for being a bit shy and wary on this subject. I am still trying to learn more about horse racing. I look forward to more of your opinions on the sport as it will further increase my knowledge, as well as get a different perspective on things.
  • KyOaksRunner · It's easy to hear a "tone" that isn't there when you're reading someone's comments as well so I try to be objective and take it in a non-personal way. (unless it's a compliment lol) There's always going to be heated debates when people that are extremely passionate about horse racing get together on forums or blogs and I have no problem with debates so long as it's civil and respectful. · 2368 days ago
  • xMystix · KyOaksRunner, I agree with with you, entirely. Just like people could easily start chastising me for chastising people for expressing their opinions (which that wasn't my intention), but I was merely stating I dislike it when people start going barbaric. I like civilised discussions, just like you, but it turns me off when people start acting uncivilized (and I'm not being snooty about this lol). Of course, everyone relishes compliments :). Just reading typed information can easily mislead people into thinking that that person has a tone, when in fact, they clearly didn't have that intention in the first person. I don't mind heated debates, in fact, I often times sit back and laugh at the spectacles people make of themselves. What I don't like is when people start hitting below the belt just because people don't like it when they don't have it their way. I have had lively conversations with other people about other topics before, and that's how I learn. It can be downright fun because you get other's persepctives, as well as furthering your knowledge :). · 2368 days ago
Zenyatta and Ruffian.
  • KyOaksRunner · You've got the best of both sides; one of the greatest closers and one of the greatest speed horses. :) · 2368 days ago
#1 Ruffian, #2 Rachel Alexandra, #3 Zenyatta
  • KyOaksRunner · I think I'd have Rachel just above Ruffian just for defeating males and breaking her Mother Goose record....love both those fillies. I have a great signed photo of Ruffian hangning up over my bed. · 2368 days ago
I think Zenyatta will win this poll....

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