With the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby taking place Saturday, Onion Sports looks back on some of the most notable horses in the history of the sport.
Man o’ War
Revolutionized racing by becoming the first horse to run on four legs instead of the traditional two
Won the 1989 Kentucky Derby despite going on a cocaine-fueled bender with New York Mets star Keith Hernandez the night before.
Winning the Triple Crown in 1937 at the height of the Great Depression, War Admiral inspired millions of Americans who dreamed of living in quarters as luxurious as his stable
Despite earning more than $10 million during his illustrious racing career, the chestnut stallion couldn’t outrun lavish spending habits and filed for bankruptcy in 2013
A Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew was euthanized by the Gambino crime family in 1980 after refusing to fix a race
The product of a rich lineage whose members include such champions as Empire Maker, Unbridled, and Terry Bradshaw
This European-bred specimen holds the distinction of being Belgium’s best and only horse
The 1990 Kentucky Derby champion experienced a meteoric fall from grace when an Outside The Lines report revealed he had fathered 437 offspring with 437 different mothers
The famous stallion’s record in the one and a half mile is mostly attributed to the use of a now banned full-body polyurethane race suit
The thoroughbred’s 1948 Triple Crown victory only compounded his owner’s regret that he gave his horse such a shitty name
Quickly faded from the spotlight only to resurface years later working as a hansom cab in Central Park
Controversially boycotted the 1990 Belmont Stakes as a demonstration against the escalation of The Gulf War
This prize stud went on to sire four Kentucky Derby winners before being discovered decapitated by owner and longtime Hollywood studio mogul Jack Woltz in 1945