World Fastest Horse Records and 10 Famous Fastest Horses

World Fastest Horse Records and 10 Famous Fastest Horses

In the varied world of horse racing, there have been a good number of amazing horses that have proven their ability to run incredibly fast and endure against all odds. Over the years, horses have achieved incredible feats, with the likes of Secretariat and Seabiscuit impressing the world with their racing abilities and general speed. This post takes a look at the fastest horse records, as well as some of the most famous fastest horses.

A horse can reach speeds of up to 55 MPH – quarter horses racing 44 yards have been recorded to reach these speeds, which is the fastest of any horse. According to the Guinness World Record, Winning Brew, a Thoroughbred equine, is the fastest horse in the world, attaining an impressive 43.97 MPH.

The Record for 1 ½ Mile Race is 2:22.8 Minutes (37.82 MPH)

The mile and a half race is the longest distance that horses run in the Triple Crown series (made up of three races at increasingly longer distances). It is intended to test a horse’s endurance. The record for the 1 ½ mile race is 2:22.8 minutes (37.82 MPH), a feat that was achieved by a 3-year-old Thoroughbred known as Hawkster in 1989.

Another 3-year old Thoroughbred named Secretariat set the 1 ½ mile record while taking part in the Belmont Stakes Triple Crown race by attaining a time of 2:24 minutes. Secretariat pulled ahead by more than 30 lengths, an impressive feat that made the competition stand out as the most noteworthy performance of the 20th century by a North American equine.

The Record for 1 ¼ Mile Race is 1:57.8 Minutes

The record for the 1 ¼ mile race on a dirt track is 1:57.8 minutes, set by an American Thoroughbred called Spectacular Bid in the Grade I Strub Stakes. This record still stands today. Spectacular Bid’s time is almost 2 seconds faster than Secretariat’s time in the 1973 Kentucky Derby, which stands at 1:59.4 minutes.

The Record for 1 1/8 Mile is 1:45 Minutes

The horseracing record for a 1 1/8 mile stands at 1:45 minutes, set in 1988 by Simply Majestic at the Budweiser Breeders’ Cup Handicap. He broke the record set by Secretariat in 1972 at the Marlboro Cup where he ran a 1 1/8 mile in 1:45 2/5 minutes.

The Record for 1 1/16 Mile is 1:38 2/5 Minutes

A 1 1/16 is a common distance at many racetracks. In 1983, a Thoroughbred called Hoedown’s Day set a record by running this distance in 1:38 2/5 minutes at Bay Meadows.

The Record for 1 Mile 70 Yards is 1:37.90 Minutes

Two horses share the record for the fastest time at 1 mile 70 yards. Schedule set the record in 2004, running this distance in 1:37.90 minutes, and With Probability followed in 2005.

The Record for 1 Mile is 1:31.23 Minutes

The record for 1 mile running on the dirt is 1:32 1/5 minutes, set by a Thoroughbred called Dr. Fager in 1968 at Arlington Park. This record has only been matched once by Najran in 2003, but when you consider the fact that Najran 113 pounds while Dr. Fager carried 134, the latter still comes out at the top. The record for the fastest time to run a mile on turf is 1:31.23 set by Mandurah in 2010 at Monmouth Park.

The Record for Half a Mile is 43.20 Seconds

A grey roan gelding thoroughbred known as Oklahoma Natural holds the record for fastest time to run half a mile. He covered this distance in 43.20 seconds in 2012 at Fair Meadows racing track.

The Record for Quarter a Mile is 20.57 Seconds

On May 14, 2008, a 2-year-old thoroughbred filly called Winning Brew ran a quarter a mile in 20.57 seconds, reaching a speed of 43.97 MPH. The Guinness World Records recognizes this speed as the fastest ever recorded on a horseracing track.


  • Foaled: 1970
  • Sex: Colt/Stallion
  • Country: USA
  • Record: 21: 16-3-1
  • Estimated earnings: $1,316,808

Secretariat is arguably one of the most famous fastest equines of all time. He was sired by Bold Ruler and his dam was Somethingroyal. He won 16 out of the 21 races he took part in, leaving an indelible mark on horseracing history.

He is one of the most distinguished Triple Crown winners, winning in 1973, and being the first to do so in 25 years. His victory at the Belmont Stakes is one of the most iconic in horseracing history, as he was able to pull ahead of other horses by an astonishing 31 lengths. During his career, he won several awards, including 5 Eclipse Awards.

Man o’ War

  • Foaled: 1917
  • Sex : Colt/Stallion
  • Country: USA
  • Record: 21: 20-1-0
  • Estimated earnings: $249,465 almost $3,200,000 today)

Man o’ War is widely regarded as the greatest racing horse of the 20th century, receiving votes from renowned publications such as ESPN and the Associated Press. In 1957, Man o’ War was inducted into the American Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Out of the 21 starts in his racing career, he only lost one. He set three track records, three world records, and two American ones. Because his owner didn’t allow him to take part in the Kentucky Derby, Man o’ War never won the Triple Crown. However, War Admiral, his offspring, achieved this feat in 1937.

Seattle Slew

  • Foaled: 1974
  • Sex : Colt/Stallion
  • Country: USA
  • Record: 17: 14-2-0
  • Estimated earnings: $1,208,726

Until Justify’s win in 2018, Seattle Sew was distinguished as the only racehorse to win the Triple Crown of the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Preakness Stakes without suffering a loss beforehand.

He received many accolades in his heydays, including American Horse of the year (1977) and Champion Juvenile Colt at ages 2 and 3. Seattle Slew was also a phenomenal stud, siring future Kentucky Derby winners California Chrome and Orb.

Seattle Slew was vastly popular so much so that his presence on the racetrack drew overwhelming support from spectators, referred to as “Slewmania”.


  • Foaled: 2011
  • Sex: Filly/Mare
  • Country: Australia
  • Record: 43: 37-3-0
  • Estimated earnings: 26,241,176 Australian dollars

Winx holds the distinction as the winner of the most high-level horseraces with 25 Grade/Group 1 successes. She was the third horse to be inducted in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, a feat she achieved in 2017 while she was still in training.Winx was sired by Street City, who also sired Zenyatta, another famous racehorse.

She has won a record 4 times consecutively in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. She was recognized as Australian Horse of the Year in the 2015-2016 to 2018-2019 seasons and was also Champion Middle Distance Racehorse during this period. Winx has also brought in more prize money than any other Southern Hemisphere horse.


  • Foaled: 1957
  • Sex : Gelding
  • Country: USA
  • Record: 63: 39-12-2
  • Estimated earnings; $1,977,896

Kelso missed out on the Triple Crown bid in 1960, but he went on to win many other accolades. His longevity as an American racehorse was unheard of, and he won more races against other Hall of Famers than other Thoroughbreds of the day.

He has the rare distinction of being named the American Champion 3-year-old without participating in any Triple Crown races. Kelso won the Jockey Club Gold Cup five times at Belmont Park, which makes him the most successful racehorse in the history of this Grade 1 feature.

Other accolades include American Racehorse of the Year (1960-1964) and Champion Older Male Horse (1961-1964).

Makybe Diva

  • Foaled: 1999
  • Sex: Filly/Mare
  • Country: England/Australia
  • Record; 36: 15-4-3
  • Estimated earnings: $14,526,685 Australian dollars

Although Makybe Diva was bred in England, she was shipped to Australia when she was about a year old. In Australia, she achieved the impressive feat of winning the Melbourne Cup a record 3 times between 2004 and 2006.

Although her record may not be up to par with that of other racehorses on this lit, Makybe Diva’s performances were still remarkable. She won the Australia Racehorse of the Year in 2005 and 2006 and was also named Champion Australian Stayer in the 2004-2006 seasons.


  • Foaled: 2004
  • Sex: Filly/Mare
  • Country: USA
  • Record: 20: 19-1-0
  • Estimated earnings: $7,304,580

Zenyatta was once singled out as the greatest filly of all time by Sports Illustrated, a recognition that could be attributed to her numerous accolades, including American Horse of the Year 2010) and 3-time American Champion Older Female Horse.

She won an impressive 19 out of 20 races in her career, with her back-to-back wins at the Breeder’s Cup in 2008 and 2009 standing out in particular.

Hurricane Fly

  • Foaled: 2008
  • Sex: Gelding
  • Country: Ireland
  • Record: 42: 26-5-4
  • Estimated earnings: £1,894,422

Hurricane Fly was one of the most successful hurdlers across the Atlantic. He originally received in France on the Flat, but it was only when he moved back home to Ireland that he showed the true extent of his capabilities.

He won 22 Grade 1 hurdle races, a record at the time, and in 2013, he became the first horse in 38 years to win the Champion Hurdle held at the Cheltenham Festival.

Hurricane Fly won a record 5 consecutive times (2011-2015) in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown. He is also the record holder for the most wins in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle, with 4 consecutive wins (2010-2013).

Black Caviar

  • Foaled: 2006
  • Sex : Filly/Mare
  • Country: Australia
  • Record: 25: 25-0-0
  • Estimated earnings: $7,953,936

Black Caviar is another Thoroughbred with an impressive racing career, with an undefeated career spanning from 2009 to 2013. She mostly took part in races held within Australia, only racing once abroad at the UK’s Royal Ascot, where she won the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

Black Caviar received several accolades during her career, including the Racehorse of the Year and Australian Champion Sprinter in 3 consecutive years (2011-2013) and European Champion Sprinter (2012).


  • Foaled; 1874
  • Sex: Filly/Mare
  • Country: Austria/Hungary
  • Record: 54: 54-0-0
  • Estimated earnings: 379,805 German Goldmark

Kincsem is one of the most famous racehorses to come out of Eastern Europe, and with good reason – she had an undefeated career that spanned over 4 seasons in 1876-1879. She won races in modern-day Austria, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, France, Czech Republic, and the UK.

She won several accolades, with the most notable being the Goodwood Cup, Grand Prix de Deauville, and Grosser Preis von Baden all within a few weeks.

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