The history of horse racing dates back farther than the age of the pebbles lying on the Ellis Park Racing racetrack. Champions have left their legacy immediately as they cross the finish line.

They set the bar for horse trainers to aspire to and horses to rise above them. As we look back on this history, we find that one horse stands gallantly above the rest: the thoroughbred racehorse, Man O’ War.

Man O’ War’s Horse Racing Career

man-o-war-horse-racing-historyBorn on March 29, 1917, Man O’ War was destined for horse racing. With long legs and a strong body as a colt, he was the fastest and finest horse his handlers in Lexington, Kentucky ever had. Breaking the horse proved difficult, but once his handlers succeed in breaking him, he displayed a spirit for training.

Man O’ War’s career as a racehorse spanned from June 1919 to October 1920. During that time, Man O’ War won 20 out of the 21 races he ran. His first and only loss was at the Sanford Memorial Stakes race in 1919. This loss was due to a pre-race error.

Back then, there weren’t any racing gates like most modern horse racing racetracks have today. Racehorses had to circle around and stand behind webbing called a barrier, which after lifted, the horses were sent away. Man O’ War was still setting up, and when the webbing was lifted, his back was towards the webbing. Despite this error, Man O’ War still managed to complete the race in second place.

Man O’ War’s Legacy

After his retirement, Man O’ War became a stud and sired multiple famous racehorses. For example, his son, War Admiral, won the Triple Crown in 1937. He also sired American Flag and Crusader, who won the Belmont Stakes in 1925 and 1926. Another famous horse from his lineage is the famous race horse Secretariat.

Man O’ War Died at age 30 of a heart attack. After his death, he was moved to the Kentucky Horse Park and a statue of him was erected over his grave. Roughly 60 years after his death, The Blood Horse magazine voted him as the Top Race Horse of the 20th Century for his unparalleled talent and speed and being the true definition of a racehorse.

If you would like to see some champions and legends in the making, come down to Ellis Park Racing today. We have live horse racing and historical horse racing machines for maximum stakes.