There’s a pulse on the racetrack during live horse racing season. It seems as if the hearts of the spectators, announcers, jockeys, and horses beat as one for just a few seconds. Maybe that’s just our imagination, but the heart is an important part of horse racing. In this week’s racehorse trivia, we discuss the most intriguing racehorse heart facts.

What Makes Racehorse Hearts Special?

Horse trainers obsess over their horse’s heart. Not to get the horse’s attention, but to see if there are any debilitating issues with it. For a horse to endure the challenges of horse racing, the heart must be equipped to bring oxygen-rich blood around their body.

As a horse trainer exercises the horse, the racehorse’s heart becomes stronger and more resilient to stress. In addition, the racehorse heart is similar to a human in that it has four chambers, but it is more circular in shape.

Famous racehorses with large hearts

In the racehorse gene pool, there is something called the X Factor. Created by the famous racehorse Pocahontas, the X Factor is a gene passed along to a generation of horses whose horse heart sizes are larger than normal. Examples of racehorses with large hearts include:

  • Secretariat (heart size of over 20 pounds)
  • Man o’ War
  • War Admiral
  • Seattle Slew
  • Northern Dancer

The X Factor has been cited as the reason for what makes a racehorse legendary. However, if that was the case, you would see more horses mated with this trait. Not every horse that is a champion has a large horse heart size. Other reasons that make them great include better training and genes, competing against inferior horses, or just plain luck.

See the Races at Ellis Park

At Ellis Park Racing, we provide the best heart-pounding thrills this side of the Mississippi. We have everything including historical horse racing machines, more racehorse trivia, live horse racing in the summer, and endless memories. Plan a visit today.