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RacingBetter News
Thursday 11th March 2021
Top Five Fastest Horses To Race In The Kentucky Derby History

fast horses

Everyone is now following the Road to the Kentucky Derby to witness each horse who participated in a Kentucky Derby and watch their skills and ability in the race track. The Kentucky Derby is the most prestigious race in thoroughbred racing and is one of the triple crown jewels.

Over the years, horse racing enthusiasts followed this race to measure the new players in this industry and find out who will dominate the Triple Crown. One of the things people are looking for is speed, one of the most important factors to win a race. In the past years, there have been participants who exhibit great horse speed. Here are the top five horses who gave their best in the Kentucky Derby history.


Secretariat, one of the fastest horses in history, is the Triple Crown winner in 1973 and the first to win the said award since Citation in 1948. He is also the best-recorded speed in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished the one ¼ 10 Furlongs race track in 1:59.40.

Secretariat is the progeny of Bold Ruler, which is also a Preakness Stakes winner in 1957. He started his racing career in a 5 ½ -furlong race in New York City when he was just a 2-year-old colt. Secretariat is the best horse of all time as he was a great achiever during his time.

He never went below fourth place in all of his races. The legendary racehorse Secretariat was trained by the late Hall of Famer trainer Lucien Laurin. Both were the best pair in horse racing history.


In 2001, horse racing fans once again witnessed the second-best time recorded in Kentucky Derby history. Monarchos finished the Derby with a 1:59.97 on the clock, only a few milliseconds later than Secretariat in 28 years.

Monarchos hasn’t won the Triple Crown that year, but he was cemented in the derby history as the second-fastest time recorded. He was trained by John T. Ward Jr. and Jockeyed by the Multi-Graded Stakes Winning Jockey Jorge Chavez.

After winning the Derby, Monarchos was never seen as fast as he ran in the Kentucky Derby. That win was his greatest achievement and the highlight of his racing career. Many horse racing fans have waited for him to show that same performance on the Kentucky Derby, but they were only left disappointed.

Northern Dancer

The third best recorded time in Kentucky Derby was Northern Dancer, who finished the race at 2:00.0 in 1964. Northern Dancer was only one race away from the Triple Crown award, but unfortunately, he did not succeed when he lost the Belmont Stakes, the third race of the Triple Crown.

Aside from the Kentucky Derby, Northern Dancer also dominated the Preakness Stakes in the same year with a 1:56.80 time on the clock. Although he exhibited great speed on both races, he still ended in third place in the Belmont Stakes.

Northern Dancer is also a Hall of Famer and a multi-awarded racehorse in his time. He won the majority of his races and never finished a race lower than the third placer.

Spend a Buck

The fourth-fastest time recorded in Kentucky Derby history was made in 1985 by Spend a Buck. He was ridden by Angel Cordero Jr. and trained by Cam Gambolati. He ran the Churchill Downs and won the Derby at 2:00.20.

But even if Spend a Buck won the Kentucky Derby, his team decided to skip the opportunity in acquiring the Triple Crown Title that year when they chose to focus on the $2 million Jersey Derby instead of participating in the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.

It was a decision that the Spend a Buck team never regretted as he dominated the race and took home the prize. Spend a Buck was also awarded both the American Horse of The Year and the American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse in the same year.


A 2:00.40 victory of Decidedly in 1962 was considered as the fifth-fastest time a horse took to finish the Derby race at Churchill Downs. Unfortunately, he was unplaced in both Preakness and Belmont Stakes in that particular year. Three different horses dominated the three Triple Crown races.

Decidedly is the offspring of the 1954 Derby winner Determine who had a recorded time of 2:03.00. Speed is already in Decidedly’s genes, and it is not surprising that he made it on the top five fastest horses to ever run in the Kentucky Derby.

He was trained by Horatio Luro, another Hall of Famer and legendary horse trainer and breeder in the history of horse racing. He was also ridden by a Hall of Fame Jockey Bill Hartack, who also handled multiple Triple Crown Classic races winners.


Speed is important, but it is not the only deciding factor that makes a horse a winner. Amongst the fastest recorded Kentucky Derby time, only one of them has taken home the Triple Crown title, which is Secretariat. If you choose a horse to root for this upcoming Kentucky Derby, choose the one who has the complete element of becoming a champion.