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View Full Version : Who do you think was the best filly of all time?



*jumper*
Nov. 12, 2009, 06:04 PM
Or mare :)

What I'm really wondering is if Zenyatta and/or Rachel really measure up to the big race mares of the past. If you had to name one big female superstar of horse racing, who would it be?

nuts4cowboybutts
Nov. 12, 2009, 06:07 PM
I still cry when I think of Ruffian. I thought she was great.

vineyridge
Nov. 12, 2009, 06:12 PM
There are so many.

Busher
Sceptre
Pretty Polly
Ta Wee
Two Lea and her very close relative Twilight Tear.

Although the other American mares are not undefeated, they had many, many more starts over time.

The British mares didn't finish undefeated either but they beat the males over and over again in the Classics.

Forgot the greatest race mare who ever lived, per record. Kincsem.
http://www.tbheritage.com/Portraits/Kincsem.html

to name just a few from the mists of the past.

cloudyandcallie
Nov. 12, 2009, 06:17 PM
1. Genuine Risk
2. Landaluce
3. RA
4. Zenyatta
5. Winning Colors
6. Ruffian
7. RagstoRiches
8. Eight Belles

In my lifetime. I've not seen any video of the original superfilly Regret.
In order. Genuine Risk gets the nod because if she had not been whipped in the face, she would have won 2 triple crown races against the boys.
And this doesn't include the great european mares and fillies.

caryledee
Nov. 12, 2009, 06:53 PM
Ruffian...hands down.

She won every race by huge margins and set track and stakes records in the process. Who knows how great she truly was; she died way too young.

http://www.tbgreats.com/ruffian/racerecord.html

FatDinah
Nov. 12, 2009, 07:16 PM
Paseana
Bayakoa
Miesque
Ouija Board
Zarkava
Zoldikova

ivy62
Nov. 12, 2009, 07:36 PM
This is a department that there is no contest...RUFFIAN! No other filly has done what she did..It isn't so much that she not only won everything, she broke record after record..Look at her races against the clock not the other fillies. Even Secreteriat's trainer said she was better then he was.....

Calena
Nov. 12, 2009, 08:12 PM
I have to say Kincsem

54-54-0-0 (includes 6 walkovers) 1876-1879

4-1/2f to 18f

Weighted 112 to 168 lbs.

She might not count in the US because she ran on grass in Europe, but with her own museum and Kincsem Park Racetrack, I think she still wins.

More recently, Sunline (Australian Horse of the Year: 99/00, 00/01, 01/02 & Champion New Zealand Horse of the Year: 98/99, 99/00, 00/01, 01/02) Grass again though.

Grass mares get more opportunities to show their greatness.

Genuine Risk because she's the only filly to run all three legs of the American Triple Crown (won the Derby, placed 2nd in both the Preakness and Belmont).

FatDinah
Nov. 12, 2009, 08:30 PM
Personal Ensign

vineyridge
Nov. 12, 2009, 08:47 PM
Recently there's Makybe Diva in Australia.

Dahlia needs to be mentioned as well.

But Kincsem really was the best ever IMO.

*jumper*
Nov. 12, 2009, 08:58 PM
I had never heard of Kincsem. Wow! That one was truly a superhorse. It's funny she isn't mentioned more often with that record, regardless of time period.

I'll always be a sucker for Ruffian. Zenyatta definitely proved herself, but I just don't think the level of competition is equal to that of older fillies and mares. I'm not discounting her efforts--she's a standout for sure--but the game has changed it seems.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 12, 2009, 08:59 PM
It's both difficult and rather unfair to produce one master list of "all time" fillies just as it would with colts. Some gals perhaps lost in the sands of time and underappreciated simply because their efforts aren't on youtube.com ....

Bewitch, 8 8-0-0 as a 2-yr old (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bewitch) including a defeat of Citation her half-brother and stablemate. She was named Champion 2-yr old filly in 1947 which today would be an eclipse. Hall of Famer inducted in 1977, although she passed away in 1959. A tried and true racehorse with a record of 55 Starts: 20-10-11 and continued throughout her career to take on more challenges.


At the age of five, she raced from one end of the country to the other, unplaced only once. And when she was six, she ran fifteen times, twelve of those races against males.

When she retired, Bewitch had earned $462,605, which made her the greatest money-earning filly to date.

Gallorette, 8 3-3-2 as a 2-yr old (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallorette), at 3 (1945) defeated the Kentucky Derby winner for that year, finished 2nd in the Wood Memorial. 1962 inductee in to the Hall of Fame. Career record 72: 21-20-13. Tough as shoe leather and in a poll among members of the American Trainers Association, conducted in 1955 by Delaware Park Racetrack, she was voted the greatest filly in American racing history.


At three against females, she took the Acorn Stakes, the Pimlico Oaks, and the Delaware Oaks. She beat every Eastern filly of any quality. Back to racing colts, she carried the same weight and competed in the Dwyer Stakes, losing it by a nose to Wildlife. But she won the Empire City Handicap, beating the Belmont Stakes winner, Pavot.

Princess Doreen, who was considered a bit of the female Exterminator (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Doreen) for her durability, ability to carry weight, and competitive spirit. She was the 1924 American Champion filly, then won in 1925 and 1925 the award for Champion older Female. 1982 Hall of Fame inductee.

"The Princess" compiled a record of 94 Starts: 34-15-17; she died in 1952 at the age of 31.

Or how about Pan Zareta (aka "Panzy") who might not have been (http://www.racingmuseum.org/hall/horse.asp?ID=115) in the well known races but what she did and was asked to do is amazing. 151 starts: 76-31-21; Hall of Fame induction in 1972.

Pan Zareta equaled or set eleven track records including a world record. Took on males, raced everywhere known to man, carried weight like it was nothing, and soldier on. Perhaps the sadest thing was her ending. Failing to conceive she went back to the track at 8, Pan Zareta contracted pneumonia and died on Christmas day 1918 in her stall at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans.

Those are just a few examples.

Plenty of others such as the assorted sisters known as the "Barbarous Battalion": Ruthless, Remorseless, Relentless, Regardless, and Merciless. All pre 1900 but left a lifetime impression with their 'tougher then the boys' style on the track.

JGHIRETIRE
Nov. 12, 2009, 09:02 PM
I have to vote for Ruffian, Genuine Risk, Zenyatta and Winning Colors.
Ruffian was just........incredible.

ivy62
Nov. 12, 2009, 10:58 PM
What is the fastest time that a filly ran 1 mile and 1/4? Zenyatta's time looked pretty good to me....

Calena
Nov. 12, 2009, 10:58 PM
I've read you can't compare or quantify greatness, all you can do is recognize it.

We haven't mentioned Dance Smartly, winner of the Canadian Triple Crown in her undefeated 3YO season.

On a personal and purely subjective note, I give extra credit points in my mind to the girls who ran head to head with the boys, because those boys can get rough! It's one thing to run fast and run far, but to run through a slug fest and willingly come back and do it again - that takes a serious racehorse. The best horse doesn't always win and the numbers don't show that, though it's something that can still be seen and recognized. Which is why by the numbers, Kincsem is the best by far. No second guessing that. But there are other qualities that contribute to being a great racemare.

Shouldn't we at least mention Azeri? She lost the Classic, but she wasn't at her top form and she was chasing Ghostzapper who was very lightly raced and fresh. I have my doubts that Zenyatta could have run that boy down, though she may have gotten closer to him.

vineyridge
Nov. 12, 2009, 11:01 PM
Glimmerglass, I wonder if PZ died from Spanish flu instead of pneumonia. Right time, right place, and I think I have heard that swine flu can affect horses.

vineyridge
Nov. 12, 2009, 11:12 PM
Kincsem ran against the boys regularly. She won the Goodwood Cup in England, the Grand Prix of Deauville in France, and the Grosser Preis von Baden, the premier German race, 3 times running.

Drvmb1ggl3
Nov. 12, 2009, 11:15 PM
Sixteen posts, and no one got the right answer.
Dawn Run was the greatest mare of all times.

Calena
Nov. 12, 2009, 11:51 PM
Kincsem ran against the boys regularly. She won the Goodwood Cup in England, the Grand Prix of Deauville in France, and the Grosser Preis von Baden, the premier German race, 3 times running.

AND she's on Youtube :D, or at least her park is, showcasing Overdose:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUOlfaKNGFs

Just looked up Dawn Run. Wow. Definitely belongs.

Beverley
Nov. 13, 2009, 12:04 AM
Lordy, nobody mentioned Shuvee? Beat the guys twice in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, when it was still run at two miles!

haligator
Nov. 13, 2009, 04:38 AM
Hi All,
As a lot of you know I'm a filly/mare fanatic, so my list is all over the place and not limited to ten!

Genuine Risk (GR)
Ta Wee
Eight Belles (who, by virtue of not running on drugs, is the 2008 Kentucky Derby victor as far as I am concerned)
Personal Ensign
Ruffian
Mom's Command
Go For Wand (Wanda)
Lady's Secret
Dahlia
Davona Dale
Susan's Girl
Cicada
Affectionately
Beldame
Artful
Kincsem
Pan Zaretta
Dance Smartly
Two Lea
Shuvee
Ouija Board
Sunline
Gallant Bloom
Gamely
Our Mims
Desert Vixen
Gallorette
Twilight Tear
Busher
Bayakoa
Azeri
Bewitch
Makybe Diva
Miesque
Winning Colors
Regret
All Along
Xtra Heat
Hallowed Dreams
Rags To Riches
Bold 'n Determined
Top Flight
and this past season (2009) has been all about the Ladies:
Zenyatta
Rachel Alexandra
Goldikova

Hallie
Hallie I. McEvoy
Racing Dreams, LLC

Heart's Journey
Nov. 13, 2009, 12:43 PM
I have one more for your list - Dark Mirage, won the NT filly triple crown by huge margins, died too young.... one of my all time favorites

sporthorsefilly
Nov. 13, 2009, 01:15 PM
Ruffian by far!

I remember Dark Mirage, lovely filly. Another that died too young, Dr. Fager's daughter Dearly Precious.

I also vote for Go For Wand.

Personal Ensign, a great filly. Zenyatta is there too.

Marney
Nov. 13, 2009, 01:27 PM
Ruffian has been my favorite and always will be! She was pure speed. I do have to say though that so many horses metioned above are amazing and Zenyatta did bring tears to my eyes on BC day!!

Kyzteke
Nov. 13, 2009, 01:30 PM
As GG said, how do you quantify "greatness?"

When you judge racehorses, folks tend to look at stuff like speed, distance, number of starts, weight carrying ability, etc.

If you are judging a filly/mare, I think you must see how they did "against the boys" as well.

I loved Ruffian and was on the track when she was around, and she was certainly ONE of the great ones, but she only ran -- what? 12 races? She never carried alot of weight and she never ran against the boys till that last, sad race. She was amazingly fast, but that doesn't tell the whole story.

I'm afraid I'd have to vote for Kincsem or Pan Zareta in terms of overall. They did it all -- set records, carry weight, have long racing careers and beat the boys (over & over again).

We will never see the likes of those horses again, because the whole face/economy of racing has changed. But I bet they'd be kicking butt even if they were around today.

Funny, I hadn't thought about Kincsem in years & years....when I was a kid I had a book that mentioned her.

Did she ever have any foals?

vineyridge
Nov. 13, 2009, 01:53 PM
Kincsem was as good in the shed as she was on the track. According to her portrait at TB Heritage, her descendants through females were still winning Classics in Central Europe almost seventy five years after her career.

But if you want to find a superlative race mare who also was a superlative broodmare, Pretty Polly can't be beat, thanks to her mother. She's an example where the breeding gods smiled on the X chromosomes that got passed on from mother to daughter to daughter to today.
http://www.tbheritage.com/Portraits/PrettyPolly.htm

Drvmb1ggl3
Nov. 13, 2009, 02:13 PM
Sceptre, ran in all five of the English Classics, winning four of them.
Won the 2000 Guineas on a Thursday (beating the boys), came out 2 days later and added the 1000 Guineas against the girls. Then on to Epsom where she was 4th in the Derby against the boys on a Weds, then won the Oaks the next day.
Then shipped across the channel to France a couple of weeks later and ran in the Grand Prix de Paris, then ran at 2 miles (and of course against boys again), was unplaced, but only two lengths behind the winner.
Ten days later she shows up at the Royal meeting at Ascot, where she raced in the Coronation stakes and the very next day won St James the Palace Stakes, beating males.
Continued a hectic schedule over the summer, culminating with winning the third leg of the Triple Crown, the St Leger in Sept (beating boys again obviously), giving her her 4th classic win of the year.

Zenyatta was a china doll in comparison.

Calena
Nov. 13, 2009, 02:21 PM
Kincsem was as good in the shed as she was on the track. According to her portrait at TB Heritage, her descendants through females were still winning Classics in Central Europe almost seventy five years after her career.



Yes, but can she dance? :lol::lol: Zenyatta's like the PT Barnum of horse racing, The Greatest Show On Earth. She didn't just impress or overwhelm, she entertained and certainly did her part to attract new fans to the sport.

Leaving now to read about Pretty Polly.

vineyridge
Nov. 13, 2009, 02:22 PM
Drvm, I was just going to post the TB Heritage portrait of Sceptre.
http://www.tbheritage.com/Portraits/Sceptre.html

Horseforthecourse
Nov. 13, 2009, 02:37 PM
Ruffian tops the list, but Rachel Alexandra is creeping up on her. There are some well-respected handicappers that they Rachel Alexandra may be the greatest of all time already. I want to see what she does as a four year old before I pass that torch.

Inside Information was a freak on her best day.
Ouija Board
Zarkava
Miesque
Personal Ensign
Makybe Diva
There are so many...

Kyzteke
Nov. 13, 2009, 03:49 PM
Yes, but can she dance? :lol::lol: Zenyatta's like the PT Barnum of horse racing, The Greatest Show On Earth. She didn't just impress or overwhelm, she entertained and certainly did her part to attract new fans to the sport.

Well, Kincsem didn't have to attract new fans to the sport, because she raced back in the days that racing WAS "the sport". But I seem to recall reading she had a HUGE following. Princes & kings came to see her race.

And I'm sorry -- when you run 54 races and win every-single-one-of-them, and against some of the best horses of her day, that makes you pretty darn amazing. The Z's & RA's & Ruffians, as spectacular as they might be, are simply not in that class.

I'm not sure we are breeding horses anymore that would be in that class -- the sport has changed so much.

Vineyridge -- what is the most weight Kincsem ever carried? I Wikipedia'ed her, but it didn't say.

Calena
Nov. 13, 2009, 04:10 PM
Well, Kincsem didn't have to attract new fans to the sport, because she raced back in the days that racing WAS "the sport". But I seem to recall reading she had a HUGE following. Princes & kings came to see her race.

And I'm sorry -- when you run 54 races and win every-single-one-of-them, and against some of the best horses of her day, that makes you pretty darn amazing. The Z's & RA's & Ruffians, as spectacular as they might be, are simply not in that class.

I'm not sure we are breeding horses anymore that would be in that class -- the sport has changed so much.

Vineyridge -- what is the most weight Kincsem ever carried? I Wikipedia'ed her, but it didn't say.

Here's the link to her race record. Top weight was 168 lbs!!!

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:UY9MYiKzeSsJ:www.thoroughbredchampi ons.com/biographies/kincsem.htm+kincsem&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Kyzteke
Nov. 13, 2009, 04:24 PM
Here's the link to her race record. Top weight was 168 lbs!!!

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:UY9MYiKzeSsJ:www.thoroughbredchampi ons.com/biographies/kincsem.htm+kincsem&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

WOW!! That is really impressive!

Look at her race record as a 5 yr. old -- she never carried LESS than 136 lbs and never raced at any distance under 1 1/4 miles.

In her last race she carried 159 lbs over 1 1/2 miles and won by 10 LENGTHS!!! Holy smoke!

Truly, the modern gals are creampuffs in comparison....

WhiteCamry
Nov. 13, 2009, 07:25 PM
Lordy, nobody mentioned Shuvee? Beat the guys twice in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, when it was still run at two miles!

That was when racing was racing!

danceronice
Nov. 13, 2009, 08:32 PM
WOW!! That is really impressive!

Look at her race record as a 5 yr. old -- she never carried LESS than 136 lbs and never raced at any distance under 1 1/4 miles.

In her last race she carried 159 lbs over 1 1/2 miles and won by 10 LENGTHS!!! Holy smoke!

Truly, the modern gals are creampuffs in comparison....

See, THAT is a great racehorse. Also I put Kinscem on top because she was a successful broodmare.

For me, for a horse to REALLY be great, they have to carry weight, run LONG, and ideally reproduce themselves (geldings obviously have a disadvantage.) Males or females--I will always place War Admiral over Seabiscuit as the greater horse, not so much for the Triple Crown as for the fact that you could have solved Seabiscuit's behavior problems by gelding him and not lost a thing in Thoroughbred bloodlines, while War Admiral is still in a huge percentage of broodmare pedigrees. Hence, Kinscem (which I keep forgetting to ask my Hungarian pro how to pronounce but I *think* it's something like "KEEN-schem") as the #1, though I think Pretty Polly and Sceptre have strong arguments. They raced, they carried weight, they won, they won against males

Modern American? Genuine Risk, though sadly she was a dud as a broodmare. Ruffian with the qualifiers above about no successful races against males, no high weights, etc., plus it may have been a sort of downer blessing she was never bred as her bloodlines weren't the sort that really needed to be reproduced.

regret
Nov. 14, 2009, 05:54 PM
Regret,

Calena
Nov. 14, 2009, 10:53 PM
Or mare :)

What I'm really wondering is if Zenyatta and/or Rachel really measure up to the big race mares of the past. If you had to name one big female superstar of horse racing, who would it be?

Jumper - Thank you for asking the question and thanks to everyone who contributed with their knowledge of the great mares of the past. I have to admit, it's been bugging me listening to certain high-profile people describe their horses as 'the best ever!'. I love our current champions just as much as the next person, but Curlin' is no Secretariat, let alone Citation or Eclipse. Neither Rachel nor Zenyatta can hold a candle to some of the mares brought up on this thread.

I realize it's unrealistic and serves no good purpose to drown in remorse about the good old days. But it sure was great to remember some of those mares and fillies that built this breed.