Best Fillies of the Past 50 Years

Many racing fans are prepared to state emphatically that Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra are two of the best, if not THE best, fillies of the past half-century.

The list from which to chose, however, is longer than most think. Below is a reminder just how extensive that list is. With almost half the year still remaining to define Zenyatta's and Rachel's greatness and where they rank, this is a good time to see just who the two super fillies are up against.

If anyone wishes to submit their Top 10 in order, and there are enough submissions (from this blog and a Facebook link), I will tabulate  a consensus Top 10 list and post the results on the next blog. If not, just enjoy the list of champion fillies below and their accomplishments. Feel free to express all opinions. If we get enough interest, I will provide my own analysis, having seen most of the fillies listed below.

Grass fillies are not included. They will have their moment at a later time. Because the list already is so long I also added an also-eligible list just to throw some other names out there. I'm sure someone will ask why so-and-so is not included. Most likely it is an oversight, so feel free to add your own favorite. Some excellent fillies were left off the main list because they might have gotten good for a while and didn't quite accomplish enough over a period of time or didn't do anything extraordinary, such as beating males or carrying weight or breaking records.

All mentions of the Filly Triple Crown are in reference to the NYRA series consisting the Acorn, Mother Goose, and CCA Oaks, which was the only officially recognized Triple Crown of this era, although an unofficial Filly Triple Crown was for many years the Kentucky Oaks, Black-Eyed-Susan, and CCA Oaks, designed to compliment the male Triple Crown run.


Affectionately      

     Pros - Won 15 stakes, beat colts in the Vosburgh, won Vagrancy

                 Handicap under 137 pounds, giving 26 lbs to runner-up

     Cons - Won up to 1 1/8 miles but was predominantly a sprinter


Althea

      Pros - Career cut short, but not before she destroyed colts in the

                 Hollywood Juvenile Championship, Del Mar Futurity, and

                 Arkansas Derby in track-record 1:46 4/5, also won Santa

                 Susana (now SA Oaks), Las Virgenes, Hollywood Starlet, and

                 Del Mar Debutante

      Cons - Raced only once after 19th-place finish in Kentucky Derby


Ashado

       Pros - Won 12 of 20 starts, grade I winner at 2, 3, and 4, won

                  Breeders' Cup Distaff, Kentucky Oaks, CCA Oaks, Ogden

                  Phipps, Beldame, Go For Wand, Spinaway

       Cons - Never raced against males, well beaten in BC Distaff

 

Azeri

        Pros - Horse of the Year, won 11 grade I stakes, including Breeders'

                   Cup Distaff, Apple Blossom 3 times, Vanity and Milady twice,

                   Spinster, Santa Margarita, won 17 of 24 starts

        Cons - Out of the money in only two starts vs. males


Bayakoa

       Pros - Won 21 of 39 starts, won Breeders' Cup Distaff twice, won

                   16 stakes, including 12 grade I's, won Santa Margarita twice,

                   Spinster, Ruffian, Vanity, Apple Blossom, group I winner in

                   Argentina vs, males

       Cons - 0-for-2 vs. males in U.S., lost last three career starts


Bold ‘n Determined

     Pros - Won 16 of 20 starts, including Acorn, CCA Oaks, Spinster,  

                Kentucky Oaks, Apple Blossom, Fantasy, Santa Susana (SA   

                Oaks), defeated champions Genuine Risk and Davona Dale, and  

                Alabama winner Love Sign in memorable Maskette Stakes

     Cons - Head defeat in Mother Goose cost her Filly Triple Crown sweep,

                never faced males


Bowl of Flowers

     Pros - Won 10 of 16 starts, including Acorn, CCA Oaks, and Spinster,

                 beating Primonetta by 5 lengths, never out of the money

     Cons - Defeated in Mother Goose and Alabama, never beat males

 

 

Chris Evert

     Pros -- Swept Filly Triple Crown, stakes winner at 2, 3, and 4, won

                 match race with Miss Musket by 50 lengths, finished third in

                 Travers Stakes, won 10 of 15 career starts

     Cons -- Never beat males, upset in Alabama at 1-2    

 

Cicada

     Pros - Won 23 of 42 starts, including 18 stakes, won 8 stakes at 2,

                 missed by half-length of becoming first Filly Triple Crown

                 winner, beaten a nose by Ridan in Florida Derby

     Cons - Beaten as big favorite in several major stakes    

 

Dance Smartly

      Pros - Won 12 of 17 starts, swept Canadian Triple Crown, won

                  Breeders' Cup Distaff, Molson Million, won 5 of 6 starts against

                  males, only defeat by a nose

      Cons - Did not win a major stakes in the U.S. at 2 or 4, beaten 6 lengths

                   in BC Juvenile Fillies


Dark Mirage

     Pros - First filly to sweep the Filly Triple Crown, winning Acorn, Mother

                Goose, and CCA Oaks by combined 28 lengths, added Monmouth

                Oaks and Delaware Oaks, won 10 straight races, 9 of them stakes

     Cons - Was only good at 3 and one race at 4 before breaking down,

                 mediocre 2-year-old   

 

Davona Dale

      Pros - Swept two Triple Crowns (Acorn, Mother Goose, CCA Oaks by

                 combined 20 ¼ lengths), (Kentucky Oaks, Black-Eyed Susan,

                 CCA Oaks by combined 16 ¾ lengths), won 11 of 18 career

                 starts

      Cons - Never beat males, upset in Alabama at 1-5, lost 5 of her last 6

                  starts

 

Desert Vixen

      Pros - Won eight straight races, all graded stakes, at 3 by an average

                  margin of 5 ½ lengths, won Alabama by 8, Beldame by 8 ½

                  in record 1:46 1/5 (broken race after by Secretariat), won 2nd

                  Beldame at 4 by 12 ½ in 1:46 3/5, 2nd in D.C. International

      Cons - Didn't get good until 3, never beat males, lost first 4 starts at 4


Gallant Bloom

     Pros - Won 12 races in a row at 2, 3, and 4, easily defeated two future

                 Hall of Famers in Shuvee and Gamely, champion at 2 and 3, won

                 stakes from 6 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, won Santa Margarita under

                 129 lbs, won 16 of 22 career starts, beat Shuvee 3 out of 4 times

     Cons - Defeated twice by males late in career (injured in latter), suffered  

                 3 bad losses at 2 after inexplicably losing her form

 

Gamely

     Pros - Won 10 stakes at 3, 4, and 5, including Alabama, Beldame twice,

                Santa Margarita, beats males in Inglewood Handicap, finished 2nd

                to Dr. Fager in Californian, 2nd to Nodouble in SA Handicap,

                finished no worse than 4th in 24 consecutive starts vs. fillies

     Cons - Won only 2 of 11 starts against males

 

Genuine Risk

     Pros - Won Kentucky Derby, first filly since Regret, and finished 2nd

                 in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, won Ruffian, Demoiselle,

                 finished third in the Wood Memorial

     Cons - Concluded her career in three allowance races, beaten a nose by

                  Bold ‘n Determined in Maskette Stakes


Glorious Song

     Pros - Won 17 of 34 starts, beat males four times, including the

                 Michigan Mile and an Eighth, finished 2nd to Spectacular Bid in

                 Amory Haskell Handicap, won Spinster, Santa Margarita, La

                 Canada, Top Flight

     Cons - Lost 5 of her last 6 starts, raced mostly in Canada early in her

                 career


Go For Wand

       Pros - Won 10 of 13 starts, won 7 grade I stakes, including Alabama,

                   Beldame, Mother Goose, Test, BC Juvenile Fillies, won Test in

                   1:21, Beldame in 1:45 4/5, Alabama in 2:00 4/5

       Cons - Never raced against males


Inside Information

       Pros - Won 14 of 17 starts, including 13 ½-length win in Breeders' Cup

                  Distaff, 11-length win in Ruffian, and 11-length win in Acorn,

                  also won grade I Spinster, Shuvee, and Ashland

       Cons - Never raced against males


Lady's Secret

      Pros - Horse of the Year, won 25 of 45 starts, including 22 stakes,

                 defeated colts in the Whitney, placed in 3 grade I stakes vs.

                 males, won Breeders' Cup Distaff, won stakes from 6 furlongs

                 to 1 ¼ miles, ran in 15 stakes as a 4-year-old, 13 of them grade I

                  and 4 vs. males, and was never out of the money, won Ruffian

                 under 129 lbs

      Cons - Won only two allowance races in five starts at 5


Mom's Command

       Pros - Swept Filly Triple Crown, setting :44 1/5 half in Acorn, :45

                  half in Mother Goose, and :46 1/5 half in 1 ½-mile CCA Oaks,

                  won Alabama by 4 lengths, setting :46 4/5 half, won 6 other

                  stakes, won 11 of 16 starts

       Cons - Never faced males


My Juliet

     Pros - Won 24 of 36 starts, defeated Kentucky Derby winner Bold

                 Forbes in Vosburgh in 1:21 4/5, won Michigan Mile and an

                 Eighth defeating JC Gold Cup winner On the Sly, finished

                 2nd in Omaha Gold Cup, beating Preakness winner Master 

                 Derby, won total of 17 stakes at 14 different racetracks

      Cons - Lost only time she ran in a grade I stakes (Vosburgh was

                  Grade II, Test was grade III)


Numbered Account

      Pros - Won 14 of 22 starts, won 9 of first 10 starts, including Spinaway,

                  Matron, Frizette, Selima, and Gardenia, won Spinster, Test, and

                  Maskette at 3

      Cons - Beaten in several major stakes at 3, never quite showed the

                  brilliance she showed at 2.


Old Hat

     Pros - Stakes winner at 4, 5, 6, and 7, won Spinster, Delaware Handicap,

                defeated Horse of the Year Roman Brother in Michigan Mile and

                One Eighth, won 35 career starts

     Cons - Didn't win first stakes until age 4, beaten 45 times in 80 starts

 

Open Mind

     Pros - Won 12 of 19 starts, swept Filly Triple Crown, CCA Oaks on a

                 DQ, won 10 races in a row, including BC Juvenile Fillies,

                 Kentucky Oaks, Alabama

     Cons - Lost her final 5 starts, never faced males



Paseana

      Pros - Won 19 of 36 starts, won 11 grade I stakes, including 5 in a row,

                 won Breeders' Cup Distaff and beaten a nose in BC Distaff, 

                 group I winner in Argentina, won Santa Margarita, Spinster,

                 Vanity, Apple Blossom, won stakes at 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7

      Cons - Well beaten in only try against males, won 1 of 6 starts at 8


Personal Ensign

     Pros - Retired undefeated in 13 starts, defeated Kentucky Derby winner

                Winning Colors in Breeders' Cup Distaff and Maskette, defeated

                eventual sprint champion Gulch in the Whitney, also won grade I

                Beldame, Shuvee, and Hempstead

     Cons - Only raced 13 times


Primonetta

     Pros - Won 17 of 25 starts, including first nine races of her career, won

                Alabama, Spinster, Delaware Oaks, ran 6 furlongs in 1:08 2/5 at

                Monmouth, beat Bowl of Flowers by 6 lengths in Alabama

     Cons - Never ran against males, beaten favorite in stakes six times

 

Princess Rooney

     Pros - Won 17 of 21 starts, ended her career with 6-length win in the

                 Spinster and 7-length romp in the BC Distaff, won first 10 races

                 of her career, including wins by 8, 9 ½, 10, 11, 12, and 18 lengths,

               also won Kentucky Oaks, Ashland, Vanity, and Frizette

     Cons - Only faced males once, in 7f  allowance race, winning by 1/2


Rachel Alexandra

      Pros - Horse of the Year, won 12 of 17 starts, defeated colts in  

                 Preakness, Haskell Invitational, and Woodward, won Ky. Oaks

                 by 20 ¼ lengths, Mother Goose by 19 ¼ lengths in stakes record 1:46

                 1/5, won Haskell by 6 lengths in 1:47 1/5, defeated winners of the

                 Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Travers, JC Gold Cup, Whitney

      Cons - Has only grade II win and two narrow defeats at 4


Rags to Riches

      Pros - Defeated eventual 2-time Horse of the Year Curlin, as well as 

                 Hard Spun and Tiago in Belmont Stakes, first filly in 102 years

                 to win Belmont, won Kentucky Oaks, Santa Anita Oaks, Las  

                 Virgenes, champion 3-year-old filly

      Cons - Didn't race past September of 3-year-old year, didn't break

                  maiden until 3


Ruffian

     Pros - Won all 10 starts in which she finished, broke down in match race,

                 her average margin of victory was 8 ½ lengths, ran in 9 stakes at 7

                 different distances from 5 furlongs to 1 ½ miles and set or

                 equaled a stakes record in all of them, swept Filly Triple Crown

     Cons - Never defeated males


Safely Kept

     Pros - Won 24 of 31 starts, finished first and second in BC Sprint, won

                 21 stakes, including Test, Prioress, Genuine Risk

     Cons - Strictly a sprinter, third in only two-turn race


Serena's Song

     Pros - Won 18 of 38 starts, won 16 graded stakes, defeated colts in the

                Haskell Invitational and Jim Beam, beaten a neck in the Whitney,

                won Beldame, Gazelle, Mother Goose, Santa Anita Oaks,

                Hollywood Starlet

     Cons - Lost last 7 starts of her career - 6 seconds and a third, well-

                 beaten in Ky. Derby and SA Handicap


Shuvee

    Pros - Swept Filly Triple Crown and won Alabama at 3, won back-to-

               back runnings of the 2-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup, won a total

               of 15 stakes, won major stakes at 2, 3, 4, and 5, including Beldame,

               Diana twice, Ladies Handicap, Frizette, and Top Flight

   Cons - Beaten in 3 of her 4 meetings with Gallant Bloom, including

                Gazelle for 3-year-old filly honors


Silverbulletday

     Pros - Won 15 of 23 starts, won Alabama, Kentucky Oaks, Gazelle,

                Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, Ashland, won from 5 ½ furlongs

                to 1 ¼ miles

    Cons - Lost 6 of last 7 starts, beaten badly in BC Distaff and Belmont

                Stakes in only start vs. males 


Sky Beauty

     Pros - Won 15 of 21 starts, swept Filly Triple Crown, won grade I

                Alabama, Ruffian, Matron, Shuvee, Hempstead, and Go For

                Wand, won Ruffian under 130 lbs

     Cons - Winless outside of New York, beaten twice in BC Distaff, never

                 raced against males


Straight Deal

      Pros - Raced 99 times, won Spinster, Delaware Handicap, Santa

                 Margarita, 10 other major stakes, finished 3rd in the Whitney to

                 Stupendous and 3rd in the Aqueduct Stakes to Damascus

      Cons - Lost 78 times and never defeated males

 

Susan's Girl

     Pros - Won stakes at 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, won a total of 22 stakes, including   

                 Spinster, Beldame, Delaware Handicap, Matchmaker, and Apple

                 Blossom as a 6-year-old alone, won Kentucky Oaks, Acorn,

                 Beldame, and Gazelle at 3

     Cons - Winless in 6 starts against males         

      

Ta Wee

     Pros - Won 15 of 21 starts, defeated colts in the Vosburgh and Fall

                 Highweight on two occasions, once carrying 140 lbs, won

                 Interborough Handicap under 142 lbs, won Miss Woodford in

                 1:08 3/5, won 7f Vosburgh in 1:21 3/5

     Cons - Strictly a sprinter


Tosmah

      Pros - Won 23 of 39 starts, defeated males in the Arlington Classic and

                  John B. Campbell Handicap, 2nd to Hedevar in world-record-

                  equaling Equipoise Mile (1:33 1/5, beaten three-quarters), won

                  first 7 starts of her career

      Cons - Raced in very few major New York stakes, mostly in New

                  Jersey

 

Turkish Trousers

      Pros - Won 12 of 18 starts, won 8 straight stakes, including Hollywood

                  Oaks, Del Mar Oaks, Santa Susana, won Santa Margarita and

                  Santa Maria, won of 10 of 12 starts, all stakes, from Jan. '71 to

                  March ‘72

      Cons - Never faced males, never raced outside California, lost last two

                  career starts


Winning Colors

       Pros - Won Kentucky Derby, Santa Anita Derby by 7 ½ lengths,

                   finished 3rd in Preakness, won Santa Anita Oaks by 8 lengths,

                   beaten a nose by Personal Ensign in memorable BC Distaff

       Cons - Won only 8 of 19 starts, beaten 41 ¾ lengths in the Belmont.

                    24 ¼ lengths in BC Distaff

 

Xtra Heat

       Pros - Won 26 of 35 starts, 25 of them stakes, defeated colts in Phoenix

                  BC, 2nd, beaten half-length, in Breeders' Cup Sprint, 3rd in

                  Golden Shaheen vs. colts in Dubai

       Cons - Strictly sprinter, finished 6th in BC Sprint, well-beaten in only

                  two-turn race

                

Zenyatta

       Pros - Undefeated in 17 starts, first female to win the Breeders' Cup

                  Classic, defeated 8 grade/group-I winning males, champion older

                  mare twice, won BC Ladies Classic, Apple Blossom twice,

                  Vanity three times, won 11 grade I stakes, won Vanity under 129    

                  pounds, first horse to win two different Breeders' Cup races

       Cons - 15 of 17 starts have been on synthetic surfaces


Also-eligible

Airman's Guide, Ajina, Ambassador of Luck, Banshee Breeze, Beautiful Pleasure, Berlo, Caesar's Wish, Cascapedia, Chou Croute, Christmas Past, Cum Laude Laurie, Dainty Dotsie, Dearly Precious, Escena, Flanders, Fleet Indian, Forward Gal, Furl Sail, Ginger Punch, Gold Beauty, Goodbye Halo, Happy Ticket, Heavenly Prize, Hidden Lake, Hollywood Wildcat, Jewel Princess, Lady Pitt, Lakeway, Lamb Chop, Landaluce, La Prevoyante, Late Bloomer, Life's Magic, Lite Light, Meadow Star, Moccasin, Office Queen, Open Fire, Optimistic Gal, Our Mims, Politely, Priceless Gem, Princessnesian, Relaxing, Revidere, Riboletta, Sacahuista, Sharp Cat, Sightseek, Spain, Summer Guest, Surfside, Tempest Queen, Terlingua, Tizna. Track Robbery, Typecast, Versailles Treaty, What a Summer, What a Treat, Yanks Music

Regional (non-stakes) heroines: Hallowed Dreams (won 16 straight, 25 of 30 in La.), Peppers Pride (19 for 19 all in New Mexico vs. N.M.-breds).

453 Comments

Leave a Comment:

MRO

Fortunately, I re-read your narrative before becoming indignant the Calumet girls of the 1940s & 1950s weren't included.

My totally biased Top 10 is as follows:

Ruffian

Zenyatta

Rags to Riches

Althea

Lady's Secret

Shuvee

Life's Magic

Rachel Alexandra

My Juliet

Personal Ensign

This is not an easy task!

18 Jul 2010 1:19 PM
shammy

only ones who come close are Gamely, Shuvee, and Lady's Secret.  other than that, Rachel and Zenyatta have already accomplished more.

18 Jul 2010 1:20 PM
Dale

It was nice to see some great names from the past like Dark Mirage; Old Hat and Straight Deal.

I remember them and also What a Treat who is not on your list.

I think if Ruffian should be on the list, then Moccasin should be. She was after all co Horse of the Year with Roman Brother.

Priceless Gem beat Buckpasser in the Futurity and that certainly qualifies her for some consideration.

18 Jul 2010 1:23 PM
Alexandra

1-Ruffian

2-Zenyatta

3-Rachel Alexandra

4-landaluce

5-Personal Ensign

6-Dance Smartly

7-Lady's Secret

8-Princess Rooney

9-Bowl of flowers

10-Go for wand

18 Jul 2010 1:28 PM
SMTDL

Top Ten In order

1 - Ruffian

2- Genuine Risk

3 - Rachel Alexandra

4 - Lady's Secret

5 - Zenyatta

6 - Shuvee

7 - Personal Ensign

8 - Rags to Riches

9 - Bayakoa

10 - Winning Colors

18 Jul 2010 1:33 PM
smarie

Wow - I had forgotten some of these wonderful fillies. We have had so many great ones. I would place Zenyatta at #1. 2 Ruffian 3. Personal Ensign 4. Lady's Secret 5. Rachel Alexandra 6. Winning Colors 7. Genuine Risk 8. Azeri 9. Xtra Heat 10. Peppers Pride (undefeated is undefeated, no matter where they run.)

18 Jul 2010 1:36 PM
Zen's Auntie

Wow Steve what a great list, Thanks!! I remember watching many of these gals race - Im gettting the chills just thinking about it.

Heres my top 10 and I may be all wet but these ladies are all truely CLASSY.

Zenyatta – Won BC Classic 1st female Ever,  17 starts 17 wins just because she is racing now doesn’t make her less than the best.

Personal Ensign – without saying. AND an amazing producer too

Winning colors – before she got used up.

Go for wand – what a racehorse what a shame.

Ruffian – undefeated till the match – I balled for weeks when I was in 5th  Grade.

Rachel Alexandra - in 2009 she was simply amazing. But she paid the price.

Genuine Risk – She was some kind of tough horse.

Rags to riches – tough on males

Ladys Secret – Another filly to beat good males.

Pine Island – I just think she could have been one of the best and she didn’t get a mention so here is her nod.

18 Jul 2010 1:38 PM
Soldier Course

Zenyatta

Ruffian

Go For Wand

Lady's Secret

Peppers Pride

I have a special place in my heart for Lady's Secret. Her owner Kim Glenney sent me a photograph of Lady's Secret taken with her last foal, the night before she died. I will always cherish this.

18 Jul 2010 1:40 PM
Soldier Course

How could I have forgotten Personal Ensign?

Zenyatta

Ruffian

Go For Wand

Personal Ensign

Lady's Secret

Peppers Pride

18 Jul 2010 1:45 PM
CarryBack

It is nice to see some of the fillies from "yester year"- who are not normally mentioned, probably since most people did not know or remember them- Affectionately!, Bowl of Flowers, Cicida. I will never forget Affectionately's race carrying 137 and barely winning her race, while as you note giving 26 pounds to the runner up. And Wand, I will always love since I followed her career-and saw break her maiden on a rainy last day of the Belmont season (in an off card race). A friend came late to the track and I remembered telling her that if it weren't  the last day of Belmont, on an off card race on a rainy miserable day, that I would have declared that I had seen one of the greatest fillies ever! (and of course she won the Breeders' Juvenile shortly thereafter. One criteria, I should never say that as  card-carrying feminist! is if any of these fillies past on their genes and stamina (a criteria for the males though). Surprisingly, many of them did not. Personal Ensign of course has MY Flag and War Emblem, Miner's Mark, etc. Affectionately has Personality, winner of the Preakness.

18 Jul 2010 1:47 PM
Coldfacts

Steve,

I have always regarded Genuine Risk as the best of the lot. It is unlikely that what she achieved in the Triple Crown races will be repeated any time soon by a filly. The fragility of the modern day thoroughbred suggests that it is unlikely that any filly will be entered in all three races. The demand of the three race schedule is taxing on the strongest of colts and she won the derby and was runner-up in the next two legs. Which of other fillies/mares on your list, races against colt in 10F, 9.5F and 12F in a five week period?

18 Jul 2010 1:47 PM
Paula Higgins

Zenyatta

Rachel Alexandra

Ruffian

Personal Ensign

Lady's Secret

Rags To Riches

Genuine Risk

18 Jul 2010 1:58 PM
sceptre

My top 10 (in order):

1. Numbered Account

2. Tosmah

3. Priceless Gem

4. Ruffian

5. Personal Ensign

6. Primonetta

7. Zenyatta

8. Gallant Bloom

9. Bayakoa

10. Cicada

18 Jul 2010 2:00 PM
LeeAnne

My top ten not in any order:

Ruffian

Zenyatta

Personal Ensign

Rachel Alexandra

Genuine Risk

Lady's Secret

Azeri

Go For Wand

Shuvee

Serena's Song

18 Jul 2010 2:23 PM
Barbara W

I'm glad to see the mention of Pine Island. I, too, will never forget her.

18 Jul 2010 2:27 PM
joeV

1)ruffian

2)personal ensign

3)Rachel

4)Zenyatta

5)Princess Rooney

6)Rags to Riches

7)inside information

8)Go For wand

9)genuine risk

10)chris everett

18 Jul 2010 2:28 PM
Alex

As I'm a teenager, I unfortunately never got to see most of these great fillies and mares. Actually, the only two I've gotten to see are Rachel and Zenyatta. So I'd be inclined to place them at the top of any list I made, but at the same time, I don't want to minimize any other superfillies.

18 Jul 2010 2:33 PM
MK in FL

My top ten:

1. Ruffian

2. Zenyatta

3. Personal Ensign

4. Azeri

5. Genuine Risk

6. Rachel Alexandra

7. Lady's Secret

8. Go For Wand

9. Serena's Song

10. Ta Wee

18 Jul 2010 2:34 PM
Paula Higgins

Coldfacts, good point about Genuine Risk. I might move her up on my list a little and add Tosmah to my list.

18 Jul 2010 2:35 PM
mickey b

1.  Zenyatta

2.  Personal Ensign

3.  Dark Mirage

4.  Gallant Bloom

5.  Ta Wee

6.  Shuvee

7.  Cicada

8.  Genuine Risk

9.  Rachel Alexandra

10.  Summer Guest

18 Jul 2010 2:47 PM
Convene

Nice list, Steve! I'm old enough to have actually cheered for most of these and it grieves me how often they get shuffled aside in favor of today's glorious stars. Dark Mirage was always a favorite of mine, and I loved Bowl of Flowers, Numbered Account, Primonetta and Cicada - and, of course, Ruffian the queen. I'm also a big Rags to Riches and Rachel fan. I wonder though ... could My Dear Girl come in at least under also eligibles? She was a pretty good filly. Thanks for the waltz down memory lane.

18 Jul 2010 2:55 PM
racingherald

Interesting comments, all.  My top 10 list:

Zenyatta

Ruffian

Personal Ensign

Go For Wand

Inside Information

Azeri

Dance Smartly

Bayakoa

Rachel Alexandra

Winning Colors

Great memories, and more to be made as Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra continue to dazzle on the racetrack.

18 Jul 2010 2:56 PM
Stanley Marcinkowski- Plowville, Pa

I am really SHOCKED that Lakeway is NOT on your main list !!!!  As a 3 yr old she twice ran 1 1/8 miles under 1:47 in grade  one races. Can you name any filly that can match that. Rachel finally beat her time in Mother Goose last year.  After Mother Goose Lakeway almost died due to infection. Ruffian on your main list would have been tough for Lakeway.   As a 3 yr old, Lakeway set stakes record time in 3 grade one races, Las Virgeenes, Hollywood Oaks, Mother Goose.  Champions Ruffian, Chris Evert, Open Mind, Go For Wand, Life's Magic, Meadow Star were not close to Lakeway's time in Mother Goose.

18 Jul 2010 2:57 PM
CapePirate

Top Ten:

1. Azeri

2. Davona Dale

3. Ruffian

4. Shuvee

5. Zenyatta

6. Silverbulletday

7. Rags to Riches

8. Chris Evert

9. Althea

10. Desert Vixen

18 Jul 2010 2:59 PM
Stanley Marcinkowski- Plowville, Pa

Not one of your bloggers mention Lakeway.    A Disgrace.  ajaxx55@yahoo.com

18 Jul 2010 3:02 PM
Convene

Oops - yeah! Forgot to add regional favorite Peppers Pride. What she did was memorable and hard to do, tho some seem to think it shouldn't count. If it so darn easy, how come no one else did it?

18 Jul 2010 3:02 PM
afleetalexforever

My Top Ten in order is much more about what the filly or mare was up against (competition wise race in and race out) and still able to overcome with impressive results, that list starts with:

1. Rachel Alexandra

2. Personal Ensign

3. Ruffian

4. Azeri

5. Ta Wee

6. Bayakoa

7. Zenyatta

8. Lady's Secret

9. Shuvee

10.Gamey

18 Jul 2010 3:03 PM
LAZMANNICK

Great list Steve.  Unfortunately, some real good ones are left off or are on the also-eligible list, but that’s horse racing.  Several I think never get the recognition they deserve are:  Heavenly Prize, an 8 time G1 winner; Lamb Chop winner of 9 stakes in ’63; Macoassin a co-HOY winner in 1965 as a 2 Y-O; Princessnesian, Gamely’s stable mate and the last filly or mare horse (until Zenyatta) to defeat older G1 type males a 1-1/4M on dirt (or non-turf) in the ’68 Gold Cup (Gamely was 7th).

One that I thought definitely should have made the “Best List” was La Prevoyante:

• Won 25 of 39 career races.

• In 1972 went a perfect 12 for 12 at 2 winning 9 stakes at Woodbine, Belmont, Laurel, Saratoga and the Meadowlands.

• Was 2nd to Secretariat in 1972 in HOY balloting.

• A member of US racing Hall of Fame.

• Defeated colts in the Colin stakes at two and the Quebec Derby at three.

• A con would be that her greatest season was at two.  However, several, including so far Rachel, have made their greatest achievements during one particular racing year in their career.

Two others that unfortunately had their careers cut short but were as good as any in their generation:

Landuce

Perfect 5 for 5, including 4 stakes.  She ran 6F in 1.08, 7F in 1.21.4 and 1-1/16 in 1.41.4.  Won her 5 races by a combined 46 ½ lengths.

Melair

Perfect 5 for 5, including 3 stakes by a combined 30 lengths.  Ran 6F in 108.3, 7F in 1.22.2 and a mile in 1.32.4.  Defeated (11) males in only start against them including Snow Chief and Southern Halo in the Silver Screen Handicap.

My top ten:

1. Ruffian

2. Zenyatta

3. Personal Ensign

4. Shuvee

5. Tosmah

6. Gallant Bloom

7. Gamely

8. Ta Wee

9. Go For Wand

10. Lady’s Secret

18 Jul 2010 3:06 PM
Stanley Marcinkowski- Plowville, Pa

I was at Delaware when Shuvee raced against Gallant Bloom.  Gallant bloom went off at odds of 7-10,  won,  paid $3.40 to win and $7.00 for show !!!!  Shuvee 4th hated cuppy track.

18 Jul 2010 3:08 PM
Tom C.

You forgot "Miesque" and "Goldikova".

1)Ruffian-Track records Baby!

2)Zenyatta

3)Ta Wee

4)Lady's Secret

5)Princess Rooney

6)Miesque

7)Personal Ensign

8)Affectionately

9)Shuvee

10)Rachel Alexandra

18 Jul 2010 3:16 PM
sodapopkid

Here's my list Steve,  All top 10 from 1 to 10.

1) Zenyatta

2) Zenyatta

3) Zenyatta

4) Zenyatta

5) Zenyatta

6) Zenyatta

7) Zenyatta

8) Zenyatta

9) Zenyatta

10) Zenyatta

There you have it Steve,  All my Top 10 list of all time..

What can I say,  She is the Best...

18 Jul 2010 3:18 PM
Tracy W.

My top ten in no particular order:

Zenyatta

Genuine Risk

Chris Evert

Ruffian

Rachel Alexandra

Go For Wand

Lady's Secret

Personal Ensign

Eight Belles

Landaluce

I know Eight Belles wasn't mentioned, but I believed she had so much potential. She was just as much of a fighter as the fillies mentioned in the article, even if it took her a while to get started.

18 Jul 2010 3:24 PM
Chris

1. Ladies Secret - So well-traveled, so durable, and so successful. The "Iron Lady" deserves proper recognition. She didn't earn HOY for nothing! Sure, she wasn't undefeated, but that doesn't mean everything. Certain undefeated horses probably wouldn't be undefeated if they were asked to do as much as Ladies Secret.

2. Rachel Alexandra - Endured shipping to six states and seven racetracks as a 3-year old. Broke Ruffian's record in the Mother Goose while under wraps. Nearly broke track record at Monmouth in the slop while running easily. Set numerous other records as well. Although still in the midst of her career, she will add much more to her legacy in the races to come.

Ruffian - She never faced males and was not nearly as well traveled as Ladies Secret, but the sheer brilliance we all know she possessed is what gives her this ranking. On her best day, I don't picture her being beaten, but because she didn't have to endure the rigors of traveling, facing males, etc., I can't give as much credit to her as those fillies and mares who did travel frequently, face males, and run often. Nonetheless, she was probably the most brilliant.

4. Princess Rooney - Sturdy, successful, beat males, and was CLEARLY the best of her time. A true athlete.

5. Zenyatta - Her undefeated record is impressive, however, I highly doubt she would still be perfect if she had to run as often or travel as much as say Ladies Secret, who ran in 15 stakes alone as a 4-year old. Zenyatta has only started 17 times in 3 years and only left CA twice. Also, I feel that if pitted against Ruffian or Princess Rooney, she would not be able to catch them. She also benefited from the BC being run for the first time at the same track 2-years in a row, which also happened to be held on a surface that was highly unfavorable to dirt horses. While none of this is her fault, I still feel it in unfair to rank her higher than horses who were asked to do FAR MORE and were extremely successful. If not for her light schedule and lack of shipping, she would be ranked higher. Very impressive nonetheless.

6. Cicada- Didn't win all the time, but started 42 times and with much success, and how often do we see that these days? Again, the breadth and scope of her career must be considered, and it was impressive to say the least.

7. Go For Wand - It's so unfortunate that she broke down, because this filly's brilliance was undeniable. Not only did she run in superior times, but she was a real figher who never gave up easily, even to the point that she lost her life.

8. Ta Wee - So what if she was only a sprinter. Ran in near world record times, beat males, carried 140 and 142 lbs? That's sick! What a horse!

9. Shuvee - Wasn't perfect, but managed to be highly successful for many years, showing durability we don't see these days.

10. Dance Smartly - Beat males 5 of 6 times, swept Canadian TC, won a BC race. Pretty awesome.

18 Jul 2010 3:31 PM
DTG

1 -  Personal Ensign

2 -  Go For Wand

3 -  Ruffian

4 -  Lady's Secret

5 -  Rags To Riches

6 -  Bayakoa

7 -  Paseana

8 -  Zenyatta

9 -  Heavenly Prize

10 - Genuine Risk

18 Jul 2010 3:32 PM
Dakota

Steve,

No quibbles with the horses you listed. However, if you are going to state as a "con" that Zenyatta won 15 of 17 races on synthetics in California, I think you have to note that Ruffian (who many list as the all time number 1), ran all but one race in New York (and the other was just across the border in New Jersey). Fair's fair.  : )

18 Jul 2010 3:36 PM
sidekickflats

My top 10 are

1. Zenyatta

2. Personal Ensign

3. Genuine Risk

4. Ruffian

5. Lady Secret

6. Bayakoa

7. Paseana

8. Winning Colors

9. Rachel Alexandra

10. Serena's Song

11. Gamely

12. Inside Information

13. Go For Wand

18 Jul 2010 3:37 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Hard to believe it's been 4 years already since the tragic loss of Pine Island, one of my top three favorite horses at the time. I believe she would have ended up being in the top ten of all time. And how good would Eight Belles have been? A list is tough but here it is in order, and I know that none of us are giving enough credit to females from the first half of the 20th Century. The first two spots I'm firm with. The rest I'm not certain about the order or even the list. Rags to Riches was something and her career was cut  short by injury. Zenyatta is the best, Ruffian second best. A devastating tragedy, and actually kept me out of racing for awhile. I was crushed.

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Personal Ensign

4. Rags to Riches

5. Rachel Alexandra

6. Genuine Risk

7. Azeri

8. Ladys Secret

9. Xtra Heat

10. Tosmah

18 Jul 2010 3:46 PM
Terri

I've been a racing fan for about 16 years, so I don't know all of the fillies on the list.

I would have to put Zenyatta at No. 1. She's amazing.

The others on my list are (in no particular order)

-- Serena's Song (a great career);

-- Personal Ensign;

-- Rags to Riches (a wonderful Belmont);

-- Rachel Alexandra (a great 3-year-old year);

-- Sharp Cat;

-- Inside Information;

-- Go for Wand;

-- Ruffian;

-- Princess Rooney;

with a runner-up to one of my favorite horses: Real Connection (a one-eyed turf filly)

18 Jul 2010 3:54 PM
Between Friends

This is no easy task. The list (including the names on the also-eligible category) is pretty impressive.

Top ten not in any order

  Zenyatta

  Ruffian

  Personal Ensign

  Genuine Risk

  Go for Wand

  Dance Smartly

  Susan's Girl (she was in the same foal crop as Numbered Account and Summer Guest, I believe)  

  Lady's Secret

  Rachel Alexandra

  Tosmah

18 Jul 2010 3:57 PM
Ida Lee

This is an impossible task. But here's my list and I'll admit it's a very emotional list:

1. Ruffian (My heart won't let me put her anywhere but on top)

2. Rachel

3. Zenyatta

4. Personal Ensign

5. Genuine Risk

6. Princess Rooney

7. Azeri

8. Winning Colors

9. Rags to Riches

10. Pepper's Pride

And, yes, for what could have been, Pine Island.

18 Jul 2010 3:58 PM
rooney27

My top ten in no particular order because they all accomplished so much:

Rachel Alexandra

Personal Ensign

Ruffian

Zenyatta

Azeri

Go For Wand

Princess Rooney

Inside Information

Winning Colors

Genuine Risk

18 Jul 2010 4:03 PM
Lmaris

Ruffian

Rachel

Gallant Bloom

Azeri

Lady's Secret

Personal Ensign

Zenyatta (she'd be on top of my synthetic specialist list, but only 2 starts on the same dirt track don't let me rate her higher)

Shuvee

Chris Evert

Miesque

18 Jul 2010 4:05 PM
Steve Haskin

This list of horses and their accomplishments is meant more for information and enlightenment than compiling actual Top 10 lists. Thats just in fun. I thought it would be good to give racing fans, especially the younger ones, a chance to see how many top fillies there have been and what they accomplished.

18 Jul 2010 4:06 PM
Mokey

WOW for any one NOT to have Genuine Risk in their top ten is crazy!! She still has the best finishes in the Triple Crown series, WHICH she was beaten by "fresh" horses in the two she lost. Please note Codex (who should not been given that win) couldn't keep close to her in the Belmont. SO young and she did very well. No she's not going to be a great broodmare - but her race career should put her on in ANY top ten.

18 Jul 2010 4:07 PM
Secretarius

My Top Ten

1-Zenyatta

2-Ruffian

3-Lady's Secret

4- Personal Ensign

5-Rachel Alexandra

6-Bayakoa

7-Go For Wand

8-Princess Rooney

9-Mom's Command

10-Rags to Riches

18 Jul 2010 4:10 PM
Michelle

I love that your columns offer such a great blend of racing history, knowledge and love of the horse,  and are entertaining and thought provoking as well.  I learn so much from them.  Thanks for putting this one together.

18 Jul 2010 4:18 PM
Ron

Personal Ensign

Lady's Secret

Althea

Azeri

Shuvee

Blushing K.D.

Rachel Alexandra

Ta Wee

Tosmah

Zenyatta

18 Jul 2010 4:19 PM
No Class

1.  Ruffian

2.  Go for Wand

3.  Personal Ensign

4.  Zenyatta

5.  Lady's Secret

6.  Dance Smartly

7.  Silverbulletday

8.  Rachel Alexandra

9.  Glorious Song

10. Bayakoa

18 Jul 2010 4:19 PM
Kathy Kimber

Hey Peppers Pride has to be there perfect at that number is something and Bob Baffert said it best.  Its hard enough to get a horse to win one race let alone 19 or 20.  Along with Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Rage to Riches, Geniune Risk, Ruffian, Winning Colors, Azeri, Shuvee and Princess Rooney

18 Jul 2010 4:23 PM
The Rock

My Top Ten -

1. Zenyatta

2. Gallant Bloom

3. Affectionately

4. Rachel Alexandra

5. Ruffian

6. Shuvee

7. Lady's Secret

8. Princess Rooney

9. Ta Wee

10. Personal Ensign

AE: Lakeway - (Personal pick) If not for getting that infeciton who knows. Very talented filly and should've won the KY Oaks if not for Eddie D. schooling Kent D. on race riding.

18 Jul 2010 4:28 PM
ladyinsilver

My Top Ten:

Ruffian

Zenyatta

Go For Wand

Rachel Alexandra

Gallant Bloom

Shuvee

Personal Ensign

Princess Rooney

Lady's Secret

Dance Smartly

18 Jul 2010 4:30 PM
diastu

Gee, Steve - nothing like burning up brain cells and memory banks!Can't wait for the grass gals - Goldikova and Miesque go there, yes? Here's my ranking - could yield to debate on all but the top three:

1 TIE: Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta

3. Genuine Risk

4. Winning Colors

5. Personal Ensign

6. Lady's Secret

7. Princess Rooney

8. Ruffian

9. Paseana

10.Pepper's Pride

As for all the rest, if they showed up at my front door - I'd TAKE 'EM ALL!

18 Jul 2010 4:49 PM
Arem

Ruffian wins. Hands down.I don't think you can really say *any* filly is better than Ruffian because we never got see just *how* good she really was. She showed greatness in every race she every ran. I think that is grounds to call her the best. I have never seen or heard of a filly who set records like she did.

Zenyatta I would place second. IMO, she is the best since Ruffian. As much as I like her, I just can't say that she is better than Ruffian for the reason I stated above.

So for me:

Ruffian

Zenyatta

And I'll leave the rest up to you. ;)

18 Jul 2010 4:57 PM
Abbie Knowles

Wow that list brings back some memories.  As an English racing fan with a great love of American racing I will add my tuppenceworth!

1) Zenyatta!!!!! (Her achievments speak for themself!)

2) Rags to Riches (In beating Curlin and winning Belmont she earns her place. She could not help getting injured!)

3) Landaluce  (what would she have achieved had she lived!)

4) Ruffian (ditto - she would have been greater still)

5) Rachel Alexandra

6) Ladys Secret

7) Personal Ensign

8) Bayakoa

9) Lakeway (I agree with comments by Stanley Marcinkowski)

10) Peppers Pride (got to include her for sheer durability and for being undefeated in 19!)

All these horses have given me much pleasure and along with the others mentioned are regarded with great affection and thankfulness for their courage, brilliance and willingness to give their all to bring us pleasure!

God Bless

Abbie

18 Jul 2010 5:06 PM
Rachel

How 'bout that Tuscan Evening? What a year she's having!

Lady's Secret's the best filly I have ever seen.

Zenyatta SHOULD be the best horse I've ever seen, probably IS the best horse I've ever seen, but they won't risk her. She SHOULD be going for her 3rd HOY.

Rags is my favorite filly and she won the "Test of Champions" over what is considered one of the top 3-year old crops.

Rachel is the best 3-year-old filly I ever saw, doing even more than Rags.

Xtra Heat because she never avoided anyone.

18 Jul 2010 5:08 PM
GJ Ubar

I appreciate the pros and cons, but that made making this list harder for me, but I will say had it not been for the pros and cons, 3 or 4 horses would have never made my list, since I'd never heard of a couple of them. Here is my top 10, in order:

#1   ZENYATTA

#2   Ruffian

#3   Personal Ensign

#4   Affectionately

#5   Rachel Alexandra

#6   Princess Rooney

#7   Glorious Song

#8   Lady's Secret

#9   Ta Wee

#10  Gallant Bloom

I have to give honorable mentions to Genuine Risk, Rags To Riches, Landaluce and Pepper's Pride. Did I mention I thought this was really, really hard??? So many things to consider. Weight carried, what if they didn't beat males, what if they were only sprinters, what if they only ran x amount of times compared to another horse I was considering? Ugh! So hard, but a good exercise.

18 Jul 2010 5:09 PM
needler in Virginia

Zenyatta

Personal Ensign

Princess Rooney

Pepper's Pride

Azeri

Go For Wand

Bayakoa

Lady's Secret

Winning Colors

Rachel Alexandra

Thanks for the memories, ladies; we remember!

Cheers and safe trips.

18 Jul 2010 5:12 PM
Jennifer

Ranking them is hard, but I'm gonna try.  For now though, I just like seeing all their names again, with your descriptions.   Wow.  

18 Jul 2010 5:12 PM
Tracy

Rachel and Zenyatta are the current fillies.They all have a special place,but I did not see Eight Belles on the list,she was one of the top,right?Bless her soul!

18 Jul 2010 5:16 PM
JerseyBoy

Based on what they did:

1 Rags to Riches

2 Zenyatta

3 Ruffian

4 Drumtop

18 Jul 2010 5:28 PM
msasl

my top 10...

1) Zenyatta

2) Ruffian

3) Rachel Alexandra

4) Genuine Risk

5) Azeri

6) Ladys Secret

7) Personal Ensign

8) Winning Colors

9) Serena's Song

10) Princess Rooney

18 Jul 2010 5:28 PM
SuiteLife

Wow!  Steve, you really know how to shake things up... and give someone a headache trying to whittle the list down to ten, and then try to rank them.  Even though I might change my mind tomorrow, here goes:

1. Zenyatta

2. Personal Ensign

3. Ruffian

4. Bayakoa

5. Azeri

6. Paseana

7. Serena's Song

8. Rachel Alexandra

9. Inside Information

10. Go for Wand

Can't wait to look at the Girls on Grass.

On to the Spa!

18 Jul 2010 5:29 PM
Runfast159

It's a monumental task to try and rank horses that raced over a 50 year span. Many of us never saw some of these horses run.

Greatness to me is defined by grit and durability. My top mares were warriors on the track.  They shipped and they ran and they didn't duck anyone.  It's hard to find these qualities in a filly/mare.

Lady's Secret may have been the one we came to know as the "Iron Lady", but there is a small legion of mares who were iron horses in their own right. My favorites all ran over 30 times in their careers and faced males with varying success:

Gamely, Lady's Secret, Paseana, Bayakoa, Safely Kept, Serena's Song, Shuvee, Xtra Heat. Between them, an astounding 309 races and 165 victories.

It's not the traditional list of great mares most of us think about, but I prize durability.

Certainly Ruffian has her place among the greatest of racehorses,as should any horse undefeated in her first 10 starts, including the filly Triple Crown.  But how good too were Go For Wand and Landaluce whose stars were also extinguished far too early??

I also really liked Azeri (11 time GI winner), Princess Rooney (won 17/21), and Bold N Determined (16/20).  

From the "secondary list", Heavenly Prize definately deserves more than an honorable mention. Incredibly she raced in 14 grade I's winning 8 and placing in the other 6, including 2 runner up efforts in the BC Distaff and a 3rd to Cigar in the Donn. In the money in all 18 career starts, an Eclipse Award winner and earner of nearly 2 million dollars.

Where this leaves Rachel and Zenyatta is yet to be determined since they continue to race.  Certainly each of them will be near the top of any list compiled based on current achievements.

18 Jul 2010 5:29 PM
alydarstar

1- Lady´s Secret

2- Zenyatta

3- Riffian

4- Miesque

5- Inside Information

6- Shuvee

7- Rags to Riches

8- Personal Ensign

9- Ta Wee

10 Serena´s Song

18 Jul 2010 5:37 PM
Steve Haskin

Runfast, as I mentioned, the ranking is just for fun. The main purpose for this list was to serve as a reference point as to who some of the greatest fillies of the last 50 years are. I feel it's information worth saving, just as a link to the past.

18 Jul 2010 5:37 PM
2:24

Zenyatta

Personal Ensign

Ruffian

Rachel Alexandra

Lady's Secret

Bayaoka

Ta Wee

Bold N Determined

Winning Colors

Go for Wand

18 Jul 2010 5:42 PM
Footlick

I know that Dark Mirage had a poor 2 yr old year, but as a three year old and her one race as a 4 yr old she was spectacular.  If you saw her run, you know what I mean.  Numbered Account was hampered by bad legs and it took it's toll as a 3 yr old, but when she was right, like the Spinster, she still showed how devastating she was. If we are judging on the whole career, then many of these horses that we are ranking really don't qualify.  If we are judging which of these brilliant seasons was more brilliant then it is a different ballgame.  It is a judgement call whether some brilliant two year olds were more brilliant than the ones who were brilliant as 3 yr olds and then the ones who were brilliant at 4 and older.  Plus, when you are talking about running against males, how many are researching what males they ran against?  That some of these females never beat males might not matter if the males they ran against were vastly superior to the males that others beat.  For me to make a list like this I would have to do alot of research before I put my horses up.

18 Jul 2010 5:44 PM
jayjay

1.  Zenyatta

2.  Ruffian

3.  Azeri

4.  Ashado

5.  Personal Ensign

6.  Paseana

7.  Silverbulletday

8.  Winning Colors

9.  Bayakoa

10. Bold 'n Determined

Steve : I agree, this is a nice list.  The only quirk I have about the blog is that (and I understand it will probably be the norm now) the fillies, now, are subjected to facing males in order for their accomplishments to be acknowledged.  More than half of the list has "never beaten males" or "never raced against males" in their cons.  I personally don't think it is necessary that these fillies need to face males to be considered great or their accomplishments recognized.  I'm just worried that any fillies from here on forward that doesn't run against males will not be recognized for their accomplishments the way Azeri was.

18 Jul 2010 5:46 PM
Footlick

Laz-Thanks for mentioning La Prevoyante!  And Steve, thanks for including Dark Mirage who many people forget.  Also Jersey Boy-Drumtop was one of my favorites.

18 Jul 2010 5:51 PM
Kathryn

Unlike most of the people reading this blog, I do not believe that Rachel Alexandra should be mentioned in the top 5. Zenyatta deserves to be there, but she has a lot to prove while following in the hoofprints of Personal Ensign, Ruffian and others.

18 Jul 2010 5:51 PM
Footlick

jayjay- Yes, I don't think facing males shoudl really be a necessary criteria, certainly not a con.

18 Jul 2010 5:51 PM
Steve Haskin

Jayjay, I didnt feel some of the fillies should have a "none" next to Cons, so that con was included. It is not knocking a filly for not beating or racing against males as much as it is boosting the ones who did. It is merely another gauge of greatness to go by.

18 Jul 2010 5:52 PM
Kyllre

1 - Zenyatta

2 - Ruffian

3 - Personal Ensign

4 - Glorious Song

5 - Lady's Secret

6 - Bayakoa

7 - Rachel Alexandra

8 - Landaluce

9 - Gallant Bloom

10 - Winning Colors

18 Jul 2010 5:53 PM
Arlen

Steve..I thought I read you would never put Rachel and Zenyatta in a bog again..because of the fanaticism?

This is too hard a task..I will just read the com;iled results!

 

 

18 Jul 2010 5:56 PM
California son

Some of my personal favorites :

Landaluce) short-changed brilliance

Lakeway) too bad she got sick,was a monster

Melair) a freak

Gorgeous) hoof problems hindered her immensley

Rags To Riches) best 3yo of her crop,male or female-too bad

Surfside) was getting good before her injury

Fran's Valentine) always showed-up

18 Jul 2010 5:58 PM
Tribecaagent

Did I miss something?

I haven't seen Pebbles?

Not even also eligible, Steve?

18 Jul 2010 6:01 PM
Mike M

1.  Shuvee

2.  Zenyatta

3.  Personal Ensign

4.  Ta Wee

5.  Ruffian

6.  Inside Information

7. Go For Wand

8.  Serena’s Song

9.  Mom’s Command

10.  Bold ‘n Determined

18 Jul 2010 6:04 PM
John

I put Ruffian and Lady's Secret on top, 1-2. After these two, there are just too many other great ones to decide, but I've managed to name eight others in very loose ranking order and also one honorable mention:

1) Ruffian

2) Lady's Secret

3) Serena's Song

4) Shuvee

5) Princess Rooney

6) Personal Ensign

7) Genuine Risk

8) Ta Wee

9) My Juliet

10)Xtra Heat

Honorable mention: Peppers Pride.

I've left Rachel and Zenyatta off because they're still in training.

18 Jul 2010 6:12 PM
John

Steve,

This list is easy.

Zenyatta.

All other horses are far behind with perhaps Lady's Secret second.

Matter of fact both Racing International and Jon White of HRTV agree that if Zenyatta wins her remaining races including her defense of the Classic she should and will be the first female racehorse to break the glass ceiling and enter into the top ten of America's greatest thoroughbreds.

blog.racingint.com/.../zenyatta--12th-in-20th-century-american-thoroughbreds.aspx

I emphatically and enthusiastically agree!

PS - under Zenyatta's pros you forgot to mention that she broke three stakes records (BC Ladies Classic, Lady's Secret, El Encino, and broke the track record in the Hirsch) as well as beaten the winners of 45 Grade 1 races. I don't think any horse in this list can anywhere approach that statistic.

18 Jul 2010 6:13 PM
pas

A lot of greats have been mentioned, but I would also add to the also-mention list, Flanders. Since she was injured and didn't compete past her two-year-old year, I do realize her acheivements are limited. And unlike Landaluce, she didn't set records in the few races she ran in and won. But I firmly believe that had she not been injured in the running of the BCF, she would have beaten Serena's Song by daylight.

I'll never forget seeing her win her Frizette, back when they were still having Super Saturdays at Belmont. She won by 8 lengths a second faster on the same day, track, and racing conditions that Timber Country won The Champagne. And he only won by a head I believe.

She was the first filly I watched run since Ruffian that I really thought could have given her a run for her money.

18 Jul 2010 6:15 PM
Conrad Casuga

1 Lady Secret

2 My Juliet

3 Rachel Alexander

4 Glorious Song

5 Genuine Risk

6 Dance Smartly

7 Personal Ensign

8 Zenyatta

9 Safely Kept

10 Ta Wee

18 Jul 2010 6:24 PM
John

Steve,

I do have a question. Under Zenyatta's cons - you mentioned ..."and in California."

An earlier blogger mentioned 'fair is fair' and under Ruffian's cons should be mentioned all but one race in New York.

Then how about Personal Ensign - 'all but one race in New York"

or, Shuvee - 'raced all her races in New York'

or, Genuine Risk - 'all but one race in New York'

or, Desert Vixen - 'all but...

or, Davona Dale - 'all but...

Go For Wand - 'all but three...

Fair is fair.

18 Jul 2010 6:38 PM
helsbelles

1.  Zenyatta

2.  Personal Ensign

3.  Ruffian

4.  Bayakoa

5.  Genuine Risk

6.  Go For Wand

7.  Winning Colors

8.  Azeri/Paseana

9.  Rags To Riches

10. Lady's Secret

18 Jul 2010 6:40 PM
Steve Haskin

Pebbles? I dont know what it is about "Grass fillies are not included" that some people do not understand.

I have added Flanders to the also-eligibles, as well as Late Bloomer, who I forgot about.

18 Jul 2010 6:46 PM
Steve Haskin

Regarding the Zenyatta 'Con' of only racing outside California twice, the points are well taken. It wasnt fair to mention that and not mention the New York fillies who rarely left the state. I have removed that reference.

18 Jul 2010 6:49 PM
RachelAlways(formerlyMTBFan)

Really hard to choose. I don't know about 75% of the fillies on this list. :) Very new to racing.

Winning Colors had tremendous strength and was a new groundbreaker in Winning the Kentucky Derby and showing great endurance in several races. Also just a classic filly/mare.

1. Winning Colors

2. Shuvee

3. Personal Ensign

4. Lady's Secret

5. Ruffian

6. Serena's Song

7. (a "tentative" place for Zenyatta, who's career isn't over yet).

8. Princess Rooney

9. Sky Beauty

10. Rags to Riches

Y'all may be surprised that Rachel Alexandra isn't here. #1, her career isn't over. #2, she's had a beautiful 3 y/o career but a very uneven start to her 4 y/o campaign. Good luck to her of course as she's my namesake, and to all of these brilliant fillies.

18 Jul 2010 7:05 PM
Maureen

This is great, Steve. So, so many great fillies and mares where to start.

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Personal Ensign

4. Lady's Secret

5. Rachel

6. Paseana

7. Go For Wand

8. Azeri

9. Genuine Risk (she was robbed in the Preakness)

10.Serena's Song

18 Jul 2010 7:10 PM
Freetex

1.  Zenyatta

2.  Genuine Risk

3.  Ruffian

4.  Genuine Risk

5.  Rachel Alexandra

6.  Go For Wand

7.  Personal Ensign

8.  Pepper's Pride

9.  St. Trinian's  (for her courage and determination)

10.  Life Is Sweet

18 Jul 2010 7:13 PM
Marzy Dotes

Ruffian, no explanation necessary for sheer brilliance. Personal Ensign. Yeah Z is impressive but has run mostly on fake dirt.

Personal Ensign's last race is still the benchmark of the Breeders' Cup top moments.

18 Jul 2010 7:15 PM
Girlpower

Many great fillies and mares! It is sad that some careers ended in a terrible way.

1) Ruffian

2) Zenyatta

3) Azeri

4) Go For Wand

5) Princess Rooney

6) Lady's Secret

7) Rachel

8) Genuine Risk

9) Personal Ensign

10) Winning Colors

I also agree with the Peper's Pride nomination and believe Eight Belles was something special also

18 Jul 2010 7:35 PM
Judy Loves Zenyatta ~ California

To: sodapopkid

You made me smile :-)

18 Jul 2010 7:40 PM
sodapopkid

People keep saying that Zen only runs on fake stuff (synthetics).

True, most of her races have been on synthetics,  IT is not her preference but what she is aclimed to run on. She trains on a dirt track at HP when she is going to run on dirt.  Thats what makes Zenyatta so unigue and gifted like some other horses are.  They not only can win on synthetics , they run and win on dirt better.   When you have a horse that can run and win on both surfaces then you have a great horse not a good horse.

So instead of downing a horse that can transform from one surface to the other and remain winning and not losing,  Reward them and not critisize them, because they are doing what most race horses cant do and thats go from one surface to the other and keep winning on them..........

18 Jul 2010 8:05 PM
julieo.

Thank you for reminding me of how many great mares raced just in my lifetime!  I started watching racing in 1968 so I'm going from there:

1. Ruffian- won from 5 furlongs to 1 1/2 miles!  If versatility isn't enough, she set a gazillion records.

2. Zenyatta- unbeaten, wins miraculously every time against every horse who ever faced her.

3. Personal Ensign- came back from a life threatening injury to retire unbeaten.

4. Rachel Alexandria- the best 3 year old campaign ever! (though Ruffian would've taken her!)

5. Lady's Secret- as if she weren't amazing enough, her daddy was Secretariat, and she did him proud.

6.Dance Smartly- beat colts in a triple crown, beaat males in open company, then beat the best American fillies of her year, winning on dirt and turf.

7. Rags to Riches- beat Curlin in the Besmont, going eye to eye with him.  Fillies don't beat males at 1 1/2 miles at Gr. 1 events! (Ruffian's time for the CCA Oaks did beat Avatar's time for 1975 Belmont)  If she'd not been injured, could she have beaten Curlin in the BC Classic?

8. Gamely- was the best mare in a really rough division from "67 to "69, and never quit, even when beaten.  Faced the males numerous times, carried real weight and gave tons away.  Beat Politely, Princessnesian, and Amerigo Lady.

9. Dark Mirage- teeny little filly with crappy pedigree who totally dominated the competition. Won, what, 9 consecutive races and beat the best older mares at weight for age.

10. Ta Wee- strictly a sprinter but beat males regularly while carrying gobs of weight. Pony sized filly, won 2 sprint championships when the division was open.

18 Jul 2010 8:06 PM
Mara

If either Rachel or Zen (love them both) had to go up against Shuvee, Ta Wee, or Gallant Bloom with the kind of weights those ladies shouldered, under the sort of racing/training schedule they had, they'd be soundly beaten.

I know this ranking's just for fun, but those three are head, neck, and shoulders above what's on the track today.

18 Jul 2010 8:14 PM
ZenZen

I like sodapopkid's list the best.

18 Jul 2010 8:17 PM
Afleet Alexandra

I know they're not eligible for the list, but my firm belief is that the best fillies were Busher and Twilight Tear. Just my opinion, but they were amazing!

Okay, the actual list is as follows:

1. Rachel Alexandra (I find no fault with anything she's done. She had reasonable excuses for the last two defeats, and besides, it wasn't like she got beat by a mile. It was a pair of very narrow seconds to a pair of nice mares.)

2. Peppers Pride (perfect is perfect. And she holds the record for the most consecutive wins, don't let anyone tell you different)

3. Ruffian (The legend herself. Simply rating on what she actually did, I put her third. Rating on what she might have done, first)

4. Personal Ensign (Again, perfect is perfect. And she showed the boys her rump. Her BC Distaff is simply the greatest BC performance I've ever seen)

5. Winning Colors (A lady in the Derby is a special thing. A lady winning the Derby is even better!)

6. Lady's Secret (The "Iron Lady" herself. She showed that she wasn't afraid to get down and run with the boys.)

7. Azeri (Just a nice filly with 11 stakes wins, a HOTY title, and a BC win)

8. Chris Evert (I mean, first filly Triple? Better believe she's on the list.)

9. Go For Wand (who knows what might have been? Alas, we'll just let her record stand for itself)

10. Zenyatta (yep, she's at the bottom. 17 straight is impressive, but almost all of them were at the same place, and on synthetic. If dirt was good enough for everone else, dirt should be good enough for her. Can't in good sense place her any higher than this)

Anyways, just my opinion. Have fun with the list, guys.

18 Jul 2010 8:21 PM
Certain Pride

1. ZENYATTA

2. Ruffian

3. Personal Ensign

4. Genuine Risk

5. Winning Colors

6. Dance Smartly

7. Azeri

8. Go For Wand

9. Serena's Song

10. Ta Wee

* Note:

If Zenyatta does win the Breeders Cup Classic again, against a stellar field including Quality Road, then I cannot imagine anyone putting Ruffian or any other filly above her.

18 Jul 2010 8:25 PM
Sam

Never really considered how difficult it would be to come up with a top ten list of this caliber.  Kudos, Mr. Haskin.  Can't wait to see what you come up with.

I actually have two separate lists with little overlap.  One of personal favourites and one of what I feel really were the best of the best.  The ones that, without the BS caveat of "best filly/mare" or nonsensical dismissals of "never faced males" and "never won passed 7 furlongs", epitomized RACEHORSE.  Who went out time and again and threw it all on the line and even when they got beat, it was an honourable loss.

The best of the best (in order, and man was that hard):

Shuvee

Ruffian

Davona Dale

Paseana

Bayakoa

Ta Wee

Lady's Secret

Rachel Alexandra

Dance Smartly

Personal Ensign

My personal list of ten in order (much easier :^):

Winning Colors

Dance Smartly

Lady's Secret

Safely Kept

Very Subtle

Meafara

Melair

One Dreamer

Bayakoa

Gorgeous

18 Jul 2010 8:26 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I can't figure out why nobody has mentioned Tuesday Weld and Natalie Wood. I believe The Wood Memorial was named after her.

18 Jul 2010 8:27 PM
tvnewsbadge

*Sigh* Of course we have to leave out Zarkava, perhaps the greatest filly of this young century anyway.

Understandable that we want to limit the concept of "greatness" to American tracks, but still we can hardly claim that any such list really DOES represent the "Best Fillies of the Past 50 Years" when truly great animals like Zarkava are automatically excluded.

18 Jul 2010 8:32 PM
Charmed By Silver

-Ruffian

-Zenyatta

-Rachel Alexandra

-Go For Wand

-Bayokoa

- Personal Ensign

-Genuine Rish

- Lady's Secret

18 Jul 2010 8:34 PM
John T

Your list of great fillies over the last 50 years are of course very worthy and rather argue which order to put them in we should be very grateful for each and everyone of them for the the great moments in racing they givem us.Some notables that were not mentioned that come to mind are Love Sign who won the Beldame twice, the second time with 123 pounds.I always thought the 1971 Canadian Oaks winner Lauries Dancer never got the credit she deserved as she went on to win the Alabama,and the Delaware Oaks,and we will never know were the likes of the 1962 winner of the Queen,s Plate and Canadian Oaks winner Flaming Page fits in with all this,

but we certainly our very grateful

that she went on to produce the last winner of the English Triple Crown,Nijinsky.So for all the great fillies over the last 50  years that you did mention and all that were not mentioned ''Thanks For The Memories'' As I am an even bigger fan of turf racing I am certainly looking forward to your picks of great fillies over the last 50 years in that catergory.

18 Jul 2010 8:36 PM
Sammi P

Very talented group of fillies/mares and, for me, Zenyatta clearly towers over the rest of them (well Ruffian would have given her a good run).

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Personal Ensign

4. Azeri

5. Go For Wand

6. Ladys Secret

7. Rachel Alexandra

8. Inside Information

9. Winnign Colors

10. Rags to Riches

18 Jul 2010 8:37 PM
pfun

1) Zenyatta

2) Ruffian

3) Landaluce

4) Rags to Riches

5) Personal Ensign

6) Go For Wand

7) Azeri

8) Ta Wee

9) Genuine Risk

10) Peppers Pride

18 Jul 2010 8:39 PM
Draynay

You have to question what people are thinking when they place Ruffian in front of Rachel Alexandra.  Ruffian was a one dimensional horse that males would have run into the ground again and again.  Rachel is clearly ahead of any list being undefeated against males.  Zenyatta runs mainly on a specialty surface so you can't place her with the top horses that beat males on DIRT.

18 Jul 2010 8:41 PM
sceptre

From Memory, six ( 1 in 19) from this group never made it to the breeding shed-La Prevoyante, Ruffian, Go For Wand, Dark Mirage, Lamb Chop, and Landaluce...Light Hearted should be accorded honorable mention status.

18 Jul 2010 8:44 PM
Sammi P

A couple fillies who have a good chance of joining this list- Devil May Care and Blind Luck, but they both have some more proving to do, a lot more proving to do.

18 Jul 2010 8:46 PM
sodapopkid

Drunk,   I sure hope Natalie Wood the horse didnt end up like Natalie Wood the actress (fell of a yacht)

So, did this horse belong to the late actress Natalie Wood?  or does anyone know....Or maybe this horse was named after her?

Steve Haskin, Do you know?  

18 Jul 2010 8:57 PM
Steve Haskin

Tvnewsbadge, when you make up your own list, and have space for 8,000 words and feel you can compare European grass fillies to American dirt fillies, feel free to do so. If I listed 75 more American grass fillies and 75 European grass fillies, someone would complain why I dont have any Japanese or South American fillies.

18 Jul 2010 8:58 PM
Rita

My favorites are 1.Zenyatta 2.Lady's Secret 3.Rachel Alexandra 4.Ruffian 5.Personal Ensign 6.Go for Wand 7.Princess Rooney 8.Ta Wee 9.Shuvee and tie for 10.Genuine Risk and Azeri. There are so many great ones from the past when horses raced more races and they were just stronger. Where as the ones of today are very lightly raced. They are few and far between.Look at Ta Wee carried 142 pounds even RA and Zen could not do that.How about Straight Deal raced 99 times Lost 78 wow!! I can only imagine.

18 Jul 2010 8:59 PM
Dog Doc

Wow!

We've had some really good fillies in the past half century. There are several things that still have me in awe of Ruffian. If the books and videos of her races are to be believed, not only was she never pushed by the jocky, she wasn't even allowed to fully extend. Claims are made that she never finished a race breathing hard, and she never broke a sweat until she broke her leg. She played with many of the other horses, letting some get up kind of close, then she would just accelerate away from them. Absolutely amazing.

I truely believe that she would have won the triple crown had she run with the boys.

I need a fix; I'm going to go watch her races again.

18 Jul 2010 9:01 PM
Mike in SB

I haven't been lucky enough to see a lot of these great horses, I started going to the races in 1980, but here is my top ten favorites.

Zenyatta

Personal Ensign

Lady's Secret

Azeri

Princess Rooney

Dance Smartly

Bayakoa

Go for Wand

Paseana

Winning Colors

I haven't got to see Rachel yet, I hope to see her in the Personal Ensign or the Breeders Cup.

18 Jul 2010 9:03 PM
Diego

Is really a very dificult situation to put the best 10 in order, I will make a list simpky with my best 10...

BAYAKOA

LADY'S SECRET

PERSONAL ENSIGN

ZENYATTA

RUFFIAN

WINNING COLORS

SERENA'S SONG

PASEANA

CHRIS EVERT

SHUVEE

18 Jul 2010 9:06 PM
Cris

1. Genuine Risk

2. Zenyatta

3. Rags To Riches/Ruffian

4. Moccasin

5. Desert Vixen/Rachel Alexandria

6. Azeri

7. Caesar's Wish

8. Personal Ensign

9. Winning Colors

10. Affectionately

What is so hard about a top ten is it is only a spot for ten. I do not know how I missed Lakeway, but I do not recall the horse so I can't list. Genuine Risk lived a long life in Virginia and had several stories written about her locally in her old age. For those too young to remember Moccasin was as physically impressive as any horse I have ever seen. Caesar's Wish was so talented and had her life not been cut short she could have been higher on the list.

18 Jul 2010 9:09 PM
sceptre

Rather, Draynay, you have to wonder what you are drinking to make such statements...Recall that the "one-dimensional" Ruffian somehow managed to win a Coaching Club American Oaks. Yes, Rachel is indeed undefeated against males. Fact is, though, that most, if not all the females on these lists defeated females which were superior to any of Rachel's male opponents.

18 Jul 2010 9:12 PM
Dog Doc

Draynay,

You are completely correct that Ruffian was a one dimensional horse. She was always in front. I guess that's a pretty good dimension to be in when you cross the wire.

18 Jul 2010 9:14 PM
Dog Doc

Hey,

Where are the turf, Japanese, and South American fillies?

18 Jul 2010 9:16 PM
Rick

Great post Steve. It's a shame a lot of these fillies on this list

we just forget about. Here's my top 10.

1.  Ruffian

2.  Personal Ensign

3.  Lady's Secret

4.  Zenyatta

5.  Shuvee

6.  Genuine Risk

7.  Ta Wee

8.  My Juliet

9.  Rachel Alexandra

10. Azeri

18 Jul 2010 9:16 PM
Tom Vinci

What about Melair?

18 Jul 2010 9:19 PM
hejoso

Steve,

Thanks for your extensive analysis of such a worthy bunch of fillies and mares over my lifetime(!).  Here is my top ten in reverse order:

10.  Inside Information -- possibly the most underrated great filly.

9.  Azeri -- pretty dominant in HOY season; her competition a bit suspect compared with past generations.

8.  Lady's Secret -- an iron horse at 3 and 4; don't think she faced truly great competition among her gender, and lost against best males.

7.  Bayakoa -- really a tough mare; saw her in person run away with Spinster against some good ones.

6.  Zenyatta -- undefeated BCC winner can't be ignored when listing great ones.

5.  Shuvee -- filly TC, 2 JCGC's (though against suspect comp) showed quality and durability in "older days".

4.  Princess Rooney -- another one that has kind of fallen through the cracks; a look at the record shows how truly outstanding she was.

3.  Go For Wand -- inexplicably lost Ky Oaks, but truly dominant in other races.  Tragedy in BC Distaff marred potentially classic duel w/Bayakoa.

2.  Ruffian -- the legend outraces the cold numbers, but she shone so brightly.

1.  Personal Ensign -- kind of concerned about relatively short, interrupted career.  However, came through against tough comp in BC Distaff when all seemed lost.

18 Jul 2010 9:27 PM
Draynay

Afleet Alexandra you are the only one with a honest list.  Well done.

18 Jul 2010 9:29 PM
txhorsefan

What a wonderful list you have put together, Steve.  The only thing that would have helped me a little more is if the dates of their accomplishments had been included because I have to admit that I'm so late to following this racing game that I did not see or hear of most of them until the intense reading and learning I've been trying to do the last several years.  There are so many accomplished mares that stand out, I would find it extremely hard to compile a list of ten, but I do think those who showed the grit to compete in stakes races at the top level, whether or not they ran against the colts, have to take a higher level rating than some others

.  The weight that Affectionately carried blew me away, as did Bayakoa's 12 grade 1 wins, but then Lady's Secret's record shows she was no slouch either.  What an incredible group of fillies and mares!  The fact that so many of them had so many starts and at least tried so many races sort of puts a different perspective on Personal Ensign's record, although I believe one of the most amazing things about her is that she was undefeated in her thirteen races after surgery for a broken leg, so you have to give her credit for that kind of comeback.  In other words, wow, there's just no way I could put these in any kind of reasonable order not knowing more about them or having seen them run, but I do thank you for presenting them in this article and allowing us to comment so we can learn and reflect on our current stars who are not diminished in my eyes even in this great company.  Thank you!

Celeste

txhorsefan

18 Jul 2010 9:30 PM
Annette

What about MEGAHERTZ? tiny yes, but TOUGH! She really should be there :)

18 Jul 2010 9:33 PM
Rita

Draynay I remember the day Ruffian died it was on t.v. and radio and all other communications of the 70's. Everybody loved her. They tried to save her all night but she would not leave the bandages alone and not having the meds of today to calm her they chose to put her down. Everyone,everywhere was crying she meant something to people back then everyone knew her.It can't be explained how everyone felt about her she was great. Just the same as you think of Rachel. Different horses different era one of the best.

18 Jul 2010 9:40 PM
LAZMANNICK

John T:

Flaming Page doesn’t belong on this list for her racing record, but as a producer she was first rate.  Believe it or not, I have some of her past performances from her two year old year into her three year old year.  She won 4 or 16 starts, breaking her maiden in the Shady Well stakes at two, winning an allowance at Aqueduct at three, the Canadian Oaks and the Queen’s Plate against males.  She also finished 2nd to Cicada in the Kentucky Oaks and was 4th in another stake to that one.  She was a Blue Hen type producer with three foals…..the immortal Nijinsky, English Triple Crown winner, Minsky, which would be a top sire in Japan and Fleur, dam of The Minstrel, winner of 4 group One’s in Europe including the King George the Sixth & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and sire of Opening Verse, the 1991 BC Turf Mile winner.

18 Jul 2010 9:40 PM
Tony

My list, and I will defend what everyone thinks is a glaring omission after:

Rachel Alexandra

Winning Colors

Personal Ensign

Genuine Risk

Shuvee

Ruffian

Lady's Secret

Bayakoa

Azeri

Paseana

So, I bet you're wondering: where's Zenyatta?  As far as I'm concerned, when she races outside of California, and the horses she beats aren't just career allowance horses they rounded up so that she could "win big", and when she doesn't race against the boys on her home track on a plastic surface, and barely beat a crop of them off their best form, I'll gladly put her on the list.  

In other words, face Quality Road or Rachel or anyone with stronger credentials than last year on a neutral dirt track, and then we'll talk.  It's not greatness if they don't do anything truly great, and no, the Classic, much credit as she does deserve to win it, does not count.

18 Jul 2010 9:41 PM
LDP

Hard to rate objectively, since I haven't seen many of these horses, but I tried my best.

1.) Lady's Secret- Was campaigned like a champion. Ran everywhere in everything.

2.) Genuine Risk- 1, 2, 2 in the TC will not be duplicated for a long time, but any horse. It's hard enough for today's best colts to race in all three let alone never finish worse than second in all three.

3.) Shuvee- Was great for not just one or two years but four and raced against the best for just as long.

4.) Ta Wee- Any horse that can carry weight like she did and still win like she did has my respect.

5.) Rachel Alexandra- I would love to rate her higher, but for one her career isn't over and she did start off with 2 loss this year. However, she has the best campaign of any modern day filly. Her whole entire year was about making history.

6.) Ruffian- I know, I can't believe I rated her this low either. The fact that she never got the chance to show her real ability is not her fault, but she still did not accomplish near the things others ahead of her. Her brilliance is well known as is her dominance. That is what put her on this list.

7.) Azeri- Quick as a whip and so amazingly brilliant and consistent. When you are good enough to get a HOTY, it's hard not to put you on the list.

8.) Zenyatta- Please don't kill me. She is unbeaten and I respect that, espcially since she does it from behind. Like others I think she would not be perfection w/ a harder campaign. When she has been as great as she is for how long she has been I think she should be facing better. She passed up this years Gold Cup and the 08 Classic. Her never ending cycle of the same female Cali races is puzzling.

9.) Xtra Heat- I don't care if she is only a sprinter. She took on males on racing's two biggest venues the BC and Dubai and did not humiliate herself one little bit.

10.) Princess Rooney- One tough dominating filly. When you constantly blow your competition out of the water your bound to earn some respect.

18 Jul 2010 10:00 PM
RAF

Ruffian will always be number one, hand down. She is the standard upon which they will all be measured.

18 Jul 2010 10:10 PM
Darkie's Doll

Zenyatta

Ruffian

Personal Ensign

Pick any order you prefer!

Then a dead heat for Rags, Winning Colors, Azeri, Serena's Song and Rachel. Thanks so much for reminding us of the many great fillies and mares we've been previliged to see over the years!

18 Jul 2010 10:11 PM
Susan

I noted the exclusion of the grass

ladies in your intro, otherwise Miesque goes straight up after Zenyatta on my list. My memory goes back a long way. Like the first commenter, I would think long & hard about the ladies of the 40's/50's in any "greats" list. And in that spirit, no distaff runner that ever raced was better than Gallorette. Anyhow, my

"last 50 years" list:

1. Zenyatta

2. Personal Ensign

3. Ruffian

4. Go For Wand

5. Ta Wee

6. Rachel Alexandra

7. Affectionately

8. Gallant Bloom

9. Serena's Song

10.TIE: Lady's Secret/Desert Vixen

I totally agree with Chris' comment

about Ta Wee. She was blazing fast,

set records, carried weight that

no horse nowadays even gets asked

to carry. She was Dr. Fager's half

sister; the whole darn family was

fast. She had no quit in her when

she left the track either: dam of 4

stakes winners including Great Above, the sire of Holy Bull. Except for the aforementioned Miesque, they broke the mold with

this one.

18 Jul 2010 10:14 PM
Bill Daly

Great list, Steve.  Can't argue with any of the distaffers you mentioned.  I had forgotten just how impressive a lot of these fillies and mares were.  One that I cannot forget is Shuvee and her ability to witn the Jockey Club Gold Cup when it was run at 2 miles. She carried a lot of weight and carried it a long way.  I never saw Gallant Bloom race, but her record against Shuvee speaks for itself.  Those horses were tough as nails and didn't duck anybody.

18 Jul 2010 10:19 PM
Susan R

The toughest part of this was figuring out in what order to rank my top 10!

1.  Zenyatta

2.  Rachel Alexandra

3.  Lady's Secret

4.  Ruffian

5.  Shuvee

6.  Personal Ensign

7.  Serena's Song

8.  Genuine Risk

9.  Rags to Riches

10. Princess Rooney

18 Jul 2010 10:21 PM
arlissholmes

1.  Zenyatta

2.  Paseana

3.  Bayakoa

4.  Azeri

5.  Peronal Ensign

6.  Ruffian

7.  Lady's Secret

8.  Genuine Risk

9.  Go For Wand

10. Serena's Song

18 Jul 2010 10:28 PM
Paul

1 - Lady's Secret

2 - Zenyatta

3 - Rachel Alexandra

4 - Gamely

5 - Azeri

6 - Genuine Risk

7 - Serena's Song

8 - Shuvee

9 - Winning Colors

10- Princessnesian (Won the Hollywood Gold Cup when it actually meant something.)

18 Jul 2010 10:33 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Why don't you have any fillies from Timbuktu?  Soda Pop-Natalie Wood was a New Zealand bred born in 1999. Tuesday Weld was on The Dobie Gillis Show and was a guest star on numerous TV shows. So far no horse named after her as far as I know. She will be in the stable of horses named in honor of Steve Haskin if I ever get the chance to have a stable. As far as Natalie Wood the person is concerned-Are you sure she FELL off? It would be a shocker if the horse wasn't named after the actress.

18 Jul 2010 10:38 PM
Footlick

Mr Haskin- It was brave of you for even making the list, knowing what might happen and knowing that there are so many you could have names.  Thanks for taking the time to do so.  I love all the memories that the older horses brought back to me, especially Straight Deal and Old Hat, both who I believe saw run at Arlington Parkas well as Tosmah.  I couldn't pick just 10.  You could justify picking so many of them for different reasons.

18 Jul 2010 10:39 PM
stevebiscuit

1) Zenyatta

2) Lady's Secret

3) Bayakoa

4) Azeri

5) Go For Wand

6) Paseana

7) Personal Ensign

8) Sky Beauty

9) Rags To Riches

10) Rachel Alexandra

18 Jul 2010 10:48 PM
Secretariat

1) Zenyatta

2) Ruffian

3) Landaluce

4) Busher

5) Two Lea

6) Personal Ensign

7) Azeri

8) Bayakoa

9) Lady's Secret

10) Ta Wee

Note: Gamely would be next on the list

18 Jul 2010 10:54 PM
Footlick

I have to mention Typecast and Convenience also because they were rather salty mares.  And they both were running out West when Turkish Trousers was also. That must have been an exciting trio to watch!

18 Jul 2010 10:55 PM
Paula Higgins

Amen Steve. Well said. *Sigh* Steve stated in  the body of the article grass horses were not included on this list. They will come later.

18 Jul 2010 10:55 PM
LEE

Undefeated horses will have cons the day they start entering themselves into races.

18 Jul 2010 10:57 PM
Carolyn in ND

Thanks to you, Steve, for the info on all these wonderful ladies!  Been some great ones & it ain't over yet!  

18 Jul 2010 10:58 PM
Jim P

Sorry, Steve, I had to cheat. Had Zarkava raced on US soil I’d put her #1:

1. Pebbles

2. Zenyatta

3. Ouija Board

4. Rags to Riches

5. Rachel Alexandra

6. Dance Smartly

7. Genuine Risk

8. Ruffian

9. Personal Ensign

10. Azeri

11. Princess Rooney

12. Ta Wee

18 Jul 2010 11:02 PM
Paula Higgins

All the lists are honest for goodness sakes. People are entitled to their viewpoints and perspectives. ITA with those that have Pepper's Pride on their lists. She is most deserving. A win is a win is a win-all 19 times. All the horses on these lists are simply amazing and real gifts.

Dog Doc, loved your comment about Ruffian being one dimensional, as in, always in the lead. Yoy go Doc!

18 Jul 2010 11:05 PM
Footlick

I also think Inside Information is rather underrated, as is Mom's Command, who could sprint as well as win at 10 and 12 furlongs.

18 Jul 2010 11:09 PM
Willie

1.Ruffian

2.Zenyatta

3.Personal Ensign

4.Rachel Alexandra

5.Dance Smartly

6.Go For Wand

7.Ladys Secret

8.Althea

9.Genuine Risk

10.Bayakoa

18 Jul 2010 11:10 PM
Kit J

I think this was a thoughtful and probably very time consuming process.

To question why anyone likes a particular filly or mare? It's personal choice. Whatever they've accomplished is very difficult to compare across the ages, Steve did an admirable job of breaking it down as to his reasons. Some of these females are unfamilar to a lot of the younger posters but it's thought provoking for us oldsters and stirs up memories of why WE PERSONALLY loved our top ten. As I said, it's just too difficult to compare their performances because the competition was so different, their accomplishments so unique.

That being said here are my favorites and I do have personal reasons for loving each of them.

1. Winning Colors

2  Lady's Secret

3  Genuine Risk

4 Landaluce

5 Zenyatta

6 Ruffian

7. Go For Wand

8 Azeri

9 Serena's Song

10 Ta Wee

All that Steve mentioned are my honorable mentions.

18 Jul 2010 11:10 PM
josha1706

Zenyatta

Ruffian

Personal ensign

Lady's secret

Rachel alexandra

Azeri

Go for wand

Rags to riches

Bayoka

Shuvee

Genuine Risk

18 Jul 2010 11:14 PM
Jackeen

I guess you really only counted North American fillies/mares  F/M run against "the boys"consistantly in Europe & Australia winning the Prix delArc Melbourne Cup and many other prestigous races overseas !

18 Jul 2010 11:17 PM
Footlick

Everyone- nobody loves European fillies as much as I do- well, maybe some- but this is not a list for them nor is it a list for grass fillies in N/A.  OK??????

And I agree with Paula, everybody's list is legitimate and honest.  All we have are our opinions on who are the top ranked.  As I said, I would really have to dig in and look at the fields and the other horses running at the same time to really do a list justice.  I just don't have that time right now.

18 Jul 2010 11:34 PM
Cindy

REGRET that no one mentioned Regret

Hard to prioritize this list with the exception of Ruffian truly the greatest.

Ruffian

Rachael

Zenyatta

Regret

Rags to Riches

Shuvee

Personal Ensign

Cicada

Genuine Risk

Ladys Secret

Winning Colors

18 Jul 2010 11:42 PM
Rondo

Wow, what an eye opening list of filly and mare accomplishments. If "Z" wins another Breeder Cup race at the Downs on dirt she heads the list of horse's of both sexes. Until then...there are others in the discussion for sure.

18 Jul 2010 11:50 PM
GJ Ubar

Oooh, I forgot about Melair! Good one, Tom V. Geez, that might mean I'd have to knock off another filly for Melair.

18 Jul 2010 11:52 PM
John T

Lazmanick

 Flaming Page does indeed belong

with this list as any filly who has been able to pull off the Canadian Oaks/Queen,s Plate double should.Another filly who pulled off

the same double,La Lorngnette also belongs on that list and she also went on to produce a top class colt in Hawk Wing who is without question one of the best winners of the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in the long history of that race.

18 Jul 2010 11:54 PM
Linda / Maryland

#1. Ruffian

#2.a Rachel Alexandra

#2.b Zenyatta

#3. Personal Ensign

#4. Lady's Secret

#5. Genuine Risk

#6. Shuvee

#7. Azeri

#8. Rags to Riches

#9. Winning Colors

There are my Top Ten.

19 Jul 2010 12:02 AM
KURT

im middle aged so ive seen bout half these ladys and while im biased to ZEN, after that its a crapshoot so

1-zenyatta

2-ladys secret

3-ruffian

4-genuine risk

5-bayakoa

6-paseana

7-landaluce--what might have been

8-go for wand-see above

9-glorious song-she pushed"the bid"

10-azeri

cant wait for the turf girls

19 Jul 2010 12:11 AM
Robyn

1. Ruffian

That's my list.

19 Jul 2010 12:11 AM
apindyswain

Where is ITS IN THE AIR on this list?

19 Jul 2010 12:15 AM
apindyswain

whoops, just mentioned its in the air and submitted - meant to ask about WAYA /  PEARL NECKLACE  ....and in a goofy mention, Phipp's HIGHEST REGARD for her great win over Tartan Stable's TAX HOLIDY in a Belmont battle of titanic stables

19 Jul 2010 12:19 AM
Mary E

Difficult, but here's a go at it:

1. Lady's Secret

2. Genuine Risk

3. Rachel Alexandra

4. Personal Ensign

5. Winning Colors

6. Rags to Riches

7. Azeri

8. Ruffian (we'll never know how good she was)

9. Go For Wand (same as Ruffian)

10. Bayakoa

Impossible to rate the great fillies pre-1980 for me, as I never saw them compete.  But it's great to know more about them.

Thanks for doing this.

19 Jul 2010 12:25 AM
Miss Woodford

*Honorable Mention: Sweet Honey (DR)-not going to put a horse from the freaking Dominican Republic on this list, but winning 47 of 57 starts vs. her country's top handicap males, winning the DR Triple Crown, etc. deserves a little recognition. All on dirt.

*Honorable Mention:Defensora (PR)-yes, Puerto Rican. Her current record stands at 33 starts, 27 wins, 3 places and two shows-this includes an 18-race win streak. She was Puerto Rican HOTY in 2007 (as a 2yo!) and 2008, and despite having a shortened 2009 season she still won Champion Older Mare. She has beaten males and imported horses several times, set a track record at 1 3/16 miles but is equally good in sprints, and is still going strong at age 5.

Okay, here's the real list:

10.Genuine Risk

9.Personal Ensign

8.Ruffian

7.Ta Wee

6.Affectionately

5.Gallant Bloom

4.Bayakoa

3.Shuvee

2.Zenyatta

1.Lady's Secret

19 Jul 2010 12:25 AM
Joe

1-zenyatta

2-ruffian

3-rachel alexandra

4-personal ensign

5-heanably prize

6-davona dale

7-ginger punch

8-genuine risk

9-go for wand

10-azeri

19 Jul 2010 12:38 AM
Max

1. Zenyatta (easily the greatest

            female racehorse of

            all time)

2. Lady's Secret

3. Ruffian

4. Susan's Girl

5. Personal Ensign

19 Jul 2010 12:52 AM
Dave Johnson

1) Zenyatta

2) Ruffian

3) Landaluce

4) Busher

5) Twilight Tear

5) Two Lea

6) Personal Ensign

7) Azeri

8) Bayakoa

9) Lady's Secret

19 Jul 2010 12:58 AM
Kurt Kavanagh

1. Personal Ensign

2. Gamely

3. Cicada

4. Affectionately

5. Shuvee

6. Bayakoa

7. Ruffian

8. Azari

9. Gallent Bloom

10. Paseana

11. Go For Wand

12. Rachel Alexandra

13. Zenyatta

19 Jul 2010 1:01 AM
BluegrassProf

Respectfully, I'd suggest adding the lack of both travel and substantive racing before age 4 to Zenyatta's "con" list (particularly since the hyperbole tends to favor the Zenster over other extraordinary athletes on this list)...

19 Jul 2010 1:02 AM
Frank T.

1) Zenyatta

2) Busher

3) Twilight Tear

4) Shuvee

5) Landaluce

6) Ruffian

7) Personal Ensign

8) Lady's Secret

9) Azeri

10) Bayakoa

19 Jul 2010 1:12 AM
LAZMANNICK

I’m amazed, but not really surprised at how many have rated Zenyatta as number one, and if not number one then number two or in the top three.  For many, defeating males is a requisite and many of the horses on Mr. Haskin’s list have defeated the toughest or at least among the toughest males of their time.  IMO Zenyatta and Rags to Riches without question are on the top of the select group of fillies or mares that have done that (non-turf) this decade.

My number one is RUFFIAN…..Andrew Beyer stated that Laughing Bridge and Hot N Nasty, two of the fillies Ruffian defeated in her 2 y-o year, would have been champion fillies in any other year.  Ruffian never defeated males, but Beyer was also convinced that Laughing Bridge, the winner of two stakes during the summer of ’74 at Saratoga, would have easily defeated colts in the Hopeful if they would have entered her in that race (run in split divisions and which included Foolish Pleasure, winner of one of the divisions) instead of facing the herculean task of trying to defeat Ruffian in the Spinaway.  Instead they decided to take on Ruffian and were crushed by 13 lengths in the second fastest 6F (1.08.3) ever run at Saratoga up to that time (Spanish Riddle 1.08 flat).  The irony is that Ruffian would face this same Foolish Pleasure in the ill-fated match race, the Foolish Pleasure he was so convinced that Laughing Bridge would have defeated and the same Foolish Pleasure that once defeated the great Forego.  That is one reason why Ruffian is number one on my list, that and the fact that she was never headed at any call, set stakes and track records and won her races by a combined 83 lengths, extremely difficult to do as a front runner with blazing speed.  Would she have defeated males…..I’m thoroughly convinced that she would have.  And for those that still might have doubts that Ruffian would compete against older fillies and mares, let Me Linger, a distant 3rd in the 1-1/2M CCA Oaks 12 lengths behind Ruffian, later that year defeated Susan’s Girl, the 1975 older female champ and Hall of Famer by almost 4 lengths in the Maskette Hdcp.

ZENYATTA is number two and still has a chance to be elevated to number one status provided she finishes the year undefeated and/or defeats males in the BCC.  Even though she is six and must be starting to feel the rigors of old age she is still in remarkable shape.  I think she can win the BCC this year and if she does hopefully that will silence her critics.  Also, if she does win the BCC it just might be the first time that a filly or mare has defeated the top eclipse award winning handicap males two years in a row.  I have yet to see where this has been accomplished by a filly or mare in the past 50 years.

The others on my list speak for themselves…3. PERSONAL ENSIGN (undefeated – Hall of fame- Whitney winner against an eventual BC winner and a BC winner herself.)…..4. SHUVEE (A Hall of Famer and multiple champion and even though she lost 28 times, her career is unprecedented by her two victories in the JCGC at 2-miles versus males)…..5. TOSMAH (champion 2-3 and older filly when defeating all the tough fillies and mares of the day and voted into the Hall of Fame; defeated males three times in stakes races including the ’65 Derby winner Lucky Debonair and finished ahead of Bold Bidder when 2nd in another)…..6. GALLANT BLOOM (Another 2-3 and older filly champ, in the Hall of Fame, defeated Shuvee and Gamely both champs and in the HOF)…..7. GAMELY (3 y-o fily champ, older filly champ twice and in the Hall of Fame, won carrying 130, 131 and 132 lbs.)…..8. TA WEE (the greatest weight carrier of all on the list when shouldering 140 and 142 lbs. in her final two starts, the Fall High Weight and the Interborough Hdcp.  She also carried 130 to 136 lbs. 6 times winning 4 of those races and finishing 2nd in the other two.  She also faced males 4 times and won three of those including the 140 lb. Fall Highweight)……9. GO FOR WAND (Her career tragically cut short, 2 and 3 y-o filly champ, Juvenile BC Filly winner and voted into the Hall of Fame……10. LADY’S SECRET (The Iron Lady, multiple champion and HOY she was 1 for 6 against males winning the Whitney.  My cons though were, 20 losses and included in them 7 losses at .80 cents on the dollar or less including 3 times at .40 cents on the dollar and twice at .30 cents on the dollar).

19 Jul 2010 1:28 AM
Ranagulzion

COLDFACTS (my friend),

Genuine Risk was as tough as nails in her generation but it is very doubtful that she or any of the colts of that crop could finish within three lengths of an in-form Rachel Alexandra (from 9.5 - 12 Furlongs).  Toughness is very good but class is class.

My top ten (in no particular order until after this year's Breeder's Cup): Inside Information, Personal Ensign, Go For Wand, Lady's Secret, Princess Rooney, Galant Bloom,  Zenyatta, Azeri, Ruffian, Rachel Alexandra.

19 Jul 2010 1:28 AM
predict

I know she didn't race in the last 50 years, but it's really only in the last half century or so that they really have had races that featured the female of the species. Before that if a female was to race and excel , she had to do it against the males. If I had to name one that possibly was the greatest of all time, I would say Gallorette. Sure she doesn't meet the criteria of the last 50 years, but she raced in the 40's and retired with $445,535 in winnings (quite a sum for the times), with a record of 21 wins, 20 places and 13 shows from an amazing 72 starts.

I only wish I could have seen such a horse. One of her rivals of the time was a male named, Stymie, who retired with $918,485 in earnings from 131 starts with a record of 35 wins, 33 places, and 28 shows. Some of the accomplishments of those we find on a list of the top ten females of the last 50 years seem  to pale when compared to thoroughbreds of the past. But, it is still amazing to look back at these great girls of the last 50 years, thank-you for reminding us.

19 Jul 2010 2:02 AM
gary

1. Ruffian

2. Zenyatta

3. Princes Rooney

4. Genuine Risk

4b. Personal Ensign

6. Rachel Alexandra

7. Winning Colors

8. Go For Wand

9. Azeri

10. Lady's Secret

Special HM...Eight Belles..Can't make this list but IMO had the chance to be special. Her effort in the derby was special.

19 Jul 2010 2:04 AM
Deacon

This took some serious thought. In the end my head and my heart say that Ruffian was the best filly of all time. No disrespect to anyone's choices. It's just pretty much about emotional choices after Ruffian. In no particluar order.

2. Zenyatta

3. Lady's Secret

4. Rags To Riches

5. Personal Ensign

6. Winning Colors

7. Rachel Alexandra

8. Gamely

9. Numbered account

10. Go For Wand

19 Jul 2010 2:38 AM
Ruffian64

Not calling out anyone in particular here, but can't help but laugh that some people can't help but knock down another horse, in order to justify their own horse.

Robyn, love your list! She was and forever will be, THEE Queen of Racing :)

Will submit my top 10 after further consideration...and more coffee.

19 Jul 2010 7:08 AM
Gloden Gate

1. Zenyatta

2. Lady's secret

3. Winning Colors

4. Azeri

5. Ruffian

6. Rachel Alexandra

7. Regret

8. Genuine Risk

9. Serena's Song

10. Raga to Riches

11. Pepper's Pride (-:

19 Jul 2010 7:36 AM
songandaprayer

Great list!  Brings back some great memories.  Couldn't help but notice two glaring omissions (unless they do not fit criteria) where are Breeders Cup superstars Goldikova and Ouija Board?  I know they are Euro based but these ladies surely deserve to be on any top 10.  Were turf horses not considered?  Looking forward to a possible Rachel - Zen clash in the fall to settle a rivalry that hasn't even been run

19 Jul 2010 7:44 AM
Earman2

Eight Belles anyone???

19 Jul 2010 8:19 AM
Donna

RUFFIAN

PERSONAL ENSIGN

ZENYATTA

AZERI

RACHAEL ALEXANDER

RAGS TO RICHES

GENUINE RISK

LADIES SECRET

BAYAKOA

SAFELY KEPT

19 Jul 2010 8:20 AM
Giddyup

Everyone has their own criteria for determining what makes a thoroughbred great. For me it doesn't necessarily have to do with track accomplishments exclusively. In looking over the list here, I asked myself what horse was most successful in capturing the minds and hearts of not only racing fans but the general public as a whole. The answer was pretty clear...ZENYATTA.

19 Jul 2010 8:21 AM
Slew

wOW..great ladies all!  How to choose?

1. Ruffian...a blazing comet who left us too soon and too tragically.

2. Zenyatta...Zeventeen.

3. Azeri...Magic

4. Rachel Alexandra...super sensational 3 year old who broke records with an arduous campaign.

5. Lady's Secret...The Iron Lady...what more needs be said?

6. Bayakoa

7. Go For Wand

8. Ta Wee

9. Winning Colors

10. Rags to Riches

11. Solar Slew (just because she gave us all THE Cigar).

19 Jul 2010 8:50 AM
Preakness

I saw all of these race either in person or or T.V. and I know that comparing horses from different years is just a guess, but I have always said that Ta Wee & Tosmah were the best.  So here is my list.

1. Ta Wee

2. Tosmah

3. Shuvee

4. Dark Mirage

5. Go For Wand

6. Affectionately

7. Desert Vixen

8. My Juliet

9. Susan's Girl

10. Tie between Dainty Dotsie, Xrta Heat & Safely Kept

19 Jul 2010 8:50 AM
Billy's Empire

1. Ruffian

2. Personal Ensign

3. Rachel Alexandra

4. Zenyatta

5. Melair

6. Dance Smartly

7. Azeri

8. Princess Rooney

9. Genuine Risk

10. Ladies Secret

19 Jul 2010 9:08 AM
OldDog

I must admit that I have my biases, and also say that I don't like rankings.  That being said...

1. Ruffian

2. Personal Ensign

3. Zenyatta

4. Lady's Secret

5. Rachel Alexandra

6. Azeri

7. Shuvee

8. Go For Wand

9. Winning Colors

10. Genuine Risk

19 Jul 2010 9:13 AM
Peg Price

Peppers Pride belongs on this list for her historic undefeated record.

19 Jul 2010 9:18 AM
Fran Loszynski

Ruffian to me will always be the greatest fillie. spunkie, fast, beautiful, incourigable, killer instinct, heart, champion, and fought death to the end. I really loved to watch her race. What a loss for her to die so early.

Then Zenyatta

Then Rachel Alexandra


19 Jul 2010 9:19 AM
MJ

1. Zenyatta

2. Rachel Alexandra

3. Ruffian

4. Genuine Risk

5. Personal Ensign

6. Azeri

7. Lady's Secret

8. Rags to Riches

9. Serena's Song

10. Princess Rooney

19 Jul 2010 9:49 AM
newsline2

Steve, perhaps there need to be divisions? And a separation between the time when legal drugs were used to bolster stamina and strength in any race horse and the past two years when for the most part (we are hopeful), we are seeing more genuine ability and less chemical enhancement...at least in our superstars.

Stellar sprinters should not be judged less than an endurance racer. All-surface winners are different than surface specialists (whether dirt, blended dirt, or turf).They're different. And I wonder about running both sexes together--whether that is a innate horse behavior modification concern? Perhaps a horse behaviorist can talk about what it requires to race females and intact males together? It might be that one horse isn't as fast as another, but rather the emotional challenge is overwhelming. One female anything among a pack of fired-up males could make a female run for her life, or prove her dominance by controlling the "herd". Then again, maybe that is more fancy than fact because of training. Consider contemporary female super stars Goldikova and Zarkava running with the males all the time.

Still, lumping all of them together out of context seems to blur their  stories. Makes for an unbalanced comparison.

19 Jul 2010 9:49 AM
Robin from michigan

I love the list that you gave, of all the fillies and mares that were are are now very good at what they do for us on the racetrack. But to my amazement, you never mentioned anything about Mariah's Storm, who was very seriously injured at one point, and recovered to race again, when nobody thought that she would never race again.

19 Jul 2010 9:56 AM
MollRoll

1.Ruffian

2.Lady's Secret

3.Rachel Alexandra

4.Gallant Bloom

5.Personal Ensign

6.Ta Wee

7.Shuvee

8.Bayakoa

9.Zenyatta

10.Genuine Risk/Azeri

19 Jul 2010 10:17 AM
Abigail from Canada

1) Personal Ensign -- for THE race of the last 50 years!

2) Dance Smartly -- our Canadian sweetheart

3) Ruffian

4) Genuine Risk

5) Lady's Secret

6) Go For Wand

7) Bayakoa

8) Zenyatta -- for the historic BC Classic win

9) Rachel Alexandra -- for her 3 year-old campaign

10) Terlingua -- defeated colts in second of two races that were 2 weeks apart, including Flying Paster; set a number of track records -- VERY fast over a shorter distance

19 Jul 2010 10:17 AM
Leslie from Newmarket, On, Canada

Cons or not. They all were excellent in their day.

19 Jul 2010 10:25 AM
downhomesunset

1-Ruffian

2-Rachel

3-Zenyatta

4-Go For Wand

5-Genuine Risk

6-Lady's Secret

7-Dance Smartly

8-Winning Colors

9-Azeri

10-Safely Kept

I have a couple of reservations  (read complaints)

-Where on earth is Busher, Goldikiva, Miesque, and if we are crossing borders with Dance Smartly, what about Makybe Diva-I don't think that 3 Melborne Cups will ever be repeated by colt OR filly!

I find it a little insulting to the memories of Ruffian and Go For Wand to say that the they never beat males-if they had lived-both trainers of these magnificent girls had indicated that they would try the boys sooner or later. To call that a con (and the only one for these two) is simply unfair and I wish you would change it.

Otherwise-very comprehensive list-I would like to see a book in the future dedicated to great females only!

19 Jul 2010 10:29 AM
TJLuvsTizs

Steve,

Thanks for the knowledge!  Being 25 and only following racing since KD 2007, I don't have a ton of experiences to draw upon to configure a list with the aforementioned Fillies/ Mares.  I do want to throw out a list of the best 10 that I have seen race since 2007.

1. Zenyatta

1a. Goldikova

2. Rachel Alexandra

3. Rags to Riches

4. Ginger Punch

5. Tough Tizs Sis

6. Indian Blessing

7. Proud Spell

8. Stardom Bound

9. Bear Now

10. Hystericalady

Not exactly what you were looking for, but something from my own perspective.

19 Jul 2010 10:29 AM
markinsac

Anybody who doesn't have Zenyatta at least on their top-10 list is completely biased!  No horse can claim what Zenyatta can claim:  2 BC wins including BC Classic, 17-0 record, 15 of 17 starts won at grade 2 or higher, $6 million in earnings . . . She has set the bar so high, I'll never see another like her in my lifetime.  Plus who amongst this crowd can come from last place and win consistently?  Zen baby knows where the finish line.  Track records?  Who needs them, they take too much out of a horse.  Just win, that's what it's all about.  

1. Zenyatta-Her critics are being silenced.

2. Ruffian-Amazing speed and tremendous heart.  What might have been.

3. Personal Ensign-notice my top 3 never lost a race, not including Ruffian's last one.

4. Azeri-another who liked to win, which is what i thought it is all about.

5. Lady's Secret-big and powerful.

6. Go For Wand

7. Winning Colors

8. Rachel Alexandra-Brilliant at

  3, only so-so at 2 and 4.

9. Susan's Girl

10. Bayakoa

19 Jul 2010 10:31 AM
Lauracrown

Steve,

I love everything you write about horses! I also love Zenyatta, but she does not make my list. I am old enough to remember all these fine fillies. My top ten:

1.Ruffian

2.Genuine Risk

3.Davona Dale

4.Bold 'n' Determined

5.Personal Ensign

6.Gallant Bloom

7.Shuvee

8.Winning Colors

9.Rachel Alexandra

10. Rags to Riches

19 Jul 2010 10:59 AM
I Davis

1.  Rachel Alexandra

2.  Ruffian

3.  Genuine Risk

4.  Rags to Riches

5.  Personal Ensign

6.  Zenyatta

7.  Pepper's Pride

8.  Go for Wand

9.  Landaluce

10. Azeri

AE/Honorable mention:  Eight Belles, Winning Colors,  Serena's Song

19 Jul 2010 11:01 AM
JulieJewel2897

Ruffian

Zenyatta

Personal Ensign

Bayoka

Rachel Alexandra

Rags to Riches

Azeri

Shuvee

Winning Colors

Go For Wand

19 Jul 2010 11:13 AM
Round Table

1) Zenyatta

2) Busher

3) Twilight Tear

4) Two Lea

5) Ruffian

6) Landaluce

7) Lady's Secret

8) Personal Ensign

9) Azeri

10) Bayakoa

19 Jul 2010 11:14 AM
sodapopkid

How can anyone say they love a horse but they don't make their list?  Just leave out the part when you say you love the horse because it is clear that you dont..

19 Jul 2010 11:19 AM
Brokentree

1)Zenyatta

2)Ruffian

3)Personal Ensign

4)Peppers Pride

5)Genuine Risk

6)Rags To Riches

7) Rachel Alexandra

8)Shurvee

9)Winning Colors

10)Go for wand

19 Jul 2010 11:23 AM
Van Cushny

1. Twilight Tear

2. Gallorette

3. Busher

4. Gamely

5. Personal Ensign

6. Affectionately

7. Ruffian

8. Shuvee

9. Gallent Bloom

10. Rachel Alexandra

19 Jul 2010 11:35 AM
Racing historian

In all my years of horse racing I have to say that only a few horses have captured the imagination of racing fans nationwide, on a level that became almost obsessive. That list only includes a few fillies, Ruffian is one and Rachel Alexandra is the other.  Traveling like she did in the last year, so many states and tracks, the way that national television covered her 20 length triumph at Churchill, her historic Preakness, and the ultra impressive win over older males.  This horse has transcended horse racing, I recall the following of Ruffian, I recall the following of Big Red, I recall the following of Smarty Jones, and I’ve seen nothing though like the way that the whole Nation, not just horse racing nation, but the nation as a whole has been caught up in the ultra talented Rachel Alexandra. Looking at the searches and articles found on the internet there are now over 5 million hits online. The crowds that she has performed in front of are all left stunned and amazed and bewildered by the way that she absolutely trounces her competition.  There may never be a filly or mare that will have such an effect on the whole nation of people, again not just the horse racing nation but the lay people.

Therefore she gets my vote for top female ever.

1. Rachel Alexandra

2. Ruffian – amazingly fast, blazing speed

3. Personal Ensign

4. Busher

5. Lady’s Secret

6. Azeri

7. Bayokoa

8. Inside Information

9. Go for Wand

10. Genuine Risk

Honorable Mention – Pepper’s Pride, Eight Belles, Zenyatta

Peppers pride impressive undefeated but in lower tier of racing, Eight Belles amazing talent, the sky was the limit for this filly. 

19 Jul 2010 11:38 AM
Bill Daly

Predict, I also am an admirer of Gallorette and until I read the criteria Steve used to compile the list I was aghast at the omission of her name.  That great mare ran against the best of both sexes carrying a ton of weight and beat just about everything around.  Too bad we couldn't have seen her run. She must have been amazing. I remember Alfred Vanderbilt and others of that era speak of her in glowing terms. She represented an era of horses and horsemen and women who didn't duck anybody and didn't shy away from onerous weight assignments. Gallorette was obviously one of the best there ever was.

19 Jul 2010 11:41 AM
Van Cushny

OK, scratch the top-3 that I previously posted since they ran more than 50 years ago.  Of those fillies who raced in the last 50 years, my list is:

1. Personal Ensign

2. Gamely

3. Cicada

4. Affectionately

5. Shuvee

6. Rachel Alexandra

7. Ruffian

8. Gallent Bloom

9. Zenyatta

10. Bayakoa

19 Jul 2010 11:49 AM
Saratoga NY

Here's my TOP 10 list:

1. Ruffian - she was & still is the best filly to run in the last 50 years.

2 thru 10  you can fight over to fill those positions but I'll choose the following - - -  Zenyatta, Lady's Secret, Go For Wand, Azeri, Rachel A, Personal Ensign, Genuine Risk, Dance Smartly & Gallant Bloom.

19 Jul 2010 11:53 AM
Zookeeper

This is very, very difficult. Since I'm a "newbie" (only started watching in 1999) I did not see most of the fillies on the list and although all of their records are impressive I'm at a loss to rate them. I can only list the ones I've seen in order of preference:

1) Zenyatta

2) Azeri

3) Rachel Alexandra

4) Megahertz

5) Rags To Riches

These choices are from the heart. Logic has little to do with how I feel about a horse and I'm sure my list proves it. :) Sorry folks, it's all emotion for me and I can't "feel" the fillies I haven't seen. The only time I've come close is when Mr. Haskin wrote a column about the "Iron" Lady's Secret and reading about Ruffian. Goosebumps and tears!!!  

19 Jul 2010 11:53 AM
-Keelerman

What an impressive list of great fillies! Listing their pros and cons was a good idea. It's fun to learn more about some of the lesser known fillies and mares. I had never even heard of Althea until I read this post!

That said, here's my list. . .

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Personal Ensign

4. Ta Wee

5. Inside Information

6. Lady's Secret

7. Rachel Alexandra

8. Bold 'n Determined

9. Mom's Command

10. Genuine Risk

I'm putting Inside Information in the number five spot because I believe that no filly, and perhaps no colt, could have beaten her on Breeders' Cup day 1995, when she won the Distaff by 13 lengths on a muddy track in 1:46.15.

Honorable mentions go to Affectionately, Shuvee, Serena's Song, and Azeri.

And finally, I have a question. Who was Melair? I understand that she retired undefeated in five starts, but I don't know any of the details. Was she retired due to injury?

Once again, great list!

-Keelerman

www.triplecrowncountdown.blogspot.com

19 Jul 2010 11:53 AM
davids

What about Typecast?  She didn't get good until 5, but in her championship season she won short and long, on turf and dirt, against the boys and on both coasts.

19 Jul 2010 12:02 PM
Mike S

Where is TIZNA on any of these lists? TIZNA was a great mare who, according to some, should have won the Eclipse Award for best older filly or mare in 1975, but SUSAN'S GIRL got it because of the "east coast bias!"

If my memory serves me correctly, in 1975 TIZNA defeated SUSAN'S GIRL and won the following races: the Santa Margarita Invitational (Gr-1), Wilshire Hcp (Gr-3), Ladies Hcp (Gr-1). TIZNA finished in front of SUSAN'S GIRL in the San Maria Hcp (Gr-2), Milady Hcp (Gr-2). SUSAN'S GIRL, however, did beat TIZNA by a neck in the Beldame Stakes (Gr-1) at Belmont Park, and that's where your "east coast bias" kicked in. Additionally, in 1975, TIZNA won the Autumn Days Hcp and California Jockey Club

Unfortunately, I don't have TIZNA's past performances, but I do have them on SUSAN'S GIRL. TIZNA's final tally was 54 starts, 15 wins, 9 seconds and 13 thirds, with earnings of $640,468.

I think TIZNA was a great mare. Yes, I do think SUSAN'S GIRL was even greater, I really do, but I just think that in 1975 TIZNA really gave SUSAN'S GIRL more than she could handle.

I think horses like TIZNA and COUGAR II get left out of discussions about great horses because they are Chilean-bred. I think the Blood Horse, and the Kentucky establishment, along with the east coast press and writers always favor Kentucky breds because Kentucky is where many great horses come from, and it's where great horses are "supposed" to come from. Maybe TIZNA isn't as greast as some of the other greats, and you really do have to draw the line somewhere. But COUGAR II being left off of the Bloodhorse's list of the greatest 100 thoroughbreds is just ridiculous. If he were a Kentucky bred he would have been in the Top 50.

19 Jul 2010 12:04 PM
Mike S

1)  ZENYATTA

2)  RUFFIAN

3)  LADY'S SECRET

4)  SUSAN'S GIRL

5)  PERSONAL ENSIGN

6)  AZERI

7)  INSIDE INFORMATION

8)  SERENA'S SONG

9)  RACHEL ALEXANDRA

10) TIZNA

19 Jul 2010 12:17 PM
Billy's Empire

Keelerman, here is an article from the LA Times. Melair was awesome! At the bottom is a quick synopsis of her career

John Sadler, Melair's trainer, beat 10 colts besides Snow Chief in the Silver Screen, but he plans to keep Melair in the filly division the rest of the year.

There's only a remote chance that Melair and Snow Chief will even run the same day in the seven-race, $10 million Breeders' Cup series at Santa Anita on Nov. 1. Neither horse is eligible, and it would cost between $200,000 and $360,000 to supplement them, depending on the races they ran in. Owners of both horses have indicated that the supplementary fees are too much to pay.

On Sunday, after some of Saturday's post-race euphoria had worn off, Sadler repeated what he said about Melair being the best 3-year-old--colt or filly--in the country. Melair's mile was run in 1:32 4/5 and only three horses--Dr. Fager in 1968 at Arlington Park, Buckpasser in 1966 at Arlington and Greinton last year at Hollywood--have ever run faster.

Buckpasser was Horse of the Year in '66, when he posted a time of 1:32 3/5. Two years later, Dr. Fager broke the record with a 1:32 1/5 clocking, carrying 136 pounds, and he also was voted Horse of the Year. Greinton matched Buckpasser's time in last year's Californian Stakes.

zipseatthetrack.blogspot.com/.../remembering-melair.html

19 Jul 2010 12:21 PM
LAZMANNICK

-Keelerman

Melair's record:

5 - starts

5 - wins

30 - combined winning lengths.

The following article will hopefully shed some light for you:

Champion Melair, who was undefeated in a brief five-race career that included a record-breaking victory over Snow Chief and other colts in the 1986 Silver Screen Handicap at Hollywood Park, was humanely destroyed at Here Tis Ranch near Hemet in late May (1999)after suffering complications from a bout with colic.

Bred and owned by Marianne Millard and Bea Rous, Melair was a 1983 filly by Debonair Roger out of the outstanding broodmare Melrose Nugget. Although her racing career spanned less than three months and came during a single meeting, she provided the sport with one of its most vivid highlights of 1986.

She led throughout the one-mile Silver Screen, winning by 6 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:32 4/5. Preakness winner Snow Chief finished third, 11 lengths further back. It was the fastest mile ever recorded by a member of her sex and was equaled only one other time by Eclipse and Breeders’ Cup champion Bayakoa (Arg) in the 1989 Hawthorne Handicap at the Inglewood track.

“I don’t like the word ‘freak,’ because it makes it sound inappropriate, but she was that kind of horse,” said trainer John Sadler in a Daily Racing Form interview. “She was the kind of horse destined not to run a long time. She was just beyond the normal range of horses. She could do everything so easily.”

Unfortunately, Melair’s victory in the Silent Screen turned out to be her last race. A bout with colic forced her to the sidelines when she was preparing for an appearance in the Test Stakes at Saratoga. Yet, her brief campaign created such a lasting impression that she was among the three finalists for the Eclipse Award for outstanding three-year-old filly of 1986, a title that went to another undefeated filly, Tiffany Lass, who counted the Kentucky Oaks and Fantasy Stakes among her six wins that year. Melair also captured the grade III Railbird and Princess Stakes for earnings of $336,500, and she was voted California’s champion three-year-old filly and outstanding sprinter.

19 Jul 2010 12:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

markinsac

   Excellent post July 19, 10:31am.  Sodapopkid at 11.19am-How true. I have no problem with anyone putting Ruffian Number One over Zenyatta. Anyone that doesn't have Zenyatta in their top ten however, well, humina, humina, I don't want to get censored. Will some minds be changed after the Classic this year? Probably, but then even if Zenyatta wins, some will still stick stubbornly to their bias or disorder.

19 Jul 2010 12:35 PM
jackstallion26

There is one filly who always ran her heart out, yet I feel that she never got respect. This would be Sardula. I always loved this filly and wonder why she never got the credit she deserved?

19 Jul 2010 12:35 PM
Barb Dwyer

Great list but I could not narrow it down to a Top 10.  Too many deserving fillies to toss anybody out IMO.

My only beef with your list is that you list horses that won only sprints as a "con".  Sprinters are my personal favorites and I would like to see them get more respect (and more HOY awards).

19 Jul 2010 12:38 PM
Caren

While she may not match up with some of these great fillies, my favorite is TAKE CHARGE LADY aka The Queen of Keeneland.  I had the pleasure of working with her when she was just starting her career as a 2yo, and could tell she was something special.  I got to go to the track with her for her first race, and stand with her in the Winner's Circle when she annihilated the field.  I was at Keeneland to see her win the Alcibiades, Ashland, and Spinster (both times).  She may have never won a Breeders' Cup race, but she was untouchable at Keeneland, being undefeated in 5 starts there, and the only filly to sweep their 3 major F&M stakes AND win back to back Spinsters. :)

19 Jul 2010 12:42 PM
It aint easy being the truth!

So many are writing off Rachael beware she is in her prime and she is  finally cranked up. Its going to be tough for any horse to beat her right now. She has shaken off the rust and I expect her to start her campaign now. She will be #1 filly ever once this season is over and she retires and then make history with the most expensive 2 year old ever with RA and Curlin!

19 Jul 2010 12:46 PM
Eric rickard

AWESOME list. Let us put it a different way. What if you had to pick ten fillies to win a race, any race, from 6 fur. To a mile and a half. Whom would you pick? Than pick from the colts. Than pick from both sexes. That will help to narrow the list. Here r mine. Ruffian, Zenyatta, Genuine risk, landulace, Azeri,paseana,Wining colors,Personal enseign,Rachel, and last but not least Baokoa. Forgive the spelling. The debate rages, but that's why we bet!

19 Jul 2010 12:53 PM
Kelso

1) Zenyatta

2) Busher

3) Twilight Tear

4) Ruffian

5) Personal Ensign

6) Landaluce

7) Azeri

8) Lady's Secret

9) Bayakoa

10) Terlingua

19 Jul 2010 12:56 PM
Caren

My top 10:

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Serena's Song

4. Take Charge Lady

5. Rachel Alexandra

6. Personal Ensign

7. Paseana

8. Bayakoa

9. Inside Information

10. Rags To Riches

19 Jul 2010 12:57 PM
earlyspeed

Unless I missed it, you did not mention Landaluce. Mariah's Storm deserves mention for her great comeback after her leg fracture and having produced top breeding stallion, Giant's Causeway.

19 Jul 2010 1:14 PM
Lori Morton

To Zen's Auntie:  Thanks so much for mentioning Pine Island.  Only moments before I pulled up Steve's wonderful blog just now, I was looking at a beautiful pic of Pine Island in the BC 06 post parade.  Your mention touched my heart:)  I loved her so-

19 Jul 2010 1:15 PM
Crispin Stuart

DRUNKIMBUM,

The Wood Memorial Stakes is named to honor Eugene D. Wood, a New York State politician and horse racing enthusiast who had been a founder and past president of the old Jamaica Racetrack where the race was run until 1960.

19 Jul 2010 1:26 PM
nostalgichorse

1. Ruffian- will always be #1 in my book. She was versatile and ran fast without running hard. She did everything so easily, and we will just never know how good she really was. She could run a 22 second first quarter and still be running a mile later- Easy. No one on this list, would have touched a sound Ruffian.

2. Rachel Alexandra- Yes, I think in a race today Zenyatta would inhale her, but Rachel's 3 year old campaign was spectacular. Why she will never be ahead of Ruffian, is because Borel often is beating her down the lane. Her victories are seldom easy, even when she is 20 lengths in front, she is not under wraps- he is usually going for a record it seems.

3. Zenyatta- the reason she isn't considered the greatest of all time- her owners/trainer. 17 in a row is great, if you are actually challenged. Running against California claimers time and time again, isn't awe inspiring. There is no excuse either for not having her on the East Coast. Biased or not, California runs on synthetics, and horses can win on synthetics that would have no shot on dirt. Since Zenyatta can win on dirt, the question will always be, why is she ducking it? Ruffian also ran in New York but Belmont and Saratoga (graveyard of beaten favorites) will never be held in the same place as Hollywood Park and Del Mar. Please- apples and oranges people. I am beyond nauseated with both Zenyatta's people and Rachel's people and it almost makes me want to throw both their champions out of my top ten all together. Take the kid gloves off!! Zenyatta may be the greatest female ever, but Moss and Shireffs have littered her career with question marks and that is too sad for words.

4- Lady's Secret- Iron lady lugged around weight, and although she was tiny, it didn't slow her down.

5- Geniune Risk- versatile and tough, and was overall better that all the boys born in 1977

6- Personal Ensign- undefeated in 13 tries, and was challenged in all of them...was not hiding out in California taking on former claimers for those 13 starts.

7- Go for Wand

8- Shuvee

9- Dark Mirage- yes, she was only really good at three, but what a three year old season she had.

10- Mom's Command- always the forgotten horse in a year full of top females.

19 Jul 2010 1:56 PM
gary s

 LADY'S SECRET !!!!!                BODY OF WORK; LONGEVITY; COMPETITION; WEIGHT. CASE CLOSED.   LOOK IT UP! FLASH IN PANS ARE FLASH IN PANS,THE REST IS SPECULATION. THE PROOF IS IN THE CHARTS.

19 Jul 2010 1:57 PM
Mike S

I really should have put GENUINE RISK in the Top 10 somewhere.

19 Jul 2010 2:06 PM
Lauracrown

Sodapopkid,

My list is based on how I personally would rank the fillies as I consider "Best" on the racetrack up to Top 10. Everything you wrote about Zenyatta is true. In fact, she would be #11 on my listing. She could be higher depending on how her career ends up. This is not a list of my "Favorites". On that list, you would see Xtra Heat,Genuine Risk, Davona Dale, Ruffian, Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Beautiful Pleasure, Personal Ensign, Rags to Riches, and Pearl Necklace. I have no problem with anyone taking issue with my lists because they are based on my own criteria and subjectivity. But, you should know that I love all horses and feel honored to have seen some of the best at Saratoga or on TV.

19 Jul 2010 2:15 PM
Billy's Empire

Hey Dr Drunk,

the feeling is the same from the other side of the country. Anyone that does not have Rachel in their top 10 after having arguably the best 3yo filly campaign ever, is, well... You at least are wise enough to have them both in your top 5... I can not say the same for others. Maybe they all slept thru 2009??

19 Jul 2010 2:19 PM
Judy Loves Zenyatta ~ California

TO PAUL HIGGINS who wrote:

"ITA with those that have Pepper's Pride on their lists. She is most deserving. A win is a win is a win-all 19 times. All the horses on these lists are simply amazing and real gifts."

Thank you for writing this!

When I think of ZENYATTA's 17 CONSECUTIVE WINS (regardless of what track or what surface) it is absolutely UNBELIEVABLE! Nobody on this plant, or any other planet, can take this away from The Queen.

I'm honored and blessed for living during her lifetime!! God bless all our fillies/mares.

19 Jul 2010 2:24 PM
Bill Daly

It's interesting how people view Zenyatta's accomplishments in regards to her ranking among the top 10 in the last 50 years. No doubt she is undeniably great and what she has accomplished is amazing. Still, I wonder whether some of the others on Steve's list could have accomplished a similar record had their races been scheduled as adroitly [read "coddled"]as Zenyatta's?  A lot of the names on the list were campaigned more ambitiously and faced the toughest competition around - not just once, but many times. It is to her people's credit that they have managed her so well. Now, I would like to see them accept greater challenges since she has 17 consecutive victories with no defeats. Keep in mind that were she handled more ambitiously her record might not be as glossy, but her greatness has already been established and in the eyes of knowledgeable racing people a defeat against the best colts around would not diminish her luster. Conclusion: Don't think she towers above the other horses on Steve's list just because she's 17 and 0. She's truly great, but so were the others.

19 Jul 2010 2:24 PM
geober

Steve:

Thanks for the list -- brings back a lot of great memories. And reminds me of how much I've enjoyed filly-mare races over the years.

When I was young and more impressionable, I always thought Ta Wee and Shuvee were two of the best horses I'd ever seen. Time and a whole bunch more races have done nothing to diminish that assessement.

Ta Wee, though 'only' a sprinter, was the equal of any sprint champ I've seen since, male or female, and probably better than the vast majority of champions in the last 40 years. Shuvee, with her 2 wins in the JC Gold Cup, was the epitome of class and fortitude. Of course, they don't ask horses to go that far anymore, so we'll never know if any filly of recent vintage could have equalled Shuvee's accomplishments.

So I'll be content to live in the past, which in horseracing is a very pleasant place indeed.

19 Jul 2010 2:26 PM
Footlick

I keep trying to make a list and I just can't.  Everytime I put a horse somewhere I think of another.  I would put Ruffian on top.  I would put Dark Mirage next.  She was just devastatingly glorious when she came into her own.  After that, I won't venture.  Certainly Personal Ensign who refused to lose, but many many horses were tough as nails and I'm sure could have made all of these run.  And for sheer brilliance, you have to mention, as many have, Melair.

19 Jul 2010 2:29 PM
teshunka

How can you forget Makybe Diva, three-time Melbourne Cup winner, and probably the greatest of all? I'd love to see her matched against Zenyatta and Rachel A.  

19 Jul 2010 2:30 PM
Susan

Thanks Steve, and now I feel old!

We have had a remarkable number of top flight fillies and mares and I have seen most of them or at least remember them running. I could never do a list, so many were so special, but just my opinion, I always held PE right up there at the top, and now I have no hesitation in putting Zenyatta at the top of the list. It's one helluva list though. Thanks for the work you put in, hope we see a turf list too!

19 Jul 2010 2:37 PM
Zen's Auntie

Lori,

Your welcome. Its funny I had just commented a few days ago on a beautiful picture I found of Pine Island to my daughter saying that Kris S Face is pretty easy to spot (even if Arch is a little droopy lol)

Pine Island was indeed a very special horse - and we should remember the ones who give thier all for us.

I have to be honest that years Breeders cup and other subsequent breakdowns have me leery of the Breeders Cup on that surface this fall. fast tracks are good but too fast not so much

19 Jul 2010 2:40 PM
will

Personal Ensign

Zenyatta

Rachel Alexandra

Rags to Riches

Lady's Secret

Azeri

Go for Wand

Mom's Command

Chris Evert

19 Jul 2010 2:41 PM
Vickie

Here are my Top Ten

1. Genuine Risk

2. Winning Colors

3. Rachel Alexandra

4. Rags To Riches

5. Lady's Secret

6. Azeri

7. terlingua

8. Ruffian

9. Zenyatta

10. Go For Wand

Genuine Risk will always be number one, because she not only won the Kentucky Derby, the first filly to do so since Regret in 1915, she came in second in the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont. I saw all three races, granted on television, but I still believe that had Codex not bumped her, she would have won the Preakness. All the fillies listed are more than worthy of the list, but until a filly equals Genny's performance in the Triple Crown races or betters it--she is Number One in my book.

19 Jul 2010 2:43 PM
Dale

My top ten:

l.Ta Wee

2. Zenyatta

3. Ruffian

4. Rachel Alexandra

5. Gamely

6. Davona Dale

7. Personal Ensign

8.Azeri

9.Dark Mirage

10 tie: Straight Deal and Old Hat

19 Jul 2010 2:46 PM
Boss Mare

1. RUFFIAN

2. PERSONAL ENSIGN

3. SHUVEE

4. LADY'S SECRET

5. PRINCESS ROONEY

6. TA WEE

7. GAMELY

8. BAYAKOA

9. AFFECTIONATELY

10.DARK MIRAGE

Honorable Mention: ZENYATTA, X-TRA HEAT, PEPPER"S PRIDE, HALLOWED DREAMS.

Thanks, Steve for the journey down memory lane. I've been blessed to have seen them in person or to have followed their careers via the Form, The Morning Telegraph, or The Turf and Sports Digest. Sympathies to the youngsters who never got to witness the pure brilliant fire of RUFFIAN (the best filly to have ever looked through a bridle) or witness SHUVEE going 2 miles and waving bye bye to the boys in her rear view mirror. Tiny DARK MIRAGE'S big heart and PERSONAL ENSIGN'S refusal to ever taste defeat leaving racing with one of the most stirring finishes in it's history (which still leaves gooseflesh down my arms). Yes, I know,that  ZENYATTA remains undefeated but she is still competing...she'll earn her place when her career is completed. The last 3 given honorable mention because they captured not only the attention of racing but they captured the public's attention. News papers and media outlets that never or extremely infrequently cover racing covered these girls. Whatever level of racing it is we need the covereage and excitement that these gals brought to our sport.  People who had never followed racing before were caught up in the excitement of watching too see if their winning streaks would stay in tact...the kind of publicity racing needs.

Thanks for the memories.

19 Jul 2010 2:55 PM
Kit J

What some of you don't understand is some of us have actually seen the horses of 20-30 years ago run, have seen the level of competition and also are judging from our hearts as well as our heads.

Someone spoke of seeing horses from the 80's, well I saw horses from the 50's. The breed isn't the same as it once was. I'm looking at how these modern day mares would have run against their counterparts and who I personally love/loved.

This isn't about us ranking horses the same way those of you who are perturbed because we didn't list YOUR favorite did.

It's about each of our own top ten list. Get over it.

19 Jul 2010 3:13 PM
Householder

It's Haskell time so a "shout out" to Serena's Song is in order.  And as far a beating the boys in Triple Crown preps how about Winning Colors.

Lite Light comes to mind regarding Kentucky Oaks...do do da do "Can't touch this."

One of my all time favorites and Pat Day's finest hour has to be Lady's Secret.  Man she could scoot back when the Distaff was 1 1/4.  Not hard to tell who her daddy was.

Modern day has to be Zenyatta.  Beats the boys in the Classic and RA (probably one of the most difficult spring campaigns ever attemted by a 3 year old filly).

Landaluce seemed to be heading towards greatness before tragedy.

Bayakoa...16 month reign of terror racking up some serious Gr.1's.

19 Jul 2010 3:17 PM
MonicaV

This is a difficult thing to do and I always leave it up to others as I have seen so many great fillies in the last 45 years.  I think all the lists are heartfelt by the poster and they have chosen who they felt should be in the top 10.  It really isn't up for debate as this is what that person feels and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

19 Jul 2010 3:23 PM
Greg J.

While I find it impossible to list an actual top ten from best to tenth best, I can list my top ten favorites, alphabetically of course:

Azeri

Chris Evert

Genuine Risk

Go for Wand

Lady's Secret

Megahertz(love the little filly)

Personal Ensign

Rachel Alexandra

Ruffian

Zenyatta

19 Jul 2010 3:27 PM
casonclay

How is it that Winning Colors lost by a nose to Personal Ensign and in the next sentence she lost the same race by 24 1/4?

19 Jul 2010 3:31 PM
Sharon M

downhomesunset

Steve has said repeatedly he is NOT including grass horses on this list!  Also, I don't see how facts are insulting to anyone.  It's true Ruffian never beat males, but as most of us knows she never had the opportunity when she broke down in the match race.

markinsac

You have no business dictating who should be anyone's favorites on this list!  We ALL like different horses for different reasons.  Get over yourself!

19 Jul 2010 3:46 PM
Karen in Indiana

Steve, thank you for the perspective. I'm sure you had to spend a lot of time coming up with this list. My personal favorites on here are, in no particular order:

Lady's Secret

Personal Ensign

Ruffian

Zenyatta

19 Jul 2010 3:48 PM
El Angelo

Always fun to do something like this.

1.  Ruffian

2.  Ouija Board

3.  Personal Ensign

4.  Goldikova

5.  Zenyatta

6.  Rachel Alexandra

7.  Miesque

8.  Inside Information

9.  Go For Wand

10.  La Prevoyante

19 Jul 2010 3:57 PM
Flora

Wow, this is a tough one! So many possibilities, 10 will not cover them all, but I will try. In order, more or less:

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Lady's Secret

4. Personal Ensign

5. Winning Colors

6. Azeri

7. Princess Rooney

8. Bayakoa

9. Genuine Risk

10. Landaluce - yes, she was gone too soon, but I will never forget her blazing speed and talent. I cried when she died.

19 Jul 2010 3:58 PM
EileenG

Reading these comments something really stands out to me, if one favors one of the current mares over the other, most of you can't even give credit where credit is due!!

It would be funny if it wasn't SO SAD.

Eileen

19 Jul 2010 3:59 PM
Brasco26

1.  Zenyatta

2.  Azeri - She was basically unbeatable before her injury and brought back despite her trainer's protests.

3.  Lady's Secret

4.  Rags to Riches

5.  Personal Ensign

6.  Gallant Bloom

7.  Gamely

8.  Serena's Song

9. Go For Wand

10.  Ruffian - very fast but never beat anything besides a weak crop of 3 yr old fillies.

19 Jul 2010 4:11 PM
sidekickflats

I think that it is very difficult to compare horses from different eras.  Alot of races have been shortened of late making them very different from one decade to another.  You also have to try to evaluate the competition each horse raced against as well.  

For example, all last year when alot of people were proclaiming Rachel to be the best 3 yr old filly ever, I wondered who remembered what Winning Colors accompished in her 3 year old year?

At two, Rachel was ranked at 116 on the experimental handicap. Eight pounds less than champion Stardom Bound.  So obv. you can't base much on her 2 year old form. Winning Colors won 2 out of 2 starts at two but I couldn't find her ranking or what races they were so we will call their 2 year old campaigns equal for sake of augument.

Then on to 3.  Winning Colors won the gr 1 S.A. Oaks easily. She then went and won the Santa Anita Derby (gr 1) by 7 1/2 lengths. So Winning Colors strikes first against the other sex. WC then goes and becomes the 3rd filly to win the Ky Derby over Forty Niner, Risen Star, Seeking the Gold etc. So she now has 2 gr 1 wins against the males with one being at a mile and a quarter. Advantage W. Colors I think.  Rachel wins the Oaks in a romp and goes on and wins the Preakness over Mind that Bird.   So they both race back in 2 weeks time. But Winning Colors finishes 3rd in the Preakness to Risen Star.  Advantage back to Rachel? At this stage, WC has 2 gr 1 victories against males, Rachel 1.  Rachel sits out the Belmont and W.Colors should have as well.  Her third race in 5 weeks is too much and Risen Star wins easily.  Rachel runs in the Haskell and wins so she now has 2 gr 1 wins against the boys.  Winning Colors doesn't run in the Haskell which was a bang up race with Seeking the Gold and Forty Niner if I remember correctly.  

Rachel runs against fillies her own age (can anyone remember another filly from last year??) and romps in the Mother Goose. Winning Colors goes in the Gr 1 Maskette against older fillies and mares and runs a great race to lose by a neck to the great Personal Ensign.  Rachel never took on older females last year.  Winning Colors wins a race at Turfway, finishes off the board in the Gr 1 Spinster ( I was there that day) and runs the best race of her life in the Breeder's Cup Distaff to lose by a whisker.  Winning Colors ends the year with 4 wins (S.A. Oaks, SA Derby, Ky Derby and race at Turfway), 3 seconds ( Maskette, Distaff) and 1 third (Preakness) in 10 starts. I'm missing a race somewhere but you get the picture.

Meanwhile, Rachel went 8 for 8 with wins in the Fantasy, Ky Oaks, Preakness, Haskell, Mother Goose and the Woodward among others.

So is the difference between WC and Rachel is that Rachel was undefeated last year?  Had Rachel run in the 3 classics would she have been undefeated? (If she had , she would have been the Triple Crown winner and augument would be finished!)  Both fillies were classic winners and both had another Gr 1 against males their own age.  Winning Colors raced against older females but Rachel didn't .   Oh yes, Rachel raced against older males and WC didn't.  But the 1988 Woodward was run at a mile and a quarter not a mile and a eighth.  And the 1988 Woodward was won by a horse by the name of Alysheba.  He won and set the track record of 1.59 2/5th while giving Forty Niner 15 pounds!!!  Could Winning Colors have beaten Alysheba?  Heck no but then neither could have Rachel in my opinion.  Last year's Woodward field was nice but there were certainly no Alysheba's or even Forty Niners in there.  

Alysheba won 3 mile and a quarter races that year in under 2 minutes. We haven't seen that often. You can go to you tube and see the the 88 Woodward and Haskell among other races mentioned above.  Alysheba was HoY that year beating the undefeated P. Ensign for the honor.

So my question, who was better? If we could bring back W.Colors as a 3 year old and line her up against a 3year old Rachel who would win?  And by how much? Both have/had similar running styles.

At a mile and a quarter, the nod goes to WC.  At a mile and a 1/16 , perhaps Rachel. At a mile an 1/8th. What a battle.  Throw P. Ensign, Zenyatta, Bayakoa in the mix and Tom Durkin would have a heart attack calling the race.

In the interest of full diclosure, in my top 10 list (actually 13), Winning Colors gets the nod over Rachel based on quality of opposition.  Zenyatta and Personal Ensign share the throne as the best I have ever seen (NON TURF!!!!)

19 Jul 2010 4:15 PM
LAZMANNICK

Brasco26

Did you know that Let Me Linger, one of those so called weak crop of 3 y-o fillies that Ruffian beat (12L) later that year defeated the Older Filly/Mare Champ Susan's Girl by 4 lengths.

19 Jul 2010 4:28 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

Thanks for the list Steve. I feel so lucky to have watched a large portion of these amazing fillies & mares. I've been struggling to put them in order for various reasons but here goes...

1. Zenyatta - 17 for 17; she is the whole package and still going!

2. Ruffian - what a spectacular filly who leaves you with a tear and saying 'What if'.

3. Personal Ensign - She was always a favorite of mine. I still cry everytime I watch her BC Distaff win.

4. Rachel Alexandra - An awe inspiring 3 YO season but there is some tarnish on her crown for her 2010 campaign.

5. Go For Wand - Another 'What if' filly.

6. Azeri - She didn't need to beat the boys to be impressive.

7. Bayakoa - One of my all time favorites!

8. Peppers Pride - It takes a special horse to never get beat!!

9. Princess Rooney - She was always so fun to watch.

10. Susan's Girl - WOW, what a mare!

19 Jul 2010 4:37 PM
Jim C.

Steve,

Great article, as usual.  But I concur with you comments elsewhere that it is too early to start ranking Zenyatta.

I want to raise an issue relating to Eastern bias against California fillies, however.  One involves Blind Luck, and another involves Tuscan Evening.

1.  On July 10, 2010, in the 7th race at Delaware Park, the Barbaro stakes, 1 and 1/16 mile, Trickmeister wins with a final time of 1:45.32.  Same park, two races later, same distance:Blind Luck wins the G2 Delaware Oaks with a final time of 1:43.34.  TWO SECONDS faster.  Yet Beyer assigns Blind Luck a 95 BSF, which is LOWER than Trickmeister.  Makes no sense.

2.  In last Saturday's issue of the DRF, published before Tuscan Evening's win in the G2 Modesty, the DRF published their "divisional rankings" of turf females.  DRF had Forever Together, an East Coast horse, ranked No. 1, ahead of Tuscan Evening, a California horse, ranked No. 2.

Let's dig into the data: Heading into Saturday, July 17, Tuscan Evening won all five of her starts in 2010, including DEFEATING Forever Together on May 29 at Hollywood Park, in the G1 Gamely.  Tuscan Evening then won on Saturday, in the G2 Modesty at Arlington. So Tuscan Evening defeated Forever Together, and has won all six of her races this year, including one grade 1, and five grade 2's.  Forever Together, on the other hand, has had two starts this year, and lost both, finishing second to Tuscan Evening in the Gamely, and second to Wasted Tears in the G2 at Keeneland on April 10, 2010.

Yet DRF has Forever Together ranked ahead of Tuscan Evening?  There is no justification for this.  The only explanation is East Coast bias.

19 Jul 2010 4:40 PM
Danny

Greetings from rainy England. Whilst on the subject of great fillies, a relatively small U.K trainer named Ed Dunlop, has a filly named Snow Fairy. She won the English Oaks, and then absoloutely demolished the entire field in the Irish Oaks (Youtube it, she's wicked). I would definitely expect her to run in the Breeders Cup distaff race this year.

SNOW FAIRY remember the name!

Incidentally, if the name of the trainer (Ed Dunlop) rings a bell, it's because you may remember his only other good horse - Ouija Board. Dare I say it? Snow Fairy looks even better!

P.S I see many of you have Winning Colours in your top ten. Jeremy Noseda (Awesome Act) sent out a horse called Silver Colours today, in a maiden race at Windsor. She is the daughter of Winning Colours, and finished a closing fourth in what looked to be a high class maiden. She'll definitely be winning races soon - keep an eye out for her.

19 Jul 2010 4:46 PM
G-Funk

The list pretty much covers them all. When you move on to the grass list you better start with the best filly in the last 20 years and that's Quija Board!

19 Jul 2010 4:51 PM
Bayakoa

Purely from an objective standpoint (Leaving my namesake underneath :)), there is no single female racehorse that brings attention to the sport and electrifies a crowd quite like Zenyatta.  Ruffian came pretty close but her demise (unfortunately) muddled the awesome ability....

1. Bayakoa

2. Ruffian

3. Ta Wee (Sprinter or not, she made the boys nervous)

4. Genuine Risk

5. Lady's Secret

6. Bayakoa

7. Go For Wand

8. Personal Ensign

9. Azeri

10. Landaluce

Plenty of deserving fillies, but please don't let Pepper's Pride knock any of the above 10 out of a spot :)

19 Jul 2010 4:51 PM
Miss Woodford

Zenyatta's and Pepper's Pride's records pale in comparison to another great mare, Kincsem. 54 for 54 carrying as much as 160lbs, over several distances and almost exclusively against males, winning stakes all over Europe, and then going on to become a fantastic broodmare after retirement. It annoys me whenever I hear about the "Citation/Cigar record". The "record" that Citation holds doesn't exist; it was a phrase used to market him as a stallion. Even if we're only talking about American horses, there's Leviathan with 23 in a row, Kentucky with 21, Hindoo with 18, etc.

And of course there's my namesake Miss Woodford with 16 consecutive wins to her credit, the only filly/mare to be 2-time HOY (albeit posthumously by the editors of Bloodhorse). Perhaps our next list should be the Best Fillies of the Past 150 Years?

19 Jul 2010 4:56 PM
JerseyBoy

This debate is compromised by the fact that top horses of the past did not run on Lasix and Bute.

19 Jul 2010 5:05 PM
Billy's Empire

Eileen,

Nail, meet hammer.

BANG!

What about the filly YOU! She was a pretty nice filly as well. I think she raced againt Farda Amiga, Take Charge Lady and Azeri at CD, forget the race tho.

On turf, Nashoba's Key was brilliant, but her her life was cut short. That was Smoking Joe Talamo's first great horse.

19 Jul 2010 5:05 PM
Rose

Steve, I had forgotten a lot of these great mares, thanks for the

walk down memory lane.  From this list of great fillies and mares you have compiled can you recall one race that knocked your socks off and left you speechless?

19 Jul 2010 5:08 PM
realquiet

Zenyatta

Ruffian

Ta Wee--one of greatest sprinters ever

Shuvee--2 wins in America's most prestigious race, 2-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup, places Rachel's accomplishments in perspective

Rachel Alexandra

Genuine Risk--1/2/2 in Triple Crown races again surpasses Rachel

Personal Ensign

Lady's Secret

Azeri

Susan's Girl--amazing comeback after an already brilliant career

Honorable mention: Winning Colors, Bayakoa, Dark Mirage, Desert Vixen

19 Jul 2010 5:19 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Crispin Stuart

   Thanks for setting me straight that The Wood was named after Eugene D. Wood, and that the race was run at the Jamaica Track until 1960. Coincidentally the stunning performance by Natalie Wood in Splendor in the Grass was in 1961, the year the Thomas J. Kelly trained Globemaster won The Wood.

Billy's Empire

    It's tough making lists trying to compare horses that raced in different time periods. Hey, it's tough doing it with horses that race in the same time period. They both belong in the top ten of all time in my biased opinion but there careers aren't over yet. We'll know more after this year. I have Zenyatta number one because with her running style, coming from last everytime makes it virtually impossible to win 17 in a row. And her personality with that little dance she does-"The Zenny Shuffle" makes her even more special. Cardiologists love her because she gives them a lot of business. I love her because I love closers and she is the most amazing closer I've ever seen. "Can she get there? I don't think she'll get there today."  "She did it, how did she do it. Amazing."  50 years. Probably a Top Forty list would be more like it, and if I did another list today it would be different, and I know I left someone off that deserves to be there. I hope they all make it to the Classic, including Rachel and Zenyatta, that will be some really big shoo.

19 Jul 2010 5:27 PM
BFazz

1. Ruffian

2. Personal Ensign

3. Zenyatta

4. Genuine Risk

5. Rachel Alexandra

6. Go For Wand

7. Bayakoa

8. Rags to Riches

9. Inside Information

10. Azeri/Winning Colors

I have to do like Haskin always does and do a tie for 10th...haha!

19 Jul 2010 5:28 PM
Mahuba

So many fine race mares!---I found that I first considered the ones who really tugged my heart strings -- then I looked at the race records presented and then your "also" lists.  I am trying to be fair based on race records, etc., but I sure my sentiments are coming into play.

I am 59, so I have been blessed to have experienced them all.  I don't think the sprinters should be penalized for "just being sprinters."  And I did not consider broodmare records in my assessment.  

Here is my list--lots of ties!

1. Zenyatta, Ta Wee, Ruffian, Go for Wand

2. Rachel Alexandra, Genuine Risk, Personal Ensign, Ladies Secret

3. Dance Smartly, Rags to Riches, Affectionately, Moccasin, Gamely

4.Bayakoa, Princess Rooney, Inside Information, Desert Vixen, Shuvee, Serena's Song

5. Dark Mirage, Bold 'n Determined

6. Safely Kept, My Juliet

7. Glorious Song, Paseanna

8. Typecast, Hallowed Dreams

9. Primonetta, Gallant Bloom

10. Track Robbery, Pepper's Pride, Politely

11. All other racemares

I know, I cheated.  But it's the best I can do. All except the ones in 1, 2, and 3, might change according to the day I list them!

Amy

19 Jul 2010 5:29 PM
Dr. Dave

1-Rachel Alexandra

2-Ruffian

3-Genuine Risk

4-Dark Mirage

5-Gamely

6-Zenyatta

7-Century Type

8-Personal Ensign

9-Lady's Secret

10-Gallant Bloom

19 Jul 2010 5:33 PM
LStein

My list is somewhat biased because I'm a Zen fanatic and I did not become a die hard racing fan until about 4 years ago, but here it goes:

ZENYATTA

Ruffian

Goldikova

Go for Wand

Personal Ensign

Azeri

Rags to Riches

Zarkava

Vodka

Indian Blessing

Rachel Alexandra

These are in no particular order except for the QUEEN!

19 Jul 2010 5:38 PM
LAZMANNICK

sidekickflats

Quite the analogy.  I like that.

19 Jul 2010 5:40 PM
Serena

For the sake of brevity and to avoid repeating what so many other well-written responses have already indicated, here is my list (and it wasn't easy

1 Ruffian

2 Lady's Secret

3 Rachel A.

4 Shuvee

5 Zenyatta

6 Serena's Song

7 Chris Evert

8 Personal Ensign

9 Rags to Riches

10 Go For Wand

Thanks for putting this poll out there... sometimes it's easy to forget those outstanding animals when we so often "live in the moment"   MANY of these fillies/mares have more remarkable careers than some of our recent "champions"    Glad to see them recognized!

19 Jul 2010 6:00 PM
Spoon Man

My recollections only take me back to 77' on up.So here's MY order of finish for a mythical race,all getting uneventful trips & all toting 121 lbs. @ 1 1/16.

1)Zenyatta- Amazon refuses to loose,perfect pace scenario.

2)Rags To Riches- Outstanding alpha-female.  

3)Personal Ensign- no knocks on her,tough to deny her record.

4)Lakeway- pound-for-pound stacks up with the best,check her #'s.

5)Princess Rooney- the original Silver bullet.

6)Inside Information- unbeatable on her best day,not vs. these.

7)Landaluce- brilliant speed,carried it.

8)Melair- ditto #5

9-13)Bayakoa,Go For Wand,Lady's Secret,Azeri,Paseana,- all great,would fade chasing so much speed.

14)Mom's Command- very good speedy filly,would face too much pace here.

15)Rachel A.- too much legit competition for her,pace too hot.Would definitely be exposed in here.

16)Genuine Risk- never mind her impressive TC run,she never faced this kind.

17-25)Bold 'n Determined,Open Mind,Davona Dale,Winning Colors,Silverbulletday,Althea,Ashado,Serena's Song,Lite Light- all very good,but not vs. these.

19 Jul 2010 6:05 PM
David

Greatest Racing Fillies of all(my) time and in order of greatness...

#1 Ruffian - Always on the lead!

#2 Zenyatta -Always on the lead... at the wire.

#3 Ta Wee- Always carried more there than the others..

and THEN??

Well then there is some other really nice horses that won some races...

19 Jul 2010 6:10 PM
Kit J

EileenG and Billy E, so Steve should have just looked at your list and duplicated it?

On second thought I don't recall seeing yours Eileen, hmmm convenient.

I wonder if everyone would have put in Rachel yet left Zenyatta out, this would even be brought up?

Because most of us do know which is the favorite of many of us.

Frankly if her career hadn't been such a shooting star with a tragic ending? Landaluce would have blown all of these out of the water. Watch the Hollywood Lassie on video. But see that's my opinion, which if I'm not mistaken, is what Steve ASKED for.

19 Jul 2010 6:11 PM
nina

I see once again the Zenyatta fanatics are out. She needs to eat some dirt before she is even in the list. She is Kalifornia's HOY.

19 Jul 2010 6:12 PM
Hirize

1. Zenyatta- Hands down the greatest filly ever to race.  How can you argue with perfection.

2. Princess Rooney- Often forgotten but she was a great filly and probably would have won the inaugural Breeders Cup Classic in 1984 had she run.

3. Personal Ensign- Once again hard to argue perfection.

4. Ruffian- Super filly and all heart, should have never run the match race.

5. Azeri- Tremendous speed and a heart, reeled off an amazing run of Grade I wins but was terribly mishandled at the end of her career.

6. Lady's Secret-  Was a wonderfull filly and had speed to kill.  Often forgotten are her accomplishments including a big win the BC Distaff in 1986.

7. Bayakoa- Never beat the boys but was one of best fillies we have seen.  Does not get much credit for winning the BC Distaff 2 years in a row.

8. Paseana- Always ran her race and did it with class.  Lost a heartbreaker to Hollywood Wildcat in the BC Distaff in 1996.

9. Serean's Song- A true warrior from the start and she gave her heart everytime.

10. Miesque-  Probably the best grass filly ever and demonstrated that 2 times in America in the BC Turf against the boys.

19 Jul 2010 6:20 PM
Danylson

1)Zenyatta  Do u think she can't win at Belmont and at 1 1/2mile, I was raised in Queens, please!!!!

2)Rachel Alexandra, simply amazing

3)Personal Ensign, beat Gulch and King Swan...

4)Ruffian  ran her heart out

5)Lady Secret, Beat Turkoman who is way underated!!!

6)Princess Rooney, had blazing speed but never beat boys

7)Bayakoa , can run with any of the above Argentine class!!

8) Paseana , clone of Bayakoa ran with the best!!!

9)Dance Smartly , beat the boys in the Molson!

10) Safely Kept, beat arguably the best sprinters Housebuster and World Sprint Champion Dayjur!!

19 Jul 2010 6:20 PM
slee

What fun!  And how impossible a task!

I started making a Top 10 and had 18 before I knew it...

1.  Ta Wee - ok, so she was a sprinter.  She packed 142 pounds and beat the boys to within an inch of their lives.  When you're great at your job it doesn't matter if you're a specialist.  (And her grandson, Holy Bull, was pretty good too!)

2.  Genuine Risk - heart, speed and class.  Never worse than 2nd in all Triple Crown races, won the Derby.  Didn't win every race, but didn't duck a challenge either.

3.  Ruffian.   I saw her run once. 'nough said.

4.  Personal Ensign - undefeated.  Beat a Derby winner (Winning Colors).  Beat the boys (including Gulch) in the Whitney.  And turned out to be a great broodmare.

5.  Rachel Alexandra.  An incredible 3 year old season.  We want more.

6.  Paseana.  No worries about a "1 season wonder" here!

7.  Winning Colors.  Santa Anita Derby Winner.  KY Derby Winner.  

8.  Shuvee

9.  Dark Mirage

10.  and now I'm out of numbers.  I think Bayakoa would have beaten Zenyatta, and I think on her best day Lady's Secret could have beaten them both.  And what of Cicada, and Chris Evert (remember her swishing tail?)?  And......well, I guess I'll start thinking about turf mares and fillies now!

a few others --

For sheer beauty, Beautiful Pleasure.  A great name for a drop-dead gorgeous horse.

Honorable mention to a couple of "if only" they'd lived to race longer - Landaluce and Go for Wand.  As fantastic as they were, we wanted more.

19 Jul 2010 6:29 PM
Steve Haskin

Thanks everyone for your comments and Top 10 lists. It was much more than I expected. I have started to compile the results and will post the complete list a little later in the week. Just so everyone knows, the only lists that are being tabulated are complete Top 10 lists in order -- no partial lists, no lists that contain more than one grass/European filly. It is apparent a good number of people did not bother reading the text at the beginning.

I will list the results with total points and first-place votes, as well as a separate list of just the fillies of the pre-Breeders' Cup era (1960-83). It is apparent from the results so far that youth prevails.

19 Jul 2010 6:39 PM
txhorsefan

I love how Steve put this listing out there for discussion, disection and debate then everyone chimes in with their own list of personal favorites.  Whether it's based on having witnessed these fillies in person or having access to their racing records, through all of you I'm learning, so thank you.  Zookeeper, I have to agree with you in that my assessments are based on emotions, the feelings the horses stir in me - there is no logic in my heart - lol!  So many interesting points most of you have brought out - it's great to see all the different sides of these horses and what they mean or have meant to us.  Dr. Drunk, I love your description of Zenyatta - my thoughts exactly!  Will she get there in time?  Wow! Thank you again, Steve!

19 Jul 2010 6:41 PM
kip elser

great entries great ae  i can't see anyone to scratch but mocassin and sky beauty should draw in

19 Jul 2010 6:43 PM
Aluminaut

1.  Ruffian

2.  Zenyatta

3.  Dark Mirage

4.  Gamely

5.  Personal Ensign

6.  Paseana

7.  Ta Wee

8.  Princessnesian

9.  Tosmah

10. Tizna

19 Jul 2010 6:58 PM
PhonyJJ

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Lady's Secret

4. Genuine Risk

5. Personal Ensign

6. Goldikova

7. Rags to Riches

8. Go for Wand

9. Shuvee

10.Rachel Alexandra  ( because she brought the old man down a notch) Gave him a good spanking in 2010..

19 Jul 2010 7:15 PM
Bill R

Steve, That is a great list of fillies, one that came to mind that you may have missed was Twilight Tear. It'll be interesting to see how the rest of this year pans out, Rachael seems to be revving up and Zenyatta may have been a little stale recently.

19 Jul 2010 7:18 PM
Old Timer

Tough, but it is fun to see the different points of view. My list:

Ruffian - could have been even better!

Personal Ensign - Never lost, what more can you say?

Dark Mirage - what a big heart in a small package. Her triple crown was a masterpiece!

Zenyatta

Lady's Secret

Shuvee - her JCGC was  amazing feat.

Rachel A.

Mom's Command

Ta Wee - only a sprinter? puh-lease... she had the fastest raw speed of anyone on this list.

Genuine Risk - ran in all three Classics.

19 Jul 2010 7:43 PM
Ida Lee

I'm looking forward to seeing your list Mr. Haskin. I've also enjoyed very much reading the above comments. I cannot believe how many people still have the glorious beauty known as Ruffian in their minds and their hearts. It's because of her that there is a special place in my heart for Fillies/Mares. I feel incredibly lucky to have seen Ruffian race and now to actually be able to see the great Fillies/Mares of today like Rachel, Zenyatta, Tuscan Evening and yes even the foreigners, Goldikova, Vodka. Love them all.

19 Jul 2010 7:43 PM
Slew

Sidekickflats: Alysheba was a colt...as in male.

19 Jul 2010 7:45 PM
Jordan

My all time top three is:

1. Zenyatta  (when a horse such as this is mentioned on the same scale as Secretariat and Citation-enough said!)

2. Lady's Secret (classic case of a horse winning on both coasts)

3. Ruffian (I cannot put this horse higher since she was never tested, never beat more that 3 Grade 1 winners, and never carried the weight)

19 Jul 2010 7:45 PM
Manny the D

1. Zenyatta (the greatest female racehorse of all time)

2. Lady's Secret (the Old Iron Lady)

3. Susan's Girl (mighty tuff)

4. Ruffian (perhaps the most overrated horse of all time)

5. Shuvee (ran in only state)

6. Landuluce

7. Melair

8. Rachel Alexandra

9. Ta Wee

10. Personal Ensign

19 Jul 2010 7:50 PM
Zookeeper

Mr. Haskin,

Oh no! You won't count my list because it only contains five names? OK! I'll do my best to rate them whether I've seen them or not.

1) Zenyatta

2) Ruffian

3) Lady's Secret

4) Winning Colors

5) Rachel Alexandra

6) Azeri

7) Megahertz

8) Bayakoa

9) Gamely

10)Dance Smartly

Oof! I could spend another couple of hours moving them up and down,

omitting some, adding others and driving myself crazy... but my head hurts and I can't take it anymore!!! Thanks a lot Mr. Haskin! Now, let's see YOUR list, or can't you make up your mind either?  :)

19 Jul 2010 7:55 PM
Lisa

1. Zenyatta - she is what she is undefeated in 17 starts

2. Ruffian - because of what was and what could have been

3. Personal Ensign - not only undefeated, but a superstar as a broodmare

4. Rags To Riches - a Belmont to remember

5. Lady's Secret - she did so much at so many distances and tracks

6. Genuine Risk - what a thrill to see her win the KD

7. Rachel Alexandra - 2009 was awesome 2010 not so much yet

8. Azeri - wonderful mare

9. Go For Wand -so game

10. Winning Colors - another KD for the girls so game game in the BC Distaff

19 Jul 2010 7:56 PM
Slew

Apologies Sidekick...that's what I get for skipping too fast over comment.

I found it most difficult to rank these great stand out girls.  We have truly been blessed with so much talent, I just hope we appreciate it.

DR D....as far as Zen goes...don't forget the defibrillator for her next race...I did need it for her last race.

19 Jul 2010 8:03 PM
tara scheland

what a great list amazing fillies in there i probably wouldn't be able to pick an order because a few of them i havea never seen race but really fantastic mares on there thank you for the great info nad pros and cons

19 Jul 2010 8:15 PM
Dreamsinger

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Lady's Secret

4. Shuvee

5. Rachel Alexandra

6. Personal Ensign

7. Ta Wee

8. Princess Rooney

9. Safely Kept

10. Rags to Riches

19 Jul 2010 8:18 PM
skyfire

Steve:

This is so much fun!!  If you get a chance, can you ask John Nerud his opinion:  I think he may have seen all of them!!  What a great judge of horses.

Also, could you ask Wayne how Lady's Secret ranks with Azeri?  Thanks!!  

1.  Ruffian

2.  Gamely  

3.  Rachael A.

4.  Gallant Bloom

5.  Ta Wee

6.  Lady's Secret

7.  Bayakoa

8.  Paseana

9.  Zenyatta

10.  Azeri

19 Jul 2010 8:18 PM
John C

Steve Excellent idea my 10 are

1)Personal Ensign

2)Zenyatta

3}Ruffian

4)My Juliet

5)Rachel Alexandra

6)Lady's Secret

7)Genuine Risk

8)What A Summer

9)Bayakoa

10)Rags To Riches

19 Jul 2010 8:20 PM
Richard B.

Be smart out there folks and think, not only is Zenyatta the best gal ever but she ranks in the top ten runners male or female  She's never been beat, I repeat, never! It makes no difference if she's run over a synthetic track or not. You wouldn't penalize a runner who has won all  his races on a dirt surface and none on the artificial stuff, would you? You also have to remember she's constantly at the mercy of the pace in each and every race as she loves to circle her rivals from behind which is the toughest way for any thoroughbred to win. No one has beat this gal yet. How many race horses can lay claim to that? How many sports teams have gone undefeated season-in and season-out? She is truly the greatest racing female in the history of this great game and anyone who thinks differently simply can't think.

19 Jul 2010 8:22 PM
3 Crowns

I don't believe the top five (5 ) list is too tough but then it gets difficult. Too many people getting hung up on Rachel and Zenyatta, I don't believe they would have defeated my top five:

Ruffian

Personal Ensign

Davona Dale

Inside Information

Sky Beauty

Mom's Command

Azeri

Genuine Risk

Rachel Alexandra

Zenyatta

19 Jul 2010 8:36 PM
skyfire

I think every one of these mares would be unbeaten if they had raced their whole careers in New Mexico.

19 Jul 2010 8:37 PM
Janesville Liz

1) Zenyatta

2) Shuvee

3) Lady's Secret

4) Ruffian

5) Rachel Alexandra

6) Personal Ensign

7) Azeri

8) Chris Evert

9) Go For Wand

10)Genuine Risk

With honorable mention to Bayakoa, Paseana, Dark Mirage, Sky Beauty, Moccasin, and Lamb Chop.

19 Jul 2010 8:47 PM
Conrad Casuga

My top 10 picks for best fillies the past 50 years are

1  Lady's Secrect

2  My Juliet

3  Personal Ensign

4  Glorious Song

5  Rachel Alexander

6  Dance Smartly

7  Genuine Risk

8  Zenyatta

9  Affectionately

10 Safely Kept

19 Jul 2010 8:56 PM
Terry

How many fillies have won a Triple Crown against colts — not one race, but all three — in any country?

Dance Smartly, and... wait, she is the only one, isn't she? (If there is another, I apologize.)  She also was undefeated at 3.

How is is a "con" to have raced mostly in Canada early on, as listed for Glorious Song? She was 2nd to Spectacular Bid in one race!

My top 3 (haven't figured out a Top 10) are Zenyatta, Gamely and Dance Smartly. All three are or were exceptional.

19 Jul 2010 9:30 PM
Leon

Miss Woodford:

Could you please name the "imported" horses Defensora has defeated in PR?

She has only faced them once, and was defeated by the RD TC winner Sicótico, and by SP horse Cristal de Oro from PR. She barely held for third place in her only international appearance. If you'd like to mention a PR mare (which does not really qualify as an american mare), Verset Dancer defeated imported horses in the Caribbean Derby, and won allowances in the US.

19 Jul 2010 9:42 PM
hejoso

Loved the shoutouts for Susan's Girl and Desert Vixen from the 70's, who barely missed making my cut.  Kudos to those who remembered Tizna!  One of the more recent ones that I believe is overlooked is Blushing KD, who won the Ky Oaks and beat such star fillies as Sharp Cat, Ajina (eventual BC Distaff winner and 3yo champ), and Tomisue's Delight.  She suffered a career-ending injury, I believe, training for the Haskell.

19 Jul 2010 9:45 PM
ts

1. Zenyatta

2. Personal Ensign

3. Ruffian

4. Lady's Secret

5. Gallant Bloom

6. Genuine Risk

7. Gamely

8. Bayakoa

9. Winning Colors

10. Safely Kept

19 Jul 2010 9:48 PM
RachelFan

arent you forgetting a certain little grey runner up to Big Brown named Eight Belles?

1.Rachel Alexandra

2.Serena's Song

3.Eight Belles

4.Ruffian

5.Winning Colors

6.Genuine Risk

7.Dark Mirage

8.Princess Rooney

9.Personal Ensign

10.Zenyatta

sorry have to be impartial to Serena's song as she shares my name =) absolutely in love with that gorgeous bay filly with the upside down exclamation point named Rachel...

19 Jul 2010 9:52 PM
RachelFan

actually I forgot about Landaluce she goes #3 and beats Zenyatta off the list its a shame she didnt race longer

19 Jul 2010 9:56 PM
DKM

1.  Ruffian

2.  Personal Ensign

3.  Zenyatta

4.  Rachel Alexandra

5.  Go For Wand

6.  Genuine Risk

7.  Serena's Song

8.  Eight Belles

9.  Azeri

10. Bayakoa

19 Jul 2010 9:58 PM
Citation

1.  Personal Ensign

2.  Ruffian

3.  Rachel Alexandra

4.  Zenyatta

5.  Genuine Risk

6.  Winning Colors

7.  Lady's Secret

8.  Go for Wand

9.  Goldikova

10. Bayakoa

19 Jul 2010 10:04 PM
Terri

Steve,

My list wasn't in any particular order before. Now it is. Can't wait to see the list of turf fillies. I already know I'd put Goldikova at No. 1.

1. Zenyatta

2. Serena's Song

3. Personal Ensign

4. Rags to Riches

5. Rachel Alexandra

6. Ruffian

7. Princess Rooney

8. Go for Wand

9. Inside Information

10. Sharp Cat

19 Jul 2010 10:09 PM
Roberto from PR

The best race mare IMO has to be between Zenyatta and Ruffian. They were both perfect. Zenyatta gets my nod, because of her BC win againts a field of excelent G1 winners.

Her style dosen't help her, and yet her will to win and ability keep pulling her through. She captures you're amagination with her personality and beauty.

My top ten are:

1-Zenyatta

2-Ruffian

3-Personal Ensign

4-Winning Colors

5-Rags to Riches

6-Lady's Secret

7-Genuine Risk

8-Rachael Alexandra

9-Go for Wand

10-Azeri

19 Jul 2010 10:12 PM
New Orleans Lady

rachel, Rachel, RACHEL!!!

19 Jul 2010 10:26 PM
Roberttix

In my mind, the "greatest" of all time without a doubt is Ruffian.  Her records, performances and brillance speaks for themselves.  To fill out a top 10, an argument could be made for every other horse mentioned here.  Undefeated Personal Ensign, Zenyatta & Pepper's Pride should be included base on their records alone.  The rest of the Top 10, I am not enough of an expert to figure who goes where.  Let's just say that they are all deserving.    

19 Jul 2010 10:34 PM
Pedigree Shelly

   Here are my Top Ten - In no particular order -

Ruffian

Zenyatta

Rachel Alexandra

Genuine Risk

Personal Ensign

Rags To Riches

Go For Wand

Lady's Secret

Ta Wee

Landaluce

19 Jul 2010 10:43 PM
Pedigree Shelly

         Kit J - Thank You for bringing up Landaluce ! She could have reached the stars if it wasn't for her falling fatally ill at the age of two ! What a loss :(

19 Jul 2010 10:52 PM
robinm

Wow.  How on earth can someone put Pepper's Pride on a list of the top fillies in the past 50 years and leave off Rachel Alexandra?  Me thinks thy name is "Denial".

Likewise, how can anyone rank Pepper's Pride above Zenyatta simply by virtue of PP having 2 more wins?

19 Jul 2010 10:55 PM
Tiznowbaby

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Dance Smartly

4. Lady's Secret

5. Rachel Alexandra

6. Genuine Risk

7. Glorious Song

8. Personal Ensign

9. Serena's Song

10. Xtra Heat

9.

19 Jul 2010 11:11 PM
Paseana

I wasn't going to try this.  There's so many distaffers and so little spots (10) on the list.  But here goes anyway.

1. Lady's Secret - She kind of dropped into obscurity for a little while there, probably because she was such an abject failure as a broodmare, but she's enjoying a big comeback lately.  I just remember that she swept the filly/mare handicap triple (Maskette, Ruffian, & Beldame) against older horses as a 3yo before finishing 2nd in the BC Distaff.  But she wasn't satisfied with that, so she came back and swept it AGAIN at 4 before an absolutely devastating win in the Distaff.  She was never off the board in 4 GI races against males, winning one of them.  I have decided to put her at #1 on my list.

2- Zenyatta

3- Shuvee

4- Ruffian

5- Personal Ensign

6- Genuine Risk

7- Rachel Alexandra

8- Bayakoa

9- Go For Wand

10- Glorious Song

My namesake is Paseana, but I can't put her in my top 10.  Also, in a shout-out to the sprinters, you don't get any better than Ta Wee, My Juliet, and Xtra Heat.  Pine Tree Lane, Gold Beauty, and Very Subtle weren't too shabby either!

At least I'm on record!

10-  

19 Jul 2010 11:21 PM
Paula Higgins

Racing Historian, what kind of historian are you saying that no other horse has excited the general public with the exception of Rachel? I love Rachel, she is great. But Zenyatta and Ruffian have had as much impact or more. Add to that Lady's Secret and Personal Ensign. Geesh. Talk about having blinders on.

19 Jul 2010 11:23 PM
ZenWillWin:)

After I finished putting the great and powerful Zenyatta first I felt like I was studying for a final exam!!!!!!! Tough, tough assignment, Mr. Steve.Here's my list...could have been easier if there were 15...lol

1 Zenyatta

2 Ruffian

3 Regret

4 Personal Ensign(that nose in front of Winning Colors never fades

5 Rags to Riches

6 Rachel

7 Azeri

8 Dark Mirage

9 Pine Island

10 Gamely

Love them all! Just 10 of many.

19 Jul 2010 11:39 PM
carolyn

This should be easy,  Love them all some more so than others.

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Eight Belles

4. Genuine Risk

5. Lady's Secret

6. Go for Wand

7. Gamely

8. Personal Ensign

9. Peppers Pride

10.Shuvee

19 Jul 2010 11:55 PM
CL

1.  Ruffian

2.  Genuine Risk

3.  Shuvee

4.  Ta Wee

5.  Winning Colors

6.  Zenyatta

7.  Lady's Secret

8.  Rachel Alexandra

9.  Personal Ensign

10. Affectionately

19 Jul 2010 11:56 PM
Jodie

1. Zenyatta

2. Lady's Secret

3. Ruffian

4. Azeri

5. Shuvee

6. Serena's Song

7. Personal Ensign

8. Genuine Risk

9. Ta Wee

10. Winning Colors

I have have been lucky to have seen all of my top ten in several of their races.

20 Jul 2010 12:03 AM
Nikki

I'm an amateur horse racing fan, so I don't have everything down yet. I LOVE Zenyatta, and I think I like Ruffian.I don't know how RA got nominated HOY...still trying to figure that one out.>:(

20 Jul 2010 12:08 AM
sidekickflats

Rachelfan- this is a question not an attack... looking at your list you have Eight Belles as 3rd. She was a great 2nd to Big Brown in the Derby but unfort. didn't have a chance to do much else.  Yet, you have 2 winners of the Derby in 5th and 6th place.  And Personal Ensign who beat WColors twice and males once in 9th and Zenyatta who beat the Derby and Belmont winner in 10th.  We are all entitled to our opinion and as I said, I mean this as a question not as an attack.  Did Eight Belles inpress you that much in defeat in the Derby or did you think Big Brown was so good, that a filly to finish second to him deserves a higher spot than other mares? Just wondering.

Slew- glad you reread the post.  Not only did I not put turf fillies in my top 10 but I managed to keep older males out too :)

20 Jul 2010 12:22 AM
CV

" see once again the Zenyatta fanatics are out. She needs to eat some dirt before she is even in the list. She is Kalifornia's HOY."

nina 19 Jul 2010 6:12 PM

Just curious, Steve, but how did the above post make it in? I thought the Z-and-RA bashing was going away?

20 Jul 2010 12:27 AM
Otherlyn

Thank you for all of the lists.  These blazing beauties all deserve to be remembered with  honor.

Please include:

Terlingua

Eight Belles

Pine Island

La Ville Rouge

Gallant Secret

Hot N Nasty

Octave

Honey Ryder

Unbridled Belle

Butterfly Belle (gave Russell Baze his record breaking ride, then was raced down and down. Has disappeared/seems now to have fallen off the face of the earth)

20 Jul 2010 1:26 AM
Niles

Laura Hillenbrand, whom wrote the Seabiscuit book, which was made into a movie, was interviewed on NPR Saturday regarding Zenyatta.

Could a book, then maybe a movie be following?

20 Jul 2010 1:33 AM
John

To put this into another perspective, the English have this "World Cup of Racing Poll" to see who was the greatest thoroughbred in the last four years.

It started with the sixteen greatest racehorses whick included great female racehorses such as Zarkava, Goldikova, Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta and as well as their male counterparts like Sea The Stars, Authorized, Yeats, Dylan Thomas, Paco Boy, Duke of Marmalade.

The final will be Sea The Stars versus Zenyatta.

Please note that Sea The Stars retired with a Timeform ratings of 140 or two more that Cigar (138).

And that only six other thoroughbreds in history that have raced in Europe, Japan, and other countries have higher ratings.

If the English can put Zenyatta on such a high pedestal - so can I.

1. Zenyatta

2. Lady's Secret

3. Go For Wand

4. Shuvee

5. Ruffian

6. Personal Ensign

7. Susan's Girl

8. Ta Wee

9. Landuluce

10. Melair

20 Jul 2010 2:43 AM
Deacon

Although I have made my choices of the top 10 all time greatest fillies and mares. One filly unlisted anywhere deserves honorable mention

Her name is Silver Spoon. She is the 1959 winner of the Santa Anita Derby, one of only 2 fillies ever to win that prestigious race. The other being Winning Colors. She beat Royal Orbit who won the Preakness that year. Siver Spoon ran 5th to Tomy Lee in the Kentucky Derby. Later that summer she redeemed that lost by defeating Tomy Lee at Hollywood Park. Silver Spoon owned by C V Whitney and trained by legendary trainer Robert Wheeler whom my father knew. Silver Spoon was by Triple Crown winner Citation, and she also carried the bloodline of Equipoise and Man O War.

Silver Spoon pretty much won every major stakes race on the west coast for fillies and mares. Back in the day, racing at Santa Anita Park and Hollywood Park was very pretigious.

I believe this brilliant filly deserves some merit.....

20 Jul 2010 3:26 AM
JM

Verset’s Dancer (20 starts 13-3-3) not only beat the best of her genre, but also beat males and the best males in international event. After achieving that, she went on to produce an international stakes winner. www.pedigreequery.com/versets+dancer

Blanqui R (102 starts 29-25-20) not only beat the best of her genre, but also beat males. Her durability and soundness were astonishing. She also proved her worth by producing Canadian champion, Blondeinamotel. An international caliber producer.

www.pedigreequery.com/blanqui+r

Their only cons: their great  achievements occurred against international horses out of the mainland USA.

20 Jul 2010 6:33 AM
lengua92

Zenyatta

Ruffian

Rachel Alexandra

Personal Ensign

Inside Information

20 Jul 2010 7:16 AM
Pick4playa

Glad someone mentioned Ouija Board. Won BC Filly Turf twice for Ed Dunlop. Her first foal Voodoo Prince by Kingmombo will hopefully get running soon.

20 Jul 2010 8:01 AM
Giddyup

1.Zenyatta

2.Ruffian

3.Rachel Alexandra

4.Personal Ensign

5.Lady Secret

6.Genuine Risk

7.Rags To Riches

8.Go For Wand

9.Bayakoa

10.Goldikova

20 Jul 2010 8:04 AM
Billy's Empire

Deacon, I was going to mention her, but Steve asked for 50 years, and that filly ran 51 years ago....

HA, just kidding, thanks for putting that out there for all to see.

20 Jul 2010 8:31 AM
Don in Massachusetts

We've been blessed with so many great fillies in the last 50 years, so here is my list in no particular order:

Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, Ruffian, Lady's Secret, Genuine Risk, Peppers Pride, Princess Rooney, Go For Wand, Pine Island, and Personal Ensign.

They are impossible to rank based on their achievements.

20 Jul 2010 8:43 AM
Slew

Only because synth tracks are mentioned in Steve's original post, I would like to point out...human track and field meets were always run on dirt and grass.  Today however, records are being set (with NO asterisks) on synthetic surfaces.  Those tracks are now all rubberized, because it keeps the athletes' joints healthier...and it doesn't make any difference to the record books.  Rubberized tracks have become standard since 1968.   Bryan Clay's and Bruce Jenner's Decathlon Medals are no less gold than Jim Thorpe's and Rafer Johnson's.

So....it's okay for humans, but horses are less notable because of it????? It seems hypocritical to me.

Sidekick: I really do have reading comprehension...when I take the time to read something. Sorry ;)

20 Jul 2010 9:38 AM
mryeti

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Genuine Risk

4. Davona Dale

5. Rachel Alexandra

6. Azeri

7. Peppers Pride

8. Silverbulletday

9. Shuvee

10. Princess Rooney

20 Jul 2010 9:51 AM
lynne langill

Dreaming of Anna - not on list

20 Jul 2010 10:08 AM
Jodie

Top ten of 50 years should be based on their racing careers and not just on one good year.

20 Jul 2010 10:11 AM
Greg J.

Since Lady's Secret is mentioned in almost everyone's top ten, I thought some might enjoy these videos just posted on Youtube.  It is from NBC's original airing of the 1986 Breeders' Cup Distaff, Won by Lady's Secret.

A warning though, in the first video, starting at the 2:23 mark and ending at the 4:00 mark, the video shows one of the most frightening spills in the history of Santa Anita involving Encolure and four other horses. I would advise to skip over this part of the video, thanks...

Part 1, 1986 Breeders' Cup Distaff, Lady's Secret:

www.youtube.com/watch

Part 2, 1986 Breeders' Cup Distaff, Lady's Secret:

www.youtube.com/watch

20 Jul 2010 10:18 AM
Slew

Jodie...sometimes one magical year is all we are allowed.  We can still be awed by a single year's campaign, as much as by the longevity of another's campaign.

20 Jul 2010 10:47 AM
timeforachange

I cant see how you can put Z or RA in the top 5. It is hard for the top 10 to me. I would say on the edge they are. Bayakoa Ruffian Ladys Secret Shuvee Miesque Genuine Risk Personal Ensign  I would then for the bottom put Goldikova RA and Zen . I would also wager RA and Z will not be in the mix for HOTY as well.

20 Jul 2010 11:04 AM
DBS

1. Zenyatta

2.Ruffian

3.Lady's Secret

4.Personal Ensign

5.Rachel Alexandra

6.Genuine Risk

7. Rags to Riches

8.Azeri

9.Winning Colors

10. Inside Information

20 Jul 2010 11:10 AM
bulldog

I believe that as good as Zenyatta is the cudos have to go to Genuine Risk and Ruffian.  Is Zenyatta really that good or is it a question of how bad the males have become.  20 and 30 years ago horses were just so much better.  Imagine if the Breeders cup had been Invasor, Bernardini, Barbaro, Rags to Riches, and Genuine Risk.  I would have bought a ticket for that one.  Zenyatta is a freak no doubt but I think we will see the debate finally settled in October.  

20 Jul 2010 11:10 AM
LAZMANNICK

Slew

Way to go Slew.  Good point as always.

20 Jul 2010 11:11 AM
Steve Haskin

Get your Top 10 lists in. Judgement time is near.

20 Jul 2010 11:11 AM
steve from st louis

No one really cares about another top 10 list from me, but after 40 years in the game, all I can say is that the one filly I would want to run in my colors was Ruffian. She was truly a force of nature.

20 Jul 2010 11:39 AM
Footlick

Ok, here is my list, but I could substitute many others too

Ruffian

Dark Mirage- yes I believe she was that good

Personal Ensign

Gallant Bloom

Gamely

Zenyatta

Susan's Girl

Shuvee

Desert Vixen

Genuine Risk

And an honorable mention to Typecast

20 Jul 2010 11:46 AM
jayjay

bulldog : For one, Steve asked the "racing fans" to put up their top 10.  He didn't ask the experts to pick the 10 ten fillies of all time.  Most of the votes that you see here are fan votes, some are more knowledgeable than others and some have even seen most of the horses run but bottom line, it's a fan vote.  Don't worry, Zenyatta dn Ruffian are both great in their own right, they ran in two different worlds.  Zenyatta has her own legacy so does Ruffian.  I'm comfortable in saying that any fan of Zenyatta is also a fan of Ruffian, they were both great horses from different era.

20 Jul 2010 12:02 PM
Slew

I don't get it...Steve said not turf horses this time.  Perhaps Ouija Board, Goldikova, and Zarkava are best saved for another day, and must make their comparisons to Makybe Diva...3x Melbourne Cup winnerand highest earning horse in the world.

20 Jul 2010 12:10 PM
slyder

1) Zenyatta

2) Ruffian

3) Personal Ensign

4) Azeri

5) Genuine Risk

6) Rags To Riches

7) Go For Wand

8) Bayakoa

9) Princess Rooney

10) Inside Information

20 Jul 2010 12:19 PM
Patty Glen Oaks, NY

It is sad we never got to see how great Eight Belles could have been...Safely Kept was a lightning fast sprinter and beat the best males in her class...I think she once put up a first quarter fraction of 20:4!!!!  What about Ouija Board?  She was great on the turf...Top of the list would have to be undefeated Personal Ensign...just watch the replay of the BC Distaff when she ran down Derby winner Winning Colors.

20 Jul 2010 12:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

My three personal favorites are Zenyatta, Ruffian, and Rags to Riches, but I have a feeling that we're going to see something really special from Rachel the rest of the year and that she may be underrated here. Zenyatta is one of the greatest all time of any sex or species. The only knock on her is that unlike Elvis, The Beatles, and The Doors, she was never on The Ed Sullivan Show. Rags to Riches win over Curlin in The Belmont was one of the greatest battles in history and she beat one of the greatest males in history. Ruffian unfortunately was running during the era of The Battle of the Sexes, and we lost her during the match race against Foolish Pleasure. Some thought that she was in the top five of all time of any sex.

20 Jul 2010 12:25 PM
joe schmoe

In order:

Zenyatta

Ruffian

Personal Ensign

Azeri

Rags To Riches

Genuine Risk

Chris Evert

Lady's Secret

Princess Rooney

Bayakoa

20 Jul 2010 12:25 PM
Michael from Phoenix

Wish we could enjoy these horses

for being wonderful athletes to watch, instead of beginning all

conversations with...who's the best. I wonder why 13 races is a

con for Personal Ensign, but 17

races isn't a con for an older

mare like Zenyatta?  I'm happy

people haven't forgotten what

a great filly Ruffian was.  

Thanks for your efforts regarding

the females of Thoroughbred racing.

20 Jul 2010 12:26 PM
Judy Loves Zenyatta ~ California

Steve

Since this is getting down to the "wire", I will just put #1 on my top ten list:

ZENYATTA

It's difficult for me to do a 2 through 10. Based on what you've written, they are all wonderful! I'm just a fan of horseracing, nothing else.

20 Jul 2010 12:29 PM
Karen D

Thanks for shining a well deserved spotlight on the ladies!  This was really tough...no losers in this crowd.

I narrowed it down to a dozen(in alphabetical order:)

Davona Dale

Genuine Risk

Lady's Secret

Peppers Pride

Personal Ensign

Princess Rooney

Rachel Alexandra

Rags to Riches

Ruffian

Ta Wee

Xtra Heat

Zenyatta

As for personal favorites: Bobby Frankel called Sightseek a gladiator and she looked like one with those long lines and chiseled features.  Her 6 GI wins in 2003 put her way ahead of Azeri, who got the older mare championship that year.  Sightseek deserved better.

I've never seen a filly more full of heart than Happy Ticket.  She was as beautiful as she was kind and courageous.

Only question: Is being a sprinter really a con?

20 Jul 2010 12:45 PM
Larry

1.Ruffian

2.TaWee

3.Lady's Secret

4.Rachel Alexandra

5.Zenyatta

6.Rags To Riches

7.Personal Ensign

8.Go For Wand

9.Quija Board

10.Genuine Risk

20 Jul 2010 12:55 PM
Captain Red

1) Zenyatta

2) Ruffian

3) Winning Colors

4) Rags to Riches

5) Rachel Alexandra

6) Personal Ensign

7) Bayakoa

8) Serena's Song

9) Beautiful Pleasure

10) Mom's Command

20 Jul 2010 12:56 PM
nik214

Forgot Crimson Saint?  Yes, a sprinter - but one that beat all comers, set track records, and, oh yes, mommy to Terlingua

20 Jul 2010 1:01 PM
jim

Tough, Tough choices:

#1 Ruffian / Zenyatta

#3Personal Ensign

#4Genuine Risk

#5 Dahlia

#6 Lady's Secret

#7 Susan's Girl

#8 Hollywood Wildcat

#9 Cicada

#10 Bayakoa

20 Jul 2010 1:15 PM
Fish

Genuine Risk

Go For Wand

Ruffian

Zenyatta

Winning Colors

Personal Ensign

Rags to Riches

Serena's Song (mostly because of the exposure Dreamer brought to the racing world)

Rachel Alexandra (like the horse, hate the current owner. ugh)

20 Jul 2010 1:27 PM
Mahuba

It appears I can only select 10 horses in my list in order to be counted.  (If not, Mr. Haskins, please use my previous list.)

Here it is------

1. Zenyatta

2. Ta Wee

3. Ruffian

4. Personal Ensign

5. Rachel Alexandra

6. Ladies Secret

7. Genuine Risk

8. Go for Wand

9. Dance Smartly

10. Rags to Riches

20 Jul 2010 1:54 PM
Whirlaway

1) Zenyatta

2) Busher

3) Twilight Tear

4) Ruffian

5) Landaluce

6) Personal Ensign

7) Azeri

8) Bayakoa

9) Lady's Secret

10) Shuvee

20 Jul 2010 2:13 PM
merlinmerry

1 - Genuine Risk

2 - Lady's Secret

3 - Ta Wee

4 - Dark Mirage

5 - Ruffian

6 - My Juliet

7 - Shuvee

8 - Zenyatta

9 - Rags To Riches

10 - Rachel Alexandra

20 Jul 2010 2:15 PM
Nancy

Hi Steve,

You really made this tough!  So many of them accomplished so much.  Here is my two cents worth:

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Lady's Secret

4. Shuvee

5. Rags To Riches

6. Rachel Alexandra

7. Personal Ensign

8. Go For Wand

9. Genuine Risk

10. Azeri

11. Mom's Command

Honorable Mention: Bayoka, Winning Colors, Affectionately, Gamely, Glorious Song, Dance Smartly, and Paseana.

20 Jul 2010 2:16 PM
draynot

From 1-10:

Zenyatta

Ruffian

Personal Ensign

Azeri

Rags To Riches

Lady's Secret

Genuine Risk

Chris Evert

Go For Wand

Hoist Her Flag

20 Jul 2010 2:17 PM
Exterminator

1) Zenyatta

2) Busher

3) Twilight Tear

4) Ruffian

5) Personal Ensign

6) Shuvee

7) Azeri

8) Bayakoa

9) Lady's Secret

10) Princess Rooney

20 Jul 2010 2:22 PM
Nancy

Hi Steve - I forgot to add a write-in who was not on your list - Pepper's Pride.  I think it is unfair to ignore her record just because all of the races were in her home state. She took on all comers and set a perfect record against all odds.  Do you have any updates on her and her foals?

Thanks!

20 Jul 2010 2:23 PM
afleetalexforever

Fillies from last year - Flashing, Gabby's Golden Girl - Grade 1 winners impressively, Flashing beat the best field of 3 year old fillies to run in 2009 in a romp.  That included the superhorse from california Stardom Bound who was dusted in that race.

20 Jul 2010 2:33 PM
DP

Boy are these opinions going to change in a few months.  Here is a list from someone who has seen them all run:

1)Rachel Alexandra

2)Ruffian

3)Zenyatta

4)Personal Ensign

5)Lady's Secret

6)Desert Vixen

7)Go For Wand

8)Genuine Risk

9)Princess Rooney

10)Gallant Bloom

20 Jul 2010 2:43 PM
Curlin123

1) Personal Ensign

2) Ruffian

3) Zenyatta

4) Busher

5) Shuvee

6) Ta Wee

7) Lady's Secret

8) Genuine Risk

9) Go For Wand

10) Azeri

20 Jul 2010 2:50 PM
-Keelerman

Billy's Empire & Lazmannick:

Thanks for the information! I really appreciate it!

-Keelerman

www.triplecrowncountdown.blogspot.com

20 Jul 2010 2:50 PM
SGunne

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Azeri

4. Rachel Alexandra

5. Personal Ensign

6. Rags to Riches

7. Winning Colors

8. Genuine Risk

9. Ashado

10.Peppers Pride

Also, Round Pond should be included in the big list.

20 Jul 2010 2:53 PM
Denmark

Don't throw things at the screen since I've added some fillies/mares that me so much pleasure.  My favorite track is Santa Anita so here goes...

1.   Zenyatta

2.   Ruffian

3.   Rachel Alexandra

4.   Bayakoa

5.   Go for Wand

6.   Azeri

7.   Serena's Song

8.   Rags to Riches

9.   Megahertz - the little horse that came from behind who eyed everyone she passed.  

10.  Manistique - who would NOT travel but won at home.  She, also, was a queen.  She was almost as big as Zenyatta.  

20 Jul 2010 3:03 PM
Nancy

Draynay - You are one dimensional as you can see no other horse other an Rachel...what a pity your life is so limited.

20 Jul 2010 3:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

DP

  I think you're right about that. Great things coming from Rachel soon. How about a one-two finish in the Classic for The Ladies?

20 Jul 2010 3:19 PM
Fan of the Fillies

Zenyatta

Rags to Riches

Ruffian

Genuine Risk

Personnel Ensign

Winning Colors

Mom's Command

Ta Wee

Rachel Alexander

Safely Kept

20 Jul 2010 3:21 PM
Denmark

Love this post.  How could I forget Sharp Cat, glad someone mentioned her.  Got me to thinking - watching Honest Lady place in the Santa Anita Derby and Sideseek was always wonderful to watch.  They say when someone is mentioned, they never die...

20 Jul 2010 3:23 PM
Sam Ludu

1. Ruffian

2. Personal Ensign

3. Bayakoa/Go for Wand (a tie, forever wedded)

4. Lady's Secret

5. Zenyatta

6. Winning Colors

7. Genuine Risk

8. Shuvee

9. Azeri

10. Inside Information

Ask me tomorrow, and I'd likely change the positions on all the above from #2 through #10.

20 Jul 2010 3:40 PM
russell maiers

Nice Steve, you did it so well and all the lists are great. It is astonishing to me to see some of the names that pop up rarely and some that pop up alot. The female horse has always intriged me the most. My list is handicaping a race for the top ten, just to be differant.So the race is a mile and an eigth. Please accept my apologies to the great sprinters, especially Ta Wee.

winner- Ruffian

place- Personal Ensign

show- Gennuine Risk

4th- Azeri

5th- Zenyatta

6th-Lady's Secret

7th-Rachel Alexandra

8th- Go For Wand

9th-Inside Information

10th- Bayakoa

20 Jul 2010 4:01 PM
1800s

1- BUSHER

2- Ladys Secret

3- Shuvee

4- Zenyatta

5- Ruffian

6- Gallorette

7- Personal Ensign

8- Beldame

9- Bayakoa

10- Regret

20 Jul 2010 4:03 PM
GREG

1) Ruffian

2)Personal Ensign

3)Rachel Alexandra

4)Lady's Secret

5)Genuine Risk

6)Zenyatta

7)Azeri

8) Serena's Song

9)Silverbulletday

10) Ta Wee

20 Jul 2010 4:14 PM
ridan62

In alphabetical order with ranking in ()

Azeri (5)

Chris Evert (10)

Genuine Risk (8)

Go for Wand (6)

Personal Ensign (3)

Princess Rooney (7)

Rachel Alexandra (4)

Ruffian (2)

Ta Wee (9)

Zenyatta (1)

20 Jul 2010 4:18 PM
Secretariat

afleetalexforever,

You sound little angry.

20 Jul 2010 4:31 PM
Mike Yo.

In order to create a list one must first set parameters. Perhaps a race f&m 3 and up (eliminating Landaluce and Flanders) 1 1/8 on the dirt, fill out your best 10 horse field knowing full well some fabulous horses will be left out. Then, how would you objectively wager? Starcrossed fillies not mentioned that deserved to be: MELAIR, BLUSHING K.D., JERSEY GIRL and old timers BEWITCH and ARTFUL. My frame of reference to bear firsthand witness is 40 years.

1) PRINCESS ROONEY

2) RUFFIAN

3) ZENYATTA

4) INSIDE INFORMATION

5) GENUINE RISK

6) BOLD n DETERMINED

7) MY JULIET

8) PERSONAL ENSIGN

9) GO FOR WAND

10)AZERI

p.s. any submission listing peppers pride lacks objective merit.

20 Jul 2010 4:51 PM
Sherry

Yikes! How am I supposed to choose with THAT list?!

Okay, maybe it's a cop-out, but it's my list, so tough.

No. 1 -- Ruffian

No. 2 -- A dead heat among everyone else.

Well, I said it was a cop-out, didn't I?  All of these girls rocked!

20 Jul 2010 5:07 PM
slee

"Objective merit"?

That's pretty tough to do on this or any other "best of" list.  I may love the little filly or big mare who roared to the front and never gave up the lead, even when pushed and you may like the powerhouse who closed 6 lengths from the quarter pole and blew by the leader to finish clear by daylight.  Neither loses anything because you like one and I like the other!

20 Jul 2010 5:35 PM
Hopalong

1 Galorette

20 Jul 2010 5:40 PM
sceptre

For those very few who have witnessed them ALL-including their respective competition-and on numerous occasions, it is a daunting task to attempt to rank these females objectively. Most bloggers here don't have such real-time experience. What point, therefore, in offering your list of 10?    

20 Jul 2010 6:13 PM
Shawn

Wow, what an interesting thread, I greatly enjoyed reading everyone's opinions! :)

1. Ruffian-The queen, Lucien Lauren, even said she may have been faster/better than Secretariat, if that isn't reason enough to be #1 I don't know what is. Her speed, stamina, and beauty were very impressive. She would have destroyed the boys of her generation, given a chance. imo.

2. Zenyatta-Despite her scheduling/lack of traveling, she has never failed to find the wire first, she has impressed me beyond most horses I have had the pleasure of watching.

3. Lady's Secret-Always a personal favorite for her speed and endurance, plus her being Big Red's number one offspring.

4. Rachel Alexandra-Personal favorite now. She set the bar so high as a three year old it will be hard to duplicate that, but four year old season/rest of career must be back up to her old par in order for me to give her the nod over the top three.

5. Personal Ensign-Heck of a mare, heck of a broodmare, one of the best simply..

6. Dance Smartly-Canadian TC Winner, as well as a dominating Distaff winner for her time, commonly overlooked.

7. Shuvee

8. Serena's Song

9. Go for Wand

10. Ta Wee

20 Jul 2010 6:22 PM
jim

46 fillies/mares on list & 612 on also's I'd rather try the lottery the odds are better.

Just cant believe Hollywood Wildcat is on also's.

20 Jul 2010 6:29 PM
Kathy Kimber

This was a great idea Steve can hardly wait for the fillies who ran on grass.  By the way how about an update on Pepper's Pride, I believe she lost the first foal she tried to carry but is in foal again.  Remember no one has equaled her yet.

20 Jul 2010 6:49 PM
ERIK J.

1)Zenyatta 2)Bayakoa 3)Azeri 4)personel ensign 5)ruffian 6)Gamely 7)Paseana 8)princess Rooney 9)Riboletta 10)Serenas song

20 Jul 2010 7:11 PM
Scamper

1.Zenyatta-still unbeaten and unchallenged

1.Ruffian-Can't separate her from Zenyatta-who knows what she would have done later?

3.Personal Ensign-another unbeaten  mare,always knew how to win it

4. Rachel Alexandra-great at 3, who knows this year-may move up

5.Go For Wand-what a horrible end

6.Winning Colors-won Derby ,should have been retired then

7.Silverbulletday-champ at 2 and 3, paid price for hard campaign

8. Genuine Risk-Derby winner,brilliant filly

9. Bayakoa-brilliant mare

9.Azeri-great mare, raced beyond her prime

9.Rags to Riches-brilliant filly, too bad injury shortened her career

all the rest tied for next- tough bunch to separate as all were absolutely great.

20 Jul 2010 7:11 PM
jlp9185

Wonderful well-thought out list.  It is so difficult to come up with a Top 10 list.  I would like to go 5 deep with each line, but that would be defeating the purpose.  My list would be:

1.)  Genuine Risk

2.)  Zenyatta

3.)  Shuvee

4.)  Rachael Alexandra

5.)  Ruffian

6.)  Tawee

7.)  Personal Ensign

8.)  Ladies Secret

9.)  Princess Rooney

10.) Azeri

I would like to add two more to the "Honorable Mention" list:  Jersey Girl and Blushing K.D.

20 Jul 2010 8:28 PM
Afleet Alexandra

Nikki- Rachel Alexandra was nominated for (and won) HOTY last year because she ran one of the most ambitious and trying seasons of any three year old filly in quite a while. When was the the last time a three year old filly defeated older males? And did you happen to see her running 20 LENGTHS in front of the Oaks field? And 6 LENGTHS in front of champion Summer Bird? I know that a lot of Zenyatta fans question Rachel's victory, but to question how she was even nominated is ignorant.

20 Jul 2010 8:46 PM
MRO

I'm also ready to start the turf list....1) Ouija Board  2) Triptych  3)..........

20 Jul 2010 8:53 PM
A Fan

Top Ten:

1. Shuvee - name another lady on this list (or any male)to go 2 miles and win by daylight. One of the few 'Iron Horses' on the list.

2.Zenyatta

3. Ruffian

4. Affectionately  

5. Rags to Riches

6. My Juliet

7. Gamely

8. Xtra Heat

9. Ta Wee

10. Lady's Secret

20 Jul 2010 8:57 PM
John

Lazmannick,

I read your blog dated July 19 @ 1:28 am about both Laughing Bridge and Hot N Nasty.

Duly noted.

But have you been following the recent races of three horses that finished behind Zenyatta in the Classic...

Awesome Gem, whom finished seventh behind Zenyatta, just won the Hollywood Gold Cup. This is such a prestiges race that past winners include Seabiscuit, Citation, Swaps, Affirmed, and Cigar.

Twice Over, whom finished third behind Zenyatta, just won the Coral-Eclipse in England. This is such a prestiges race that past winners include Pebbles, Mill Reef, Dancing Brave, and Sea The Stars.

Gio Ponti, whom finished second to Zenyatta, just won the Man O'War. Secreatariat won this race once and Curlin placed second one time.

Summary = Zenyatta beat an extremely high quality, high class field in the Classic that won big, big races before the Classic and continues to win big, big races after the Classic...

What a legacy!

20 Jul 2010 9:36 PM
Kat

Ruffian

Personal Ensign

Genuine Risk

Zenyatta

Affectionately

Ladys Secret

Go For Wand

Shuvee

Susans Girl

Rachel Alexandra

20 Jul 2010 9:38 PM
N.O. Lady

to DP - all valid tabulations should be considered by lists like yours - by someone who has seen racing from waaaaay back and in person. I'm not participating 'cuz I'll admit I'm a newbie (in horseracing years) and I'm sure most,like me, are subjective toward the horse du jour (i.e., Rachel & Zenyatta).I envy you that you got to see the greats you placed on your list. I can tell how beloved Zenyatta is 'cuz I've experienced that feeling too by seeing Rachel, in person, here in New Orleans. I just wish more of these living great ladies would come here too.

20 Jul 2010 9:48 PM
Paula Higgins

Mike Yo, any list including Pepper's Pride lacks objective merit??? That is a little nuts/arrogant don't you think? She has won 19 races. As Bob Baffert said, and I will take his word over most people's (I am paraphrasing): Getting any horse to win even one race is difficult. I think he knows what he is talking about. She won 19 and I don't care that they were restricted. She certainly merits a mention on any list of great fillies on dirt. Sure wish I had owned her.

20 Jul 2010 9:55 PM
Gregg Flanigan

1 Zenyatta Mendatta

2 Ruffian

3 Personal Ensign

4 Rachel at 3

5 Rags to Riches

6 Go For Wand

7 Genuine Risk

8 Davonna Dale

9 Optimistic Gal (underated)

10 Dance Smartly

20 Jul 2010 10:28 PM
Dancer's Image

1 - Genuine Risk - accomplished the unthinkable.  She should have won the first two legs of the triple crown...

2 - Zenyatta - I don't think that her record will ever be matched.

3 - Ruffian - 'nuff said.

4 - Princess Rooney - I don't really know what she beat...but she kept beating them.

5 - Personal Ensign - on the track and in the breeding shed was amazing.

6 - Go For Wand - just amazing

7 - Shuvee- Iron

8 - Lady's Secret - Iron

9 - Rachel Alexandra

10 - Twilight Tear

20 Jul 2010 10:58 PM
Paul

I do want to say this about Ruffian (not on my list). I loved her. I was 19 and watching on TV when she broke down. It nearly killed me. But, for my criteria a 3YOU had to beat either 3YO colts or older of her own sex.

Ruffian ran extremely well against the clock. A lot of horses do that but cannot compete when challenged. She was never challenged. And here's who she beat

Hot And Nasty

Equal Change

Let Me Linger

Copernica (maybe because she only had one eye)

Somethingregal

Gallant Trial

Sun And Snow

Aunt Jin

Point In Time

Sir Ivor's Sorrow

Laughing Bridge

Channelette

Heard of them? I have only because I was alive. She was the very best of a singularly crappy crop of 3YO fillies. Sarsar looked good through the Withers but even she tailed off and she ducked Ruffian all the way.

SO...kind of long winded. But, if you put Ruffian on your list I can't disagree with you. But, I couldn't put her on mine.

20 Jul 2010 11:00 PM
RS

1. Zenyatta

2. Rachel Alexandra

3. Ruffian

4. Personal Ensign

5. Winning Colors

6. Genuine Risk

7. Lady's Secret

8. Go For Wand

9. Bayakoa

10. Rags to Riches

20 Jul 2010 11:45 PM
Terry

I see Dance Smartly is still getting no respect. At 2, Dance Smartly was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, won major stakes in Canada and was Canadian Champion Juvenile Filly. At 3, she was undefeated in eight starts, winning the Canadian Triple Crown, the Molson Export Million Stakes (Gr. II) and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Gr. I). She was named Horse of the Year in Canada and Champion 3-Year-Old Filly in Canada and the USA. In her career, she had 12 wins in 17 starts, was never worse than third and won more than $3-million (world record for a filly at that time). She won on dirt and turf at distances up to 1-1/2 miles and beat colts several times.

My Top 3 would be Zenyatta, Gamely and Dance Smartly, pretty much tied for first. There are too many other good mares to rank the rest!

20 Jul 2010 11:53 PM
jim

from this wild bunch....you asked us to pick top 10..................but what was your top 10.....before posting this blog.......just curious........if you care to answer

20 Jul 2010 11:53 PM
jim

grass better have Miesque, pebbles, all along, goldikova, Ouija Board

also on these current fillies on dirt...there is no info or much on grade 1 races won.....thats an heavy weight in handicapping...for example Paseana won 11 grade 1 races if I'm not mistaken.

21 Jul 2010 12:14 AM
RHO

Wow! Great list Steve I don't have a favorite well maybe I do Genuine Risk. I did notice that some people did not have Rachel Alexandra on their list of ten, and I think their nuts!

21 Jul 2010 12:19 AM
Footlick

MRO- Tryptych's dam, Trillion, was no slouch either.

21 Jul 2010 12:24 AM
Landaluce

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Susans Girl

4. Personal Ensign

5. Ladys Secret

6. Ta Wee

7. Gamely

8. Princess Rooney

9. Genuine Risk

10. Rachel Alexandra

21 Jul 2010 12:31 AM
Steve Haskin

Polls are closed. Results in the morning. Thank you all for participating.

21 Jul 2010 12:39 AM
LAZMANNICK

Paul

I said this before and I'll say it again.  Have you ever heard of Susan's Girl the 1975 Older Filly and Mare Eclipse winner, Hall of Fame member and #51 on the BloodHorse top 100 of the 20th Century?  Let Me Linger who Ruffian beat by something like 13 lengths in the CCA, beat Susan's Girl by 3 1/2L that September in the Maskette Stakes.  Trust me, I was around too.  Ruffian was all that everyone said she was and more and made all others around her look ordinary.

21 Jul 2010 1:02 AM
LAZMANNICK

John

You probably missed the 8 hundred million or so posts I've written in the past year.  Zenyatta is without question my favorite filly all time (Dance Smartly is a close second) and I've defended her as much or more than anyone else that's posted on any sight.  However, I'm also being realistic about Ruffian, a filly that had done so much.  I also stated that I believe that Zen is the only filly or mare in the past 50 years that has beaten the OLDER Eclipse winning handicap horse and feel that if she does that again this year she is without question number one, if not all time, at least since 1960.  Believe me, I feel every bit as strong as you do about her.  Have a good one.

21 Jul 2010 1:11 AM
Kate Harper

1. Zenyatta

2. Ruffian

3. Personal Ensign

4. Azeri

5. Lady's Secret

6. Bayakoa

7. Landaluce

8. Rachel Alexandra

9. Rags to Riches

10. Pan Zareta

21 Jul 2010 1:34 AM
dance smartly

rachel

ruffian

zenyatta

dance smartly

genuine risk

rags to riches

ta wee

personal ensign

lady's secret

go for wand

i know that this is just for fun but some people tend to take these kind of rankings( whether done by experts or general populace) too seriously and will assign the results of the concensus with burning bush status when it really doesn't  prove anything

21 Jul 2010 1:39 AM
fairyDOGmother_unleashed

1.Zenyattta

2.Azeri

3.Rags to Riches

4.Shuvee

5.Genuine Risk

6.Personal Ensign

7.Princess Rooney

8.Mom's Command

9.Lady's Secret

10.Pepper's Pride

21 Jul 2010 5:26 AM
ben ricciardi

Personal ensign, ruffian, zenyatta, racheal, and xtra heat are my top 5, but not in that order

21 Jul 2010 9:17 AM
ben

it's funny reading the comments how racheal people do not include zenyatta and vice versa... can we please get these two on a track and the race on a nationally televised spot.

21 Jul 2010 9:24 AM
John

1. Ruffian

2. Personal Ensign

3. Genuine Risk

4. Go For Wand

5. Xtra Heat

6. Rachael Alexandra

7. Chris Evert

8. Serena's Song

9. Davona Dale

10. Silverbulletday

21 Jul 2010 12:25 PM
Astreet

Yes, Rachel & Zenyatta have commanded the spotlight but who could forget great horses like Ruffian and Rags to Riches. Pepper's Pride had a simply amazing career. Great article in Bloodhorse on her.

21 Jul 2010 12:34 PM
John

1-Ruffian

1-Tied for #1 Zenyatta.

2-Rags To Riches

21 Jul 2010 1:17 PM
D.C. Gene

1. Ruffian

2. Old Hat

3. Affectionately

4. Gamely

5. Genuine Risk

6. Glorious Song

7. Zenyatta

8. Rachel Alexandra

9. Lady's Secret

10. Personal Ensign            

21 Jul 2010 1:31 PM
Sabrina

Come on people.  A filly that not only raced in the triple crown but came in top 3 each time.  You're kidding right!

1. Genuine Risk

2. Zenyatta - big game hunter

3. Personal Ensign

4. Winning Colors

5. Lady's Secret - a maniac

6. Ruffian

7. Princess Rooney

8. Affectionately

9. Go for Wand

10. Gamely

21 Jul 2010 1:34 PM
Leon

Slew:

You didn't have medal-winning american athletes go 0-43 in international meets when they started using the rubberized tracks...the statistics don't lie, my friend...

21 Jul 2010 1:39 PM
Lori Morton

This entry is for Tony -

In your commentary explaining why you did not include Zenyatta on your list, you said that as much credit as she deserved by winning it, the Classic does not count.  Tony, the Classic ALWAYS counts.  :)

21 Jul 2010 1:41 PM
Bob Hutt

Steve thank you again for a great article.  For my money there are only 4 Great fillies.  In order

1. Ruffian

2. Rachel Alexandra

3. Zenyatta

4. Personal Ensign

I was with Jacinto a few years back in Ocala.  When we started talking I asked him who was the best?  The Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure or Ruffian?  Without hesitation he answered Ruffian.  He added that he was against the match race.  He asked me to show him the race again on the computer.  When he saw her broke down all these years later he cried again.

Ruffian was a FREAK.  The likes of her will never be seen again.  Interesting that no one ever tried to breed another Ruffian.  Historians believe that as fast as she was her bloodline suggested that she was an accident waiting to happen.  So sad.

21 Jul 2010 1:49 PM
lm

What about All Along?

21 Jul 2010 2:38 PM
Backtalk

Hi Steve. This was a fun blog. To Chris: DITTO X 10. Plus, I believe Ruffian would have won her last race had she not broke down.

21 Jul 2010 4:26 PM
Gia

Hey, there's nothing wrong with being a sprinter! Don't devalue this type of racing by calling a horse "only" a sprinter. I'd put Xtra Heat and Ta Wee, "only" sprinters or not, pretty high on my list because they were GREAT racers.

21 Jul 2010 4:41 PM
Pedigree Shelly

         I think we have may forgotten someone , or maybe I overlooked ! Her name is Three Ring ! She was brilliant enough to be entered in the Derby where unfortunately she finished last but she rebounded awesomely ! In her last race ,she died brutally before she hit the track :( I just hope she is remembered :)

21 Jul 2010 7:10 PM
Terry

I can't wait for turf fillies poll! There are lots of greats there too.

21 Jul 2010 7:57 PM
CL

I can hardly believe some people placed Ruffian lower than 1st or ever left her off their lists entirely.  Look at her times and her first at every point of call record.  Too many people here have apparently only seen Z and RA, and a few other recent runners. Sad.  

21 Jul 2010 9:57 PM
BobV.

Anyone who saw RUFFIAN run would not even think about putting anyone else #1. She was the Secretariat of fillies. Also, I don't think anyone mentioned FLANDERS. Just five lifetime starts, all wins, in 1994 but four grade one wins including a victory over Serena's Song in the BC

Juvenile Fillies running on three legs after being injured at the start.

21 Jul 2010 11:42 PM
Deacon

Lazmannick:

         I concur 100%, Ruffian was the best filly of all time, perhaps maybe even in the top 5 of all time horses. She was the standard of elegance, beauty, and greatness. Watching her breakdown that sad day in 1975 was the only time I ever cried. My dad was a brilliant handicapper, he saw most of the great ones run and he told me (he never lied) that Ruffian was the best HORSE he ever saw run, bar none. He loved Swaps, and Damascus and Native Dancer and he thought she was better. Many of these bloggers were not around back in the day, but for us old timers, we will never forget.

Obviously all folks are entitled to an opinion but trust me when I tell you that we will NEVER see the likes Ruffian ever again......    

22 Jul 2010 2:21 AM
Ann

Ann

1. ruffian

2.eight belles

3.landaluce

4.genuine risk

5.go for wand

6.rags to riches

7.weekend surprise

8.winning colors

9.life's magic

10.personal ensign

Why wasn't weekend surprise mentioned? She was a good filly in her day.

22 Jul 2010 7:05 AM
Miker

1 - Ruffian

2 - Genuine Risk

3 - Shuvee

4 - Zenyatta

5 - Rachel Alexandra

6 - Lady's Secret

7 - Winning Colors

8 - Cicada

9 - Go for Wand

10 - Ta wee

22 Jul 2010 7:58 AM
Sabu

I think Moms Command should get a boost up in the numbers, as she was ridden by the bosses daughter, who excelled at riding in New England. Imagine what her #'s could have been With a rider like Cordero etc.  Sabu

22 Jul 2010 1:26 PM
Barb

While all of these fillies are exceptional and sensational, Zenyatta is by far the best of all of them.  I really don't get the 15-17 on synthetic as a listed con.  She's won on dirt and synthetic.  I applaud her owners and trainer for pick and choosing her races to keep her healthy and without injury.  She beat the best males on the planet in the Breeders and there is still doubt about her ability.  Go figure.

22 Jul 2010 4:23 PM
Cleone

Since my first list got lost somewhere – I think I’ll go ahead and repost it.  I put a lot of thought into it and hate to have all that effort go to waste!  

My purely subjective list follows.  Like all of us, I have my preferences and my biases.  The ones I know about as regards horse racing are – I like longevity, so a career that spans more than one season – or preferably several seasons – is probably going to catch my notice more than a shorter career.  I like horses who can run a distance, and I like horses who can win at varying distances.  And sometimes I like a horse just because it catches my eye, or my imagination, or my heart.  Not all the horses on my list meet all my preferences, so there’s no need to point that out to me.  I already know.  

1) Ruffian – Her career was short, but she was so blazingly fast, and won at so many distances and set or equaled so many records, I couldn’t not put her first.  

2) Zenyatta – 17 for 17 is what it is, and the fact that she’s run largely on synthetic tracks just doesn’t bother me.  Those are the tracks available to her where she lives and trains, and so that’s what she runs on.  To me, it’s no big deal.  And she’s 17 for 17.

3) Personal Ensign – Yeah, 13 for 13, and the most amazing stretch run in the BC Distaff to beat the Kentucky Derby winner.  Wow.

4) Lady’s Secret – The Iron Lady.  Ran everywhere, against everybody, and beat most of ‘em.  Doesn’t hurt that Big Red is her daddy.

5) Susan’s Girl – I was actually a little surprised that she didn’t show up on more lists – but then, there were an awful lot of really good horses to pick from!  But she was one tough mare.

6) Gallant Bloom – she is actually a little before my time, but I remember reading about her and hearing about her when I was new to racing, and twelve stakes wins in a row is nothing to sneeze at!

7) Shuvee – Again, a little before my time, but TWO Jockey Club Gold Cups, before the distance was gutted?  Yowza.

8) Rachel Alexandra – She would probably be higher if she’d started stronger at four, and as she’s still running, she has time to impress me more than she has already!  She’s an amazing filly.  

9) Genuine Risk – Winner of the Derby, second in the Preakness and Belmont.  ‘Nuff said.

10) Bayakoa – Okay, I have to confess I somehow missed a lot of the ‘90s.  I had teenagers in the house, and they sucked up a lot of my time and attention.  (I missed Cigar, too, no idea how THAT happened.)  I never missed a Triple Crown or Breeder’s Cup race, and yet so much happened in racing that I draw a complete blank on!  I know I saw Bayakoa’s Breeder’s Cup Distaff wins, but all that sticks in my mind there is Go for Wand’s horrific breakdown.  Nevertheless, I’ve read about her, and heard others speak glowingly of her, and her record speaks for itself.  

I loved the opportunity here to remember so many fine fillies and mares, and to learn about the ones I didn’t know much about, before.  My list of ten was tough to come up with, and if I were putting it together today (I did this list on Tuesday) it would probably be different.  

Too late for the tabulation, I know, but here it is anyway!  Thanks, Steve.

22 Jul 2010 8:06 PM
Brasco26

@Lazmannick - is that the same Let Me Linger that won 7 of 41 starts?  If that is the biggest accomplishment of one of Ruffian's competitors, doesn't it prove my point she faced a weak crop of 3 yr old fillies?

22 Jul 2010 10:42 PM
LAZMANNICK

Hey Deacon......

Glad to hear from you.  This is part of a post I posted on the next blog defining just how awesome Ruffian was.....

Remarkable Ruffian……….

Here's another point to show just how great Ruffian was.  Excluding her ill-fated match race, if you total up all the calls in her ten races (40) you will see that only in 4 of them (10%) did she ever lose ground from one call to the next and in one other call the margin remained the same.  Also, only in the last race that she actually finished, the 1-1/2M Coaching Club Oaks, did she lose ground (3L to 2 3/4L) in the final call.  I find this incredible, especially because she was a front runner, never was headed, ran fast times, and in every race except the last, after setting fast fractions actually accelerated away from her competition.   THIS VALIDATES HER GREATNESS.

I think she definitely was in the top ten all time and that is saying a lot.

I don't want to mention Zenyatta because as much as I like her, she was not Ruffian, and even though I placed her second, there are others that rightfully I should have placed ahead of her.  However, in this analogy, when doing the same for Zen (on the other blog), she is the only one who has those type of stats (possibly Personal Ensign though I can't say for sure).

Seeing any horse breakdown is catastrophic to me as I know with you.  It really does hit home especially in the old days when they didn't cover up euthanasia on the track like they do now.  They are such wonderful athletes and they are doing what they love best.  Have a good one.

22 Jul 2010 10:43 PM
Barbaro8

Statistics and track records sum it all up:

R-U-F-F-I-A-N

25 Jul 2010 2:34 PM
Timurlenk

3 are enough:

1.- Ruffian

2.- Zenyatta

3.- Personal Ensign

the rest are just sweet memories.

28 Jul 2010 12:22 PM
Otherlyn

Where is:

BUTTERFLY BELLE ???

Butterfly Belle gave Russell Baze his record breaking ride, then was raced down and down. She has "disappeared"/seems now to have fallen off the face of the earth)

28 Jul 2010 12:24 PM
mararacing

tuff tuff thought provoking list. As we are limited to the last 50 years, it leaves off a couple I would have placed high on my list, specifically Gallorette, who would have been my #2 pick. One will always remain #1 even though her career was short, but what a career, owner of 2 track records, equalled or set 8 stakes records and an average winning margin of over 8 lengths.

1. Ruffian

2. Rachel (her 3YO campaign hard to argue, but she may move down the list based on BC this year)

3. Ladys Secret (she was truely the Iron Lady)

4. Ta Wee (beat the boys at 3 & 4 and carried handicap weight we'll never see today)

5. Zenyatta (may move up after BC)

6. Gamely (raced against the best, ie Dr F)

7. Gallant Bloom

8. Genuine Risk (ran in all 3 triple crown events, which no other filly has done)

9. Serena Song (went everywhere)

10. Dance Smartly (TC is TC)

Affectionately, Xtra Heat, Colors, Ensign and Pepper all hard to leave off and deserve mention

28 Jul 2010 5:54 PM
Colossal Girl

I have loved so many of these ladies.

I will likely be crucified for this, but I cannot rank horses who suffered break-down injuries and therefore turned fans away from our sport. I know that leaves some great ones off of MY list. But durability counts for a lot in my book, as does heartbreak.

Conversely, I have to give a great amount of credit to the girls that are still running: I think RA and Zenyatta have revitalized interest in racing more than any colts running. I also have to agree with Sammi P regarding Blind Luck and Discreetly Mine - good fillies!

In the list of questionable lasting influence, I have to add Rags to Riches and Azeri. These were excellent race mares, but I think where they will prove all-around greatness is as broodmares.

I'll give you my favorite 5, several of whom are listed because I am overly sentimental:

1) Lady's Secret - simply wonderful. She was a beast, and her greatness is amplified by the fact that she survived D. Wayne Lucas... okay, crucify again, but he's hell on a horse!

2) Personal Ensign - perfect is just that. And the '88 Distaff remains a favorite, even though I was in the WC corner that day. BONUS: what a producer!! Not many of these mares can add that to their resumes.

3) Genuine Risk - very few colts do as well in the Triple Crown races. She was beautiful and classy. Too bad she had so much trouble catching and delivering a live foal. How interesting would it have been to see her Secretariat babies? This is the only reason I put her at 3 rather than 2.

4) Zenyatta - I don't care about the polytrack. I used to, but after watching her go enough times, I think she can beat any active runner at any track, any continent. I may be wrong, but I'm in her corner right now!

5) Winning Colors - gets a spot because she is the horse that hooked me. Been a racing fan ever since. VERY sentimental pick! (But was she fun to watch? Oh yes!) She didn't hold up as well to Lucas. This is another great who (as yet - there are still 2 out there) has yet to produce a winner of note.

I've got my other faves, horses like Shaggy Mane and Ginger Punch, but they don't rate here. I can't wait for the turf installment: Goldikova deserves every accolade the dirt runners do!

Get your nails out, Ruffian and GFW fans.

07 Aug 2010 8:12 PM
GoldenOakFarm

I have to say as a starter just how shocked I am with how many lists don't have Ruffian as #1.  It's amazing how time can erase many memories. She was an amazing filly and may not only be one of the greatest of the past 50 years, but of the past century.

1.) RUFFIAN

2.) Zenyatta

3.) Genuine Risk

4.) Go For Wand

5.) Lady's Secret

6.) Personal Ensign

7.) Rachel Alexandra

8.) Xtra Heat

9.) Turkish Trousers

10.)Shuvee

21 Sep 2010 10:38 AM
outrider420

1913's Regret is older than 50, but..

Genuine Risk, and does anyone remember a filly named Past Regrets, broke her leg I remember? Not a nominee, but couldn't find her....

28 Dec 2010 3:41 PM
Emily

1. Zenyatta

2. Lady's Secret

3. Go For Wand

4. Ruffian

5. Rags to Riches

6. Genuine Risk

7. Regret (I know she's not on your list, but I still like her)

8. Personal Ensign

9. Cicada

10. Rachel Alexandra (Her career wasn't as impressive as a lot of horses on this list, she was just sorta a one hit wonder).

20 Mar 2011 5:44 PM
Eleanor

1) Ruffian (Withou any doubt the best filly ever...She really love running!)

2) Zenyatta

3) Personal Ensign

13 Apr 2011 4:52 PM
casaNM

Difficult to decide indeed. Surprised Moccasin, tied for HOTY with Secretariat didn't rate a mention--so I will include her for her spectacular 2 yr. old season, and pretty good thereafter.

1. Zenyatta

2. Personal Ensign

3. Lady's Secret

4. Go For Wand

5. Moccasin

6. Winning Colors

7. Genuine Risk

8. Azeri

9. Ta Wee

10. Shuvee

01 Jan 2012 10:10 PM
GizzyG

Took me a bit to decide the order of my top ten...

1. Gallorette

2. Susan's Girl

3. Genuine Risk

4. Personal Ensign

5. Go For Wand

6. Ruffian

7. Regret

8. Winning Colors

9. Rachael Alexander

10. Bayakoa

Now for fan favorites I think it would be more like this:

1. Ruffian

2. Sweetwater Oak *Shame on you racing fans for not mentioning her famous race with Nate Hubbard*

3. Go For Wand

4. Winning Colors

5. Genuine Risk

6. Personal Ensign

7  Rachael Alexander

8. Zenyatta

9. Eight Belles

10. Safely Kept

08 Jul 2012 11:54 PM

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