Form form and the greatest race ever
Ghostzapper is the only horse to appear in the top 19 twice, which he achieved in the aforementioned Woodward (over eventual Horse of the Year Saint Liam) and Breeders' Cup Classic (over Horse of the Year Azeri, defending Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect, eventual Dubai World Cup winner Roses In May, Belmont-Travers winner Birdstone, and multiple Grade 1 winner Funny Cide in stakes record time).Cigar's best was a 126, which he earned in the 1995 Jockey Club Gold Cup, but his five ratings of 125+ is certainly impressive.
And what of those fabulous females in recent years? Zenyatta notched a 126 in both her Breeders' Cup Classic efforts plus a 125 in her Ladies' Classic. Rachel Alexandra hit the 127 mark twice: the Mother Goose and the Haskell as well as 126 in the Kentucky Oaks and 125 in the Fleur de Lis. Havre de Grace peaked at 125 in both the Woodward and Beldame. Blind Luck never topped 123, but she maintained that pleateau seven times. Royal Delta's recent win earned a 125, which is a career best for the champion.
I typically use Class Ratings to assess individual performance, but given the historic perspective of this post, it's impossible to ignore the corker that was the 2003 Breeders' Cup Turf, which featured a dead heat between defending winner High Chaparral and Johar with multiple Group 1 winner Falbrav in third.
Just as "Greatest Racehorse Ever" can mean different things to different people, "Greatest Race Ever" can too, but there's no doubt that this is the best race I've ever seen live, and I certainly would lobby on its behalf for inclusion on a short list of greatest races ever.