Chasing the Triple Crown: Great horses and racing history quiz

Maria Trimarchi

Which female racehorse was the first filly to appear in "Vogue"?

Female racehorse Rachel Alexandra was shot by fashion phtographer Steven Klein for her August 2009 appearance in Vogue.

Which breed is not typically considered for racing?

While the American Quarter Horse, Arabian and Thoroughbred are all breeds that race, the Clydesdale is a draught (work) horse. However, the occasional novelty Clydesdale race is held at Exeter in Devon, England.

Which impressively-pedigreed two-year-old colt sold for $16 million but failed to win a race?

Based on his impressive pedigree, The Green Monkey, a two-year-old colt, sold for $16 million (at the time, the highest price of an auctioned Thoroughbred), but failed to win any race.

What is the name of the official breed registry for American Thoroughbreds?

Since 1868, the Jockey Club keeps the American Stud Book Principal Rules and Requirements. It is the official breed registry for American Thoroughbreds.

What's a "timber topper"?

A timber topper is a horse who competes in steeplechase racing, which includes jumping obstacles.

Which horse retired 13-for-13, the first in over 80 years to end her career undefeated by any track?

When she retired in 1989, Personal Ensign was the first horse to end her career undefeated in more than 80 years.

Which race isn't part of the Triple Crown?

The Triple Crown races, in the order they're run, are the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Which horse won the first Kentucky Derby, on May 17, 1875?

Of the 15 horses in the race, Aristides was the winner of the first Kentucky Derby, finishing in 2 minutes, 37 seconds.

Of these Kentucky Derby winners, which is the only to be disqualified for illegal drug use?

After Dancer's Image tested positive for the painkiller phenylbutazone, the win instead went to Forward Pass.

What is a horse who hasn't yet won a race called?

A horse who hasn't won a race is called a maiden. His or her first win is that horse's maiden victory.

Which is considered the oldest racetrack in North America?

The Saratoga Race Course, where the Travers Stakes is held, opened on August 3, 1863, is considered the oldest racetrack in North America.

What phrase is used to describe horse racing?

Horse racing is also called the "sport of kings." Originally, the phrase applied to hunting.

What was the name of the horse that defeated Man o' War in the Sanford Memorial at Saratoga Race Course, ending his flawless record?

Upset was the horse to upset Man o' War's perfect record.

It's rumored which horse suffered from nightmares following his defeat at the Saratoga Race Course?

As legend goes, Man o' War suffered from nightmares after his upset at Saratoga.

Which horse has not won the Triple Crown?

Sir Barton was the first to win the Triple Crown in 1919, followed by Gallant Fox in 1930, and, recently, American Pharoah in 2015. Because Man o' War, one of the most famous racehorses, never ran in the Kentucky Derby, he wasn't eligible for the Triple Crown.

Bloodline is an important part of horseracing. About how much does a horse's great-great-great grandfather influence his DNA?

Three percent of a horse's DNA is influenced by his great-great-great grandparents.

It's estimated that genes are responsible for how much of a horse's performance?

Experts estimate that genes are responsible for between 30 and 35 percent of a horse's performance. That's genes - not jeans.

Which horse was the first millionaire of Thoroughbred racing?

Citation, who won 19 of his 20 races, had more than $1 million in career winnings.

How long is the measurement, a "horse length"?

A horse length, the length of the horse from its nose to tail, is 8 feet.

By how many horse lengths would a horse racing in 2012 beat a horse racing in 1997?

Experts estimate a horse racing in 2012 would beat a horse racing in 1997 by as many as 7 horse lengths. That's 56 feet!

Where is The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame located?

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is in Saratoga Springs, New York. It was founded in 1950.

What does the "purse" refer to in horse racing?

The "purse" is the money paid to the highest finishing horse owners. This usually includes the top five finishers.

How many furlongs are run during the Kentucky Derby?

A furlong, a measurement of distance, equals 1/8 of a mile. Competitors in the Kentucky Derby run 1 1/4 miles, which is equal to 10 furlongs.

What is the fastest recorded speed of a racehorse over two furlongs?

The fastest recorded speed of a racehorse is 43.97 mph. That's just about 70.76 km/h.

Which racehorse holds the record for being the fastest over two furlongs?

In 2008, Thoroughbred Winning Brew set this record when she was two years old, at the Penn National Race Course, in Grantville, Pennsylvania.

Which horse is the only winner to run the Kentucky Derby in less than 2 minutes?

In 1948, Secretariat ran the Kentucky Derby in 1 minute, 59 seconds. That year, he also won Preakness, which he ran in 1 minute, 53 seconds, and Belmont Stakes, which he ran in 2 minutes, 24 seconds.

Which horse was the first to win the "Grand Slam," winning both the Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2015?

When he was 3 years old, American Pharoah won both the Triple Crown and the Breeder's Cup Classic, making him the first horse to win the "Grand Slam."

Which stallion was not sired by Man o' War?

After retiring from racing, Man o' War sired 379 named foals, including Clyde Van Dusen, Hard Tack and War Admiral. Hard Tack sired the famed Seabiscuit.

Which Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year was owned by the Hertz family (yup, the same family who owned the rental car business)?

Count Fleet, the sixth Triple Crown winner, was owned by the family who were known for their rental car business.

Which horse is considered one of the most influential Thoroughbred broodmares of the 20th century?

La Troienne didn't have a particularly notable racing career, but she is considered to be one of the most influential broodmares, including offspring inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Which stubby-legged champion Thoroughbred became the subject of a best-selling non-fiction book and blockbuster movie?

Champion Thoroughbred racehorse Seabiscuit was the subject of both a best-selling non-fiction book and Hollywood film. The 2003 film starred Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Elizabeth Banks.

Which horse refused to leave the starting gate when racing at Finger Lakes (New York) in 1998?

Famous for his racing losses (he ended his career with 0 wins, 100 losses), and his temperament, Zippy Chippy was the horse who decided not to leave the starting gate when the bell went off.

Rochester Red Wings center fielder Jose Herrera faced which racehorse in a 40-yard dash back in 2000?

The whole thing was over in less than 5 seconds. Zippy Chippy raced Rochester Red Wings center fielder Jose Herrera in a 40-yard dash -- and, in keeping with his record, lost.

Which filly's name means "beautiful girl"?

Thoroughbred filly Ta Wee's name means "beautiful girl" in a Dakota dialect. Her five named foals were all winners.

All the horses competing for the Triple Crown are what age?

Three-year-olds compete for the Triple Crown title. They are at the early stage of physical maturity, but still new enough to racing to offer some unpredictability.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Did you know that Kelso was awarded "Horse of the Year" 5 years in a row? Or that Edgar Prado was Barbaro's jockey on the day he broke his ankle at Preakness? Gallup through our quiz to test your horse-racing IQ.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!