Bred: Mueller Farms (Ky.)
Sire: Hard Spun
Dam: Lillybuster, by Housebuster
After winning three of his first nine starts, Hardest Core received his first test in a stakes race and passed with flying colors. The dark bay or brown colt coasted to a 3-length win in the Cape Henlopen Stakes at Delaware Park in July 2014.
From there, trainer Edward Graham opted to try him against the very best turf horses in the U.S. and some of the elite stars of Europe in the Arlington Million Stakes. Again, Hardest Core was up to the challenge as he surged past 2013 Breeders' Cup Turf victor Magician to prevail by a length in a victory that more than tripled his career earnings.