After going 37 years without a Triple Crown, horse racing celebrated its second Triple Crown winner in just the last four years as Justify joined the ranks of 2015 champion American Pharoah when he captured the 2018 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. Not only was 2018 the year of Justify, it’ll also be remembered for dozens of heart-stopping races, thrilling battles and long-shot winners for the ages. We’re looking back on the year by counting down the top 15 races, one race a day, until the calendar turns to 2019.
*Note that our list of best races for 2018 only includes races run in North America.
To view the other top 15 races, click here and scroll down.
#5: Accelerate Runs By Them All in the Breeders’ Cup Classic
Although Accelerate displayed dominance and consistency all year long in 2018, he was largely overlooked by bettors and skeptics who doubted that a horse trained by John Sadler could travel outside of California and win a Breeders’ Cup race. After all, Sadler’s horses had been denied at the Breeders’ Cup in 44 prior starts. But Accelerate proved himself a different kind of horse by winning the Classic and made a strong case for Horse of the Year honors. Accelerate won six of his seven races in 2018 (including five Grade 1 races) while earning more than $5 million. It remains to be seen whether that’s enough to get him the vote over Triple Crown winner Justify.