Man o' War
A few years before Seabiscuit hit the track, Man o' War was the star equine athlete of the early 1900s, giving thoroughbred racing a much-needed boost when no one was paying much attention to the sport. Born March 29, 1917, the chestnut horse only competed for two years in 1919 and 1920, but he won 20 of his 21 races, reports ESPN, bringing international attention to Kentucky breeders and making the U.S. the center of the racing world.
The superstar horse was tall and big with a voracious appetite. He won one of his races by an impressive 100 lengths and beat Triple Crown champion Sir Barton by seven lengths in his final outing.
Man o' War retired after two racing seasons and then started an impressive career as a sire. He produced 64 stakes winners and various other champions, including 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral and 1929 Kentucky Derby winner Clyde Van Dusen.
According to ESPN, a Texas oil millionaire offered $500,000, then $1 million, then a blank check for Man o' War, but his owner Samuel Riddle turned him down. "The colt is not for sale," he said.
"Big Red" died at age 30 and is buried at the Kentucky Horse Park.