<italics>Five years ago today, on May 16, 2009, Rachel Alexandra became the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness, besting the boys in the second leg of the Triple Crown. Rachel's big win earned her a spot in our Top 10 Female Race Horses of All Time.</italics> Ta Wee, whose name reportedly came from the Sioux word for beautiful girl, racked up 15 wins in her three-year career. Among her victories were the Interborough Handicap, Fall Highweight and Jasmine Stakes.
2 of 10Porter Binks/SI
Rags to Riches
Finishing 6-1, Rags to Riches became the first filly in more than a century to win the Belmont Stakes, which she did in 2007 with a hard-fought, neck-and-neck battle with favorite Curlin. Unfortunately Rags to Riches' career was cut short after she suffered a hairline fracture at the Gazelle Stakes in 2007.
3 of 10Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Finishing her career with 13 victories, Winning Colors is the most recent filly to have won the Kentucky Derby. She also claimed victories at the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks, all of which contributed to more than $1,500,000 in earnings. She was euthanized at the age 23 due to complications from colic.
4 of 10Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Genuine Risk became just the second filly to win the Kentucky Derby when she took home the top prize in 1980 and the only filly to finish in the money in each of the Triple Crowns' events. She finished her career 10-15, earning just shy of $650,000 in the process.
5 of 10Jerry Cooke/Corbis
Sired from racing great Secretariat, Lady's Secret finished her career 25-45 before being named 1986 Horse of the Year. Nicknamed "The Iron Lady," Lady's Secret is the only horse to win eight Grade 1 stakes in one season. She was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1992.
6 of 10John Iacono/SI
The 2009 Horse of the Year, Rachel Alexandra finished her career in 2010 with an impressive 13 victories in 19 starts. She became the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness Stakes, beating out Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird. Rachel Alexandra is also believed to have been the first filly to ever pose in Vogue (2009).
7 of 10Handout
Trained by one of the few horsewomen of the day, Laura de Sourox, Azeri earned an impressive 17 victories in her 24 starts. The mare also has the distinction of being the leading female horse earner in the sport, amassing $4,079,820 in prizes at the time of her retirement in December 2004.
8 of 10AP
Going 13-for-13 during her career, Personal Ensign (left) became the first horse in more than 80 years to retire undefeated, which she did in 1989. One of her brightest career moments came in her 3/4 lengths victory over rival Winning Colors (far right) in the 1988 Breeders Cup Distaff.
9 of 10Tony Triolo/SI
From her first record-setting race as a two-year-old filly, Ruffian enthralled racing fans, dominating the sport in the 1970s. She swept the Triple Tiara series and clocked remarkable speeds, often beating her competition by eight lengths or more. Sadly, Ruffian's career came to a tragic end when she broke down on the backstretch at Belmont Park during a $350,000 battle of the sexes race against Foolish Pleasure. She was euthanized later that night.
10 of 10Bill Frakes/SI
In 2009, Zenyatta became the first female to ever win the Breeders' Cup, when she rebounded from more than a 10-length gap to rally on the outside to beat Gio Ponti. Zenyatta may have lost at the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic, but her 19-1 record is nothing to laugh at. In what became her final race, Zenyatta made her trademark move from last place but fell short in a photo finish to Blame. Zenyatta was runner-up for Horse of the Year in 2008 and 2009, but won the honor in 2010, besting Blame, the only opponent ever to defeat her on the track.
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