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.
#1: Justify Fends Off All Comers in the Fog to Win the Preakness
The easy move would’ve been to list Justify’s Triple Crown-clinching performance in the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets as the top race on our list but, to be honest, the race conditions and the tight finish of the Preakness Stakes makes the second leg the race that we’ll remember the most from 2018. If, for any reason, you haven’t seen this year’s Preakness or forgot the fog that clouded just about every step of the race from public view, click on the link and watch the race now.
Track announcer Larry Collmus did an incredible job of describing the action, despite the challenges in visibility. Meanwhile, Justify ran one of the bravest races ever run in the history of the Preakness, as he followed up a powerful effort in the Kentucky Derby by dueling with Good Magic throughout the Pimlico backstretch and then digging down to fight off a pair of closers who seemed prime to go by him in deep stretch. Justify held on for a thrilling win and, as everyone now knows, would go on to win the Triple Crown.