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I believe this was part of an anthology. I read it in high school during the late 80s but as it was at my grandmother's house it could have been written much earlier.

The story starts with a breeder of horses, I believe down on his luck without having a winning racer bred in many years. One of his mares gives birth to a horse that's clearly different. I think it was described as looking somewhat like a race car - sloping face, huge nostrils to suck in more air, heavily muscled, shorter front legs to make it more aerodynamic. He assumes it's sickly as it's smaller, iirc, but quickly realizes it's incredibly fast. Eventually it's entered in horse races and dominates the competition. There was likely some conflict here as other owners tried to sabotage it, I don't remember.

The final scene is the horse retiring to a field, done with racing, but the breeding looking into another field to see many colts with similar features having been sired by the mutant race horse.

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  • Answered below. Looked it up and I read it in "SF '58: The Year's Greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy" as I recognize the cover from my Grandmother's library.
    – Kaedryl
    May 24, 2021 at 15:46
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    To be fair, there are mutant horses IRL that are exceedingly good racers, because they've got a gene on the X chromosome that doubles the size of their hearts. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – nick012000
    May 25, 2021 at 2:40

1 Answer 1

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This is "The Wonder Horse" by George Byram. I first read it in Isaac Asimov's Young Mutants collection, short description from this review.

When a wonder horse sweeps the racing world no one is prepared for what that could entail, even the horse's owners.

It's borderline sci-fi. Basically, the horse is a mutant that so incredibly outpaces all of the other horses in races that they wind up having to exhibit him doing things like racing motorized vehicles and then beating his own times.

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    That's it. I looked it up and I read it in "SF '58: The Year's Greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy" as I recognize the book cover from my grandmother's library. Thank you!!
    – Kaedryl
    May 24, 2021 at 15:46

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