From a National Thoroughbred Racing Association release
American Pharoah, the dominant winner of Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) and last year’s Eclipse Award winner as Champion 2-Year-Old Male, has taken over the top spot as the leader of his division in the latest NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll, results of which were released today. The son of 2009 Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile romped by eight lengths in Oaklawn Park’s signature race and is now the probable favorite for Kentucky Derby 141 on May 2.
American Pharoah, trained by three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert for owner Zayat Stables, earned 22 first-place votes and 406 points overall to gain a narrow edge over his undefeated stablemate, Dortmund, an easy winner of the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) two weekends back, who tallied 19 first-place votes and 402 points.
Eligible media cast votes for their top 10 horses, with points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. The NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll is conducted weekly through the Monday following the Belmont Stakes.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby series of stakes races offering points toward Kentucky Derby qualification ended Saturday with the Arkansas Derby and the Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
Two other sophomores received first-place votes – Blue Grass Stakes (G1) hero Carpe Diem (1 first-place vote, 338 points) and Louisiana Derby victor International Star (1, 239).
American Pharoah also moved up in the concurrent NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll open to horses of all ages, landing at sixth with 147 points. Shared Belief once again was the unanimous leader with 43 first-place votes, good for 430 points. The 4-year-old gelding was a dominant winner of his most recent start in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (G1). Scored following the same points system as the Top 3-Year-Old Poll, the Top Thoroughbred Poll is conducted weekly through the Monday following the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Race Day (79 points), who took the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) on the Arkansas Derby undercard, cracked the top 10 for the first time, moving into the bottom slot.[columns] [column width=”one-half”]
NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL
- Shared Belief
- California Chrome
- Main Sequence
- Honor Code
- American Pharoah
- Race Day[/column]
NTRA TOP 3-YEAR-OLD POLL
- American Pharoah
- Carpe Diem
- International Star
- Firing Line
- Far Right
- El Kabeir[/column]
Note: The Racing Biz writers Nick Hahn and Frank Vespe are voters in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll.