McCraken, Arrogate top NTRA polls
From a National Thoroughbred Racing Association release
The running of the G1 Xpressbet.com Florida Derby and the G2 Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby resulted in bringing in a newcomer and solidifying another sophomore’s prospect as the “Road to the Kentucky Derby “continues in week 10 of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll, which results were released today.
McCraken (20 first-place votes, 342 points), for Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC’s and trainer Ian Wilkes, retains his number one spot in the top-ten for another week. With 20 qualifying points, the G3 Sam F. Davis S. winner is ranked seventeenth on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard for a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6. The undefeated graded stakes winner is at Keeneland where he is preparing to enter in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) this Saturday, April 8.
Jumping all the way from 25th to second on the top-ten ladder is Always Dreaming (5 first-place votes, 282 points), recent winner of the G1 Florida Derby. Trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by Brooklyn Boyz Stable, MeB Racing Stable, Teresa Viola Racing Stables and St. Elias Stables, Always Dreaming was timed for the 1 1/8m miles in 1:47.47, the fastest clocking since Alydar won the 1978 Florida Derby in 1:47. With this win the Bodemeister colt earned 100 qualifying points to earn a berth in the Kentucky Derby and is currently ranked third on the leaderboard.
Moving up the poll from tenth to third is the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) winner, Girvin (1 first place vote, 255 points). The Brad Grady-owned Joe Sharp trainee is ranked number one on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 150 points. Ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., the son of Tale of Ekati earned $600,000 to increase his career bankroll to $874,400 in just his fourth career start.
Dropping down to fourth is Peacock Racing Stable is Gunnevera (3 first-place votes, 198 points).The Dialed In colt who went off as the favorite in the Florida Derby could do no better than third for his efforts after breaking from post-position 10. Trained by Antonio Sanos the sophomore is ranked fourth with 84 qualifying points on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard.
South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Tapwrit (1 first-place vote; 189 points) moves down to fifth and is sixth on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 54 points for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Rounding out the field are Malagacy (150); Unique Belle (2 first-place votes; 126 points); Mastery (3 first place votes; 120 points); Classic Empire (2 place votes; 99 points) and One Liner (90).
The NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll is the sport’s most comprehensive survey of experts ranking the generation of Thoroughbreds that includes all Triple Crown contenders. Every week eligible journalists and broadcasters cast votes for their top 10 horses, with points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. The Top 3-Year-Old Poll concludes June 12 after the Belmont Stakes.
There were no major races carded this week to make a difference in either direction on this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for all horses.
The top-ranked horse, 2016 Eclipse Award champion Arrogate (38 first place votes; 380 points), with earnings of $17,084,600 ,is to take some time and freshen up as he prepares for his next engagement, the G1 $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on August 19 at Del Mar Race Course according to his trainer Bob Baffert and owner Juddmonte Farm.
Standing in second in the top-ten is the second place finisher from the Dubai World Cup, Gun Runner (326) for trainer Steve Asmussen and Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm.
Grade I Santa Anita Handicapped winner Shaman Ghost (270) remains in third for trainer Jimmy Jerkens and Stronach Stables.
2016 Eclipse Champion Female Songbird (216) remains in fourth for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, followed by the Mark Casse trainee Tepin (152).
Neolithic (149) ranked sixth, gave the United States a winning Triple having finished third to Arrogate and Gun Runner in the Dubai World Cup.
Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner the New York bred, Mind Your Biscuits (108) remains in seventh for the 32-year-old trainer Chad Summers.
Rounding out the top-ten are: Vale Dori (86); Midnight Storm (79) and Lady Eli (51).
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll concludes November 6 after the running of the Breeders’ Cup.