Always Dreaming moves to top of NTRA poll

by | Apr 10, 2017 | Breaking, National news, Racing, Regionwide, Triple Crown Trail


Arrogate defeats California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Photo by Michael McInally/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup.

From a National Thoroughbred Racing Association release

Three major Kentucky Derby preps — none won by the favorite — have led to some major shuffling in the top-ten for three-year-olds in week 11 of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll, released today.

Meanwhile, it was pretty much a status quo week among older horses.

After 10-weeks being ranked number one, Ian Wilkes trainee McCraken (3 first-place votes, 193 points) drops down to fifth on the top-ten after his third place finish in the G2 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. Owned by Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC the Ghostzapper colt is currently ranked fifteenth with 40 qualifying points on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard for a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6.

Moving into first place for the first time is Always Dreaming (15 first-place votes, 318 points). Leaping from 25th to second after his sensational win in the G1 Florida Derby two weeks ago, the Bodemeister colt is sixth on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 100 qualifying points for owners Brooklyn Boyz Stable, MeB Racing Stable, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, St. Elias Stables and West Point Thoroughbreds.

Returning back in the mix from fifteenth and taking the second slot is Irish War Cry (9 first-place votes, 311 points). Going off as third choice in the G2 Wood Memorial, the Curlin colt completed the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds in 1:50.91 on Aqueduct’s main track. Owned by breeder Isabelle de Tomaso and trained by Graham Motion, the sophomore is ranked fourth with 110 qualifying Derby points.

Holding onto third is the Louisiana Derby (G2) winner, Girvin (2 first place votes, 274 points). The Brad Grady, 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.

Ranked fourth is Peacock Racing Stable’s Gunnevera (1 first-place vote, 193 points). Trained by Antonio Sano, the Dialed In colt is ranked seventh with 84 qualifying points on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard.

Gormley (176), the recent Grade I Santa Anita Derby winner, soars from seventeenth to sixth on the NTRA top-ten ladder after his half-length win. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, trained by John Shirreffs and owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, the Malibu Moon colt got the mile and one eighth in 1:51.16 while picking up additional 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for a total of 125 and standing in second on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard.

Rounding out the field are: Classic Empire (4 first-place votes, 137 points); Malagacy (1 first-place vote, 133 points); Unique Belle (1 first-place vote; 96 points) and Practical Joke (88).

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.

The week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for all horses, on the other hand, showed little change.

The number one ranked horse, Group 1 $10 million Dubai World Cup winner and Eclipse Award champion Arrogate (42 first place votes; 420 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 (361) for trainer Steve Asmussen and Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm.

Grade I Santa Anita Handicapped winner Shaman Ghost (301) remains in third for trainer Jimmy Jerkens and Stronach Stables.

2016 Eclipse Champion Female Songbird (241) remains in fourth for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Flip-flopping places for fifth and sixth place are Neolithic (174), who moves up one notch, to fifth followed by the Mark Casse trainee, Eclipse Award Turf Champion Tepin (170) in sixth.

Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Mind Your Biscuits (132), a New York-bred, remains in seventh for the 32-year-old trainer Chad Summers.

Rounding out the top-ten are: Vale Dori (100); Midnight Storm (78) and Lady Eli (64).

The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll concludes November 6 after the running of the Breeders’ Cup.