NTRA Poll: Bolt d’Oro, put up via DQ, maintain top spot
From a National Thoroughbred Racing Association release
Prep races, an allowance race and a disqualification resulted in a flurry of sophomores moving in all directions on the top-ten ladder in week seven of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll, results of which were released today, as the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” continues.
The San Felipe Stakes (G2) came with drama and controversy as two top Kentucky Derby contenders dueled from gate to wire at Santa Anita. Making his 2018 career debut, Bolt d’Oro (29 first-place votes; 414 points) was placed first after the Santa Anita stewards declared him the official winner due to interference from McKinzie (12 first-place votes; 391 points ), who was taken down and placed second. Trained and owned by Mick Ruis, Bolt d’Oro earned an additional 50 points, giving him a total of 64 qualifying points and moving him into first place on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. The son of Medaglia d’Oro and the Bob Baffert trainee McKinzie are both being pointed towards the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 7. McKinzie is sixth on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 40 qualifying points.
Two new contenders joining the top-ten in seventh and eighth after their convincing wins in Justify (1 first-place vote; 138 points) and Enticed (130). Making his second start in an allowance race at Santa Anita, Justify is under consideration to make his next start in the Santa Anita Derby. He romped to a visually impressive victory in Sunday’s race.
Godolphin homebred Enticed secured a position in the Run for the Roses after his 2 3/4-length victory in the Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The Medaglia d’Oro colt is second on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 63 qualifying points and is being pointed to the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at the Big A on April 7.
Eclipse Award-winning Champion Two-Year-Old Male Good Magic (235 points) remains in third for trainer Chad Brown and owner Stonestreet Stables LLC. The 2017 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner could go in either the Wood Memorial or the Blue Grass Stakes on April 7. Good Magic has 34 points on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard and is third in the rankings. The 20 horses with the most points will earn a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.
Remaining in fourth and fifth, respectively, are Audible (232) and Solomini (190). Audible, trained by Todd Pletcher for owners WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing Stable, has 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points and is in 22nd place on the Leaderboard. His next start could come in the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park March 31, where the qualifying points are worth 100-40-20-10 to the first four finishers.
Solomini, who also is trained by Bob Baffert, has 14 qualifying points and is 15th on the Leaderboard. The son of Curlin is expected to run in the Rebel S. at Oaklawn Park, March 17.
Rounding out the top 10 in sixth, ninth, and tenth place are: Promises Fulfilled (161), Avery Island (83), and Bravazo (78).
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 11 after the Belmont Stakes.
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for horses four and up remains status quo as most of the top 10 are still gearing up for the 2018 season.
Eclipse Award-winning Champion Three-Year-Old Male West Coast (27 first-place votes; 412 points) retains first place for trainer Bob Baffert and owners Gary and Mary West. In his most recent start the son of Flatter finished second to Gun Runner in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park. The $10 million Dubai World Cup Invitational at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates on March 31 is his next target, according to Baffert.
Dropping down to sixth from second after a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Frank E. Kilroe (G1) Mile is Champion Male Turf Horse World Approval (172). World Approval is trained by Mark Casse for owner Charlotte Weber of Live Oak Plantation, and Casse has not determined where or when the Northern Afleet gelding will make his next start.
Eclipse Award Champion Female Sprinter Unique Bella (1 first-place vote; 291 points) moves up the ladder to second. Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, who plans to enter the 4-year-old filly in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Invitational on March 17 at Santa Anita, a track the daughter of Tapit has excelled on.
Rounding out the top-ten are: Roy H (1 first-place vote; 270 points); Forever Unbridled (1 first-place vote; 230 votes); Accelerate (220); World Approval (172); Gun Runner (13 first-place votes; 155 points); Abel Tasman (136); Gunnevera (115) and Sharp Azteca (89).
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll concludes November 5 after the running of the Breeders’ Cup.