From a National Thoroughbred Racing Association release
Seeking the Soul’s victory in the Grade 2 Stephen Foster Stakes at Churchill Downs this past Saturday earned the Charles Fipke homebred a guaranteed spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and also allowed the bay horse to rejoin the top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll.
Completely shut out of the poll were three-year-olds. The division’s disarray — including three different winners of the Triple Crown races, two at double-digit odds — led voters to leave the sophomore class out of the equation altogether in the second poll of the season combining the divisions.
Seeking the Soul, a 6-year-old son of Perfect Soul (IRE), was among the top ten when the first NTRA Poll of 2019 was released in late January but had fallen off in recent months following losses in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup and Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Seeking the Soul earned 113 points this week from voters to land in the seventh position in the wake of his neck victory over Quip in the Stephen Foster.
“He bounced out of the race in great shape and we’ll keep our options open for finding his next target,” Stewart told Churchill Downs’ publicity team Sunday. “One thing is for sure, we definitely have a spot in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic unlike last year.”
Seeking the Soul originally targeted the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic but did not make the body of the field for the race and had to run in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile instead, where he finished second to City of Light.
The presence of Seeking the Soul was the only major change to this week’s poll as multiple Grade 1 winner Bricks and Mortar (30 first-place votes, 371 points) remains the clear leader. Fellow Grade 1 winner Mitole (6 first-place votes, 335 points) holds in second place with stablemate Midnight Bisou (2 first-place votes, 256 points) in third.
Grade 1 winner McKinzie, second to Mitole in the Met Mile, is fourth with 229 points while multi-surface top-level winner World of Trouble (195 points) remains fifth. Another dual surface standout in Catholic Boy (121 points) is sixth, just ahead of Seeking the Soul. E Five Racing’s multiple Grade 1 winner Rushing Fall (105 points) is eighth followed by Vino Rosso (77), and two-time Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow (IRE) (71).
The Top Thoroughbred Poll wraps up November 4 after the running of the Breeders’ Cup.
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred polls are the sport’s most comprehensive surveys of experts. 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. All horses that have raced in the U.S., are in training in the U.S., or are known to be pointing to a major event in the U.S. are eligible for the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll.
NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL
- Bricks and Mortar
- Midnight Bisou
- World of Trouble
- Catholic Boy
- Gift Box
- Thunder Snow
- Rushing Fall
- Vino Rosso