Bricks and Mortar tops final NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll
From a National Thoroughbred Racing Association release
After capping off his unblemished season with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park, Bricks and Mortar was an emphatic choice to hold the No. 1 position in the final NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll of 2019.
Trained by Chad Brown for owners William Lawrence and Klaravich Stables, Bricks and Mortar defeated United by a head in the Turf on November 2 to complete a brilliant 6-for-6 campaign that featured five Grade 1 triumphs. That effort all but cemented the son of Giant’s Causeway as the favorite to earn Horse of the Year honors, a notion backed up by the 42 first-place votes and 438 total points he notched in this week’s poll.
Bricks and Mortar has held the top position in the poll since April 8. His Breeders’ Cup outing marked his final career start before heading to Japan to stand stud at Shadai Farm.
“He certainly has been leading the poll since April, and I think winning today, showing the heart that he showed, he’s certainly our Horse of the Year,” Lawrence said after the Turf. “And hopefully he’ll be the voters’.”
The Breeders’ Cup card wasn’t kind to favorites over its two-day run but – like Bricks and Mortar – Mitole lived up to his billing in taking the $2 million Sprint. The Steve Asmussen-trained colt also closed out his career on a high note by besting Shancelot by 1 ¼-lengths, an effort which earned him 2 first-place votes and 388 points to move up to second overall in the poll.
Mitole is slated to enter stud at Spendthrift Farm for 2020.
Vino Rosso, who captured the Breeders’ Cup Classic by 4 ¼ lengths in his final start before also joining the Spendthrift Farm roster, notched 332 points to move up to third in the poll. Midnight Bisou was fourth with 297 points in the wake of her runner-up finish in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff – her first defeat in 2019 – while McKinzie and champion Sistercharlie (IRE) tied for fifth with 157 points.
Breeders’ Cup Mile heroine Uni (GB), stablemate to both Bricks and Mortar and Sistercharlie, crashes into the top 10 in the seventh position with 151 points. Fan-favorite Covfefe, whose flashy looks were matched by a campaign that saw her win five of six starts including the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, landed in the eighth spot with 109 points with Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Blue Prize (ARG) in ninth with 102 points.
Maximum Security, the lone 3-year-old male in the top 10, rounds out the order with 90 points.
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
- Vino Rosso
- Midnight Bisou
- McKinzie (tied for 5th)
- Blue Prize
- Maximum Security
LATEST RACING NEWS
Maryland shippers Bright Dawn and Twirling Owen swept the weekend’s WV-bred 3-year-old stakes at Charles Town Races.
Though there’s been no Maryland racing in two months, trainer Claudio Gonzalez has kept stakes winners Lebda and Princess Cadey home.
Charles Town returns to action with full fields and the return of local star Parisian Diva, who makes her season debut on Friday.
With a stunning 46-1 upset in the Oaklawn Stakes earlier this month, lightly regarded Mr. Big News made headlines himself and earned a spot in the Preakness.
Glorious Empire, the Chuck Lawrence-trained, Fair Hill-based runner who was a finalist for the top turf horse of 2018, has been retired.
The MATCH Series, a regionwide series of stakes races in its third year back after a long hiatus, will not take place in 2020.