Vekoma heads up NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll
With Midnight Bisou and Tom’s d’Etat both suffering defeats in their respective Grade 1 races at Saratoga Race Course this past weekend, multiple top-level winner Vekoma gained the majority of support among voters to move into the No. 1 position on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Thoroughbred Poll.
Vekoma has been flawless in his 4-year-old campaign to date, winning all three of his outings including victories in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap and Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap. The son of Candy Ride (ARG) surged to the top of this week’s poll with 13 first-place votes and 321 total points and is expected to make his next start in the Grade 1, $300,000 Forego on August 29 at Saratoga.
“We’re trying to make it to the Breeders’ Cup and the Forego is the most logical next spot,” trainer George Weaver told the NYRA publicity team regarding Vekoma. “So far, everything’s looking good and we’re looking forward to getting him back to the races. The sky’s the limit for him.”
Tom’s d’Etat could have made a case to move into the No. 1 slot with a victory in last Saturday’s Grade Whitney Stakes but the 7-year-old stumbled out of the gate en route to a third-place finish. The son of Smart Strike still earned 6 first-place votes and 299 points to hold onto the No. 2 spot while his Whitney conqueror Improbable moved into the third position with 6 first-place votes and 278 points.
Champion Maximum Security (9 first-place votes, 256 points) maintains the fourth spot while fellow Eclipse Award-winner Midnight Bisou – who had held the top spot in the poll since March 10 – dropped to fifth with 1 first-place vote and 248 points after she finished second as the favorite behind Vexatious in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes.
Zulu Alpha (140 points) ranks sixth followed by Monomoy Girl, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2018, in seventh with 2 first-place votes and 120 points. Top-ranked sophomore Tiz the Law ranks eighth with 3 first-place votes and 118 points while By My Standards (112 points) and Volatile (56) round out the top 10.
Ahead of his expected run in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga this Saturday, Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law remains the clear choice in the NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll with 40 first-place votes and 400 total points. Honor A. P., who finished second in the Shared Belief Stakes on August 1, holds onto the No. 2 spot with 300 points.
Grade 1 Haskell Stakes victor Authentic (280 points) sits third followed by Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes winner Art Collector (276), who is expected to be the heavy favorite in the Ellis Park Derby on August 9.
Los Alamitos Derby victor Uncle Chuck (180 points) ranks fifth ahead of his planned start in the Travers Stakes while stablemate Thousand Words (138) rejoins the top 10 in sixth following his victory in the Shared Belief Stakes.
Haskell runner-up Ny Traffic (112 points) ranks seventh followed by King Guillermo, winner of the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, in eighth with 106 points. Sophomore fillies Swiss Skydiver (89 points) and Gamine (84) complete the top 10.
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. Voting in both the Top Three-Year-Old Poll and the Top Thoroughbred Poll is scheduled to be conducted through the conclusion of the Breeders’ Cup in November.
NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL
- Tom’s D’Etat
- Maximum Security
- Midnight Bisou
- Zulu Alpha
- Monomoy Girl
- Tiz the Law
- By My Standards
NTRA TOP THREE-YEAR-OLD POLL
- Tiz the Law
- Honor A. P.
- Art Collector
- Uncle Chuck
- Thousand Words
- Ny Traffic
- King Guillermo
- Swiss Skydiver
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