Hot Rod Charlie’s frontrunning victory in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 20 was enough to elevate the son of Oxbow in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Three-Year-Old Thoroughbred Poll.

Trained by Doug O’Neill, Hot Rod Charlie finished second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and began his sophomore campaign with a third-place run in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on January 30. In the wake of his victory in the Louisiana Derby – the colt’s first graded stakes triumph – Hot Rod Charlie earned 261 points to move into the fourth spot on the poll. 

Unbeaten juvenile champion Essential Quality maintained his top position in the rankings, notching 30 first-place votes and 381 points ahead of his expected run in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes on April 3. Concert Tour, winner of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, moved up to second with 7 first-place votes and 328 points with Greatest Honour, the expected favorite for Saturday’s Grade 1 Florida Derby, ranking third with 2 first-place votes and 313 points. 

Medina Spirit sits fifth behind Hot Rod Charlie with 177 points while Life Is Good (138 points) dropped to sixth after it was announced he was off the Triple Crown trail due to injury. Risk Taking (97 points) is seventh followed by Midnight Bourbon (85), Helium (71), and Spielberg (49). 

There was little movement in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll with Grade 1 winner Charlatan continuing to lead the way with 24 first-place votes and 364 points. Two-time Eclipse Award winner Monomoy Girl (12 first-place votes, 337 points) remains second followed by champion filly Swiss Skydiver (2 first-place votes, 274 points) and Knicks Go (1 first-place vote, 271 points). 

Grade 1 winner Colonel Liam moves up into the fifth position with 211 points in the aftermath of his victory in the Grade 2 Muniz Memorial Classic Stakes this past weekend. Mystic Guide (1 first-place vote, 161 points) ranks sixth ahead of his slated start in the Dubai World Cup followed byIdol (147 points), Maxfield (81), Shedaresthedevil (53), and champion female sprinter Gamine (48). 

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 the Top Three-Year-Old Thoroughbred Poll concludes following the Belmont Stakes on June 5 and the Top Thoroughbred Poll is scheduled to be conducted through November 6.



  1. Charlatan
  2. Monomoy Girl
  3. Swiss Skydiver
  4. Knicks Go
  5. Colonel Liam
  6. Mystic Guide
  7. Idol
  8. Maxfield
  9. Shedaresthedevil
  10. Gamine
  1. Essential Quality
  2. Concert Tour
  3. Greatest Honour
  4. Hot Rod Charlie
  5. Medina Spirit
  6. Life is Good
  7. Risk Taking
  8. Midnight Bourbon
  9. Helium
  10. Spielberg