MYSTIC GUIDE TOPS NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL
Godolphin homebred Mystic Guide earned his first top-level victory in spectacular fashion this past weekend when he surged to a 3 ¾-length triumph in the $12 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse. In addition to padding his career bankroll, that win allowed the son of Ghostzapper to continue to elevate his reputation in the handicap ranks as he takes over the No. 1 spot in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Thoroughbred Poll.
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Trained by Michael Stidham, Mystic Guide came into the Group 1 Dubai World Cup off a six-length victory in the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap on February 27. The 4-year-old colt, who won the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes during his sophomore campaign, earned 21 first-place votes and 333 points this week to move past fellow Grade 1 winner Charlatan into the lead position on the poll.
“Today he proved he is a champion and I know he is going to get better and better,” jockey Luis Saez told the Dubai World Cup notes team after piloting Mystic Guide to victory. “What a nice horse, he has all the ability. It’s an honor for me. It’s a dream come true.”
Charlatan, who most recently finished as the runner-up in the $20 million Saudi Cup, drops one spot to second with 10 first-place votes and 328 points. Champion distaffer Monomoy Girl sits third with 6 first-place votes and 309 points followed by fellow champion Swiss Skydiver (1 first-place vote, 249 points) and stablemate Knicks Go (231 points).
Grade 1 winner Colonel Liam ranks sixth with 193 points while Santa Anita Handicap hero Idol (122 points) is seventh. Godolphin’s Maxfield ranks eighth with 68 points while Shedaresthedevil (52 points), and champion female sprinter Gamine (45) round out the top 10.
The Godolphin team reigns over both NTRA polls this week as their unbeaten juvenile champion Essential Quality maintains his lead position in the Top Three-Year-Old Thoroughbred Poll with 31 first-place votes and 373 points ahead of his expected run in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 3.
Concert Tour, winner of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, remains second with 6 first-place votes and 330 points with Louisiana Derby victor Hot Rod Charlie moving up to third with 258 points. Known Agenda joins the top 10 for the first time, landing in the fourth spot this week with 240 points following his triumph in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.
Medina Spirit sits fifth with 185 points while Greatest Honour (178 points) drops to sixth after finishing third as the favorite in the Florida Derby. Risk Taking (89 points) is seventh followed by Life Is Good (1 first-place vote, 88 points), Midnight Bourbon (70), and Helium (51).
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.
TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL
TOP 3-YEAR-OLD POLL
- Mystic Guide
- Monomoy Girl
- Swiss Skydiver
- Knicks Go
- Colonel Liam
- Essential Quality
- Concert Tour
- Hot Rod Charlie
- Known Agenda
- Medina Spirit
- Greatest Honour
- Risk Taking
- Life is Good
- Midnight Bourbon