LETRUSKA REMAINS ATOP NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL
St. George Stable’s 5-year-old mare Letruska retained her No. 1 position in the latest NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll, while Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes winner Essential Quality rose to third place.
Letruska, trained by Fausto Gutierrez, has been atop the NTRA poll for the five consecutive weeks. Winner of the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park and the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park, Letruska has 15 first-place votes and 292 points. Letruska has won four of five starts this year, with the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs on June 26 being her most recent score.
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Maxfied, trained by Brendan Walsh, remained in second place with five first-place votes and 257 points. Maxfield, a three-time winner this year, including the Grade 2 Stephen Foster Stakes at Churchill Downs, is expected to start in this Saturday’s Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga. Godolphin’s 3-year-old Essential Quality, who won Saturday’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga, improved from fifth to third place in the poll. Trained by Brad Cox, Essential Quality, who won the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, has four first-place votes and 236 points.
Klaravich Stables’ Domestic Spending is in fourth place with five first-place votes and 218 points. Trained by Chad Brown, Domestic Spending, the only turf horse in the top 10, finished in a dead heat for first with Colonel Liam in the Grade 1 Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic, and won the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park. Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing’s Silver State is in fifth place with three first-place votes and 215 points. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Silver State, also under consideration for the Whitney, has won all four of his starts this year, including the Grade 1 Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap on June 5 at Belmont.
Korea Racing Authority’s Knicks Go, also trained by Cox, remained in sixth place with 128 points. Also being pointed to the Whitney, Knicks Go won the Grade 3 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap on July 2 and Gulfstream Park’s Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational in January. Michael Lund Petersen’s 4-year-old Gamine, the 2020 champion female sprinter, is in seventh place with 83 points. Gamine is unbeaten in three starts this year, including a victory in the Grade 1 Derby City Distaff presented by Kendall Jackson Winery at Churchill Downs.
Juddmonte’s 3-year-old Mandaloun, who was moved up from second to first place in the Grade 1 TVG.com Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 18 following the disqualification of Hot Rod Charlie, is in eighth place.
Mandaloun, who finished second in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve, has 54 points. Hot Rod Charlie, owned by Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable, Roadrunner Racing, and William Strauss, moved from 10th to ninth place. Godolphin’s 4-year-old Mystic Guide was taken out of training two weeks ago due to a knee injury. Trained by Mike Stidham, Mystic Guide, the Group 1 Dubai World Cup winner, dropped from seventh place to 10th place with one first-place vote and 45 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. Voting in the Top Thoroughbred Poll is scheduled to be conducted through Nov. 6.
TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL
- Essential Quality
- Domestic Spending
- Silver State
- Knicks Go
- Hot Rod Charlie
- Mystic Guide