Edited NTRA Release — Korea Racing Authority’s 5-year-old Knicks Go, dominant winner of Saturday’s Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga Race Course, jumped from sixth place to the No. 1 position in the latest NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll.
Trained by Brad Cox, Knicks Go received 29 first-place votes and 374 points. A Maryland-bred son of Paynter, Knicks Go led the 1 1/8-mile Whitney from start to finish, defeating Godolphin’s Maxfield by 4 ½ lengths.
In registering his third win in five starts this year, Knicks Go earned a 111 Beyer Speed Figure, which was just two points shy of this year’s top North American figure of 113 that he received when he captured the Grade 3 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap by 10 ¼ lengths on July 2.
In this week’s poll, Knicks Go, who also won the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park in January, overtook the 5-year-old mare Letruska, who is now in second place after holding onto the top spot for the previous five weeks.
Owned by St. George’s Stable and trained by Fausto Gutierrez, Letruska has seven first place votes and 326 points. Letruska has won four of five starts this year, including the June 26 Grade 2 Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs in her most recent start.
Godolphin’s 3-year-old Essential Quality, who won the July 31 Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga, remained in third place. Also trained by Cox, Essential Quality, who captured the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 5, has one first-place vote and 269 points.
Klaravich Stables’ Domestic Spending remained in fourth place with two first-place votes and 251 points. Trained by Chad Brown, Domestic Spending, the only turf horse in the top 10, finished in a dead heat for first in the Grade 1 Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, and won the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park.
Following his defeat in the Whitney, Maxfield, trained by Brendan Walsh, dropped from second place to fifth place with 250 points. Maxfield is a three-time winner this year, including a victory in the Grade 2 Stephen Foster Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing’s Silver State finished third in the Whitney, suffering his first defeat of the year after four consecutive wins, including the Grade 1 Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park. Silver State, trained by Steve Asmussen, dropped from fifth to sixth place with 148 points.
Michael Lund Petersen’s 4-year-old Gamine, the 2020 champion female sprinter, stayed in seventh place with 92 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 officials announced on Tuesday that its 3-year-old Mandaloun has been taken out of training for the remainder of the year due to a sore right hind foot. Also trained by Cox, Mandaloun, second in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve, and winner of the Grade 1 TVG.com Haskell Stakes, is in eighth place with 65 points.
Hot Rod Charlie, owned by Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable, Roadrunner Racing, and William Strauss, crossed the wire first in the TVG.com Haskell but was disqualified and placed seventh due to interference. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Hot Rod Charlie, remained in ninth place with 56 points.
Godolphin’s 4-year-old Grade 1 Dubai World Cup winner, Mystic Guide, also sidelined due to injury, is in 10th place with 52 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.
The full results for the NTRA Thoroughbred Polls can be found on the NTRA website at: https://www.ntra.com/ntra-top-thoroughbred-poll-august-9-2021/