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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Edited NTRA Release — Essential Quality, who is training at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve on May 1, remains at No. 1 in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Three-Year-Old Thoroughbred Poll.

Trained by Brad Cox and bred and owned by Godolphin LLC, Essential Quality is undefeated in five starts, including his most recent victory in the Grade 2 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 3. Essential Quality, the Eclipse Award-winning two-year-old male of 2020, received 34 first-place votes and 366 points in this week’s poll.

Rock Your World, who won the Grade 1 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on April 3, has moved from fourth to second place this week. Owned by Hronis Racing and Talla Racing, and trained by John Sadler, Rock Your World has 266 points.

Another California-based star, Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing, LLC and William Strauss’s Hot Rod Charlie, remains in third place. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Hot Rod Charlie, winner of the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 20, has one first-place vote and 261 points.

St. Elias Stable’s Known Agenda, winner of the Grade 1 Curlin Florida Derby on March 27 for trainer Todd Pletcher, takes the fourth spot with one first-place vote and 253 points.

Klaravich Stables Inc.’s Highly Motivated, who gave Essential Quality all he could handle finishing second in the Blue Grass by just a neck, moves from seventh to fifth place with 158 points.

Following his third-place finish as the odds-on favorite in last Saturday’s Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, Gary and Mary West’s homebred Concert Tour drops from second to sixth place with 144 points. Keith Asmussen and Erv Woolsey’s Arkansas Derby winner Super Stock, joins the top 10 for the first time at No. 7 with 138 points.

Zedan Racing Stables Inc’s Medina Spirit, who finished second to Rock Your World in the Santa Anita Derby, retains eighth place in the poll with 101 points. Life is Good, who is sidelined with an injury and will miss the Triple Crown, is in ninth place with 66 points.

He is followed by Greatest Honour, who was taken out of Kentucky Derby consideration last week by trainer Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey III. Greatest Honour, beaten favorite in the Florida Derby, has 57 points in 10th place.

The first eight positions in NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll, remain unchanged from last week.

Mystic Guide, winner of the Group 1 Dubai World Cup, holds onto the No. 1 ranking with 24 first-place votes and 346 points.

Charlatan, runner-up in the Group 1 Saudi Cup, is second in the voting with seven first-place votes and 317 points.

Two-time Eclipse Award Champion Monomoy Girl (five first-place votes, 313 points) remains in third place, followed by Eclipse Award Champion filly Swiss Skydiver (one first-place vote, 296 points) in fourth place, and Knicks Go in fifth (239 points).

Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup winner Colonel Liam is in sixth place (213 points). Idol holds onto seventh place (179 points), and Gamine is in eighth place (97 points).

The new shooter to the top 10 is C Z Rocket, who won last Saturday’s Grade 3 Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn Park. C Z Rocket is in ninth place (89 points), followed by Maxfield in 10th (56 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 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.

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