Edited NTRA Release ― Two days after an emphatic front-running victory in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar, Korea Racing Authority’s five-year-old horse Knicks Go cemented his status as the top older male dirt horse in the country and a favorite for Horse of Year honors by sweeping all 36 first place votes in the final 2021 NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Knicks Go, who has held the top spot in the poll for 14 consecutive weeks, received 360 points.
Knicks Go is conditioned by 2020 Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox, who also trains Godolphin’s Essential Quality, who was the top vote-getter in the 2021 NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll that concluded in June and finished second in this year’s Top Thoroughbred Poll with 270 points. Essential Quality earlier this year captured the Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes.
WinStar Farm and China Horse Club’s speedster Life is Good, winner of Saturday’s Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, jumped from twelfth to third in the final Top Thoroughbred Poll with 265 points. Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit, who finished second in the Classic behind Knicks Go, finished fourth in the poll with 242 points.
St. George Stable’s 5-year-old mare Letruska, beaten favorite in Saturday’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, finished fifth in the poll with 205 points.
Roadrunner Racing, William Strauss, Boat Racing and Gainesway Stable’s Hot Rod Charlie, fourth in the Classic, fell two spots in this week’s poll, landing in sixth place with 126 points.
Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Westerberg Limited’s Golden Pal, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, jumped from eighteenth place to seventh place in this week’s poll with 67 points.
Godolphin’s Yibir (GB), who received no votes in last week’s NTRA Thoroughbred Poll, finished the season in eighth place with 64 points following Saturday’s victory in the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Kirk and Judy Robison’s Jackie’s Warrior and Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine, beaten favorites in the Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint and Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, respectively, rounded out the final Top 10. Jackie’s Warrior finished in ninth place with 59 points while Gamine finished in tenth place with 55 points.