Contact: Joan Lawrence, (646) 335-6833, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALWAYS DREAMING TAKES FIRST PLACE
FINAL NTRA TOP 3-YEAR-OLD POLL;
ARROGATE REMAINS IN FIRST, TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL
(Receives all 40-first-place votes)
Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Monday, June 12, 2017) – The 2017 Triple Crown series is now in the books with the running of the final jewel, the 149th Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park this past Saturday. The “Test of the Champion” won by Tapwrit did not get voted the best NTRA three-year-old as the final votes were tabulated in week 20 of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll, which results were released today.
Always Dreaming (16 first-place votes; 347 points) the Kentucky Derby winner who did not run in the Belmont Stakes was voted the best three-year-old by the media for trainer Todd Pletcher and owners Brooklyn Boyz Stable, MeB Racing Stable, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, St. Elias Stables, West Point Thoroughbreds and Siena Farm.
John and Debby Oxley’s two-year-old champion Classic Empire (13 first-place votes; 340 points) who did run in the first-two legs of the Triple Crown (Preakness, 2nd, Kentucky Derby 4th) and who was scratched earlier in the week from the Belmont Stakes due to an abscess in his right-front foot is recovering according to his trainer Mark Casse.
The Belmont winner, Tapwrit, (4 first-place votes; 316 points) who could do no better than sixth in his last start in the Kentucky Derby moves into third after his two-length win the Belmont Stakes. The Tapit colt is also trained by Todd Pletcher but for different owners (Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Robert La Penta and Bridlewood Farm). Pletcher said he was looking ahead to either the Grade 2, Jim Dandy [July 29, Saratoga Race Course] or the Grade 1, Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park as a lead-in to the Grade 1, Travers Stakes at Saratoga on August 26 for his two Classic winners.
Preakness Stakes winner Cloud Computing (2 first-place votes; 288 points) moves down a notch to fourth for Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence followed by the second place finisher Irish War Cry (202) in the Belmont Stakes in fifth place for trainer Graham Motion.
Moving into the top-ten in sixth place is G1 Acorn winner Abel Tasman (1 first-place vote; 140 points) followed by Unique Belle (1 first-place vote; 79 points).
Rounding out the field is: Mastery (2 first-place votes; 77 points); Battle of Midway (75) and Lookin at Lee (65).
The NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll is the sport’s most comprehensive survey of experts ranking the generation of Thoroughbreds that includes all Triple Crown contenders. 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.
The top ranked older horses on this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for horses four and up shows slight movement in this week’s top-ten with Songbird moving up two notches and Mor Spirit who joins the top-ten in fifth after his victory in the Metropolitan (G1), a “Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Division,” at Belmont Park.
Arrogate (40 first-place votes; 400 points) remains the unanimous top choice. The leading earner in North American racing history is trained by Bob Baffert for owner Juddmonte Farm. The Dubai World Cup winner and Eclipse Award winner is in training with the possibility of making his first start in the TVG San Diego Handicap. (G2) on July 22 at Del Mar or the G1 $1million TVG Pacific Classic on August 19 at Del Mar Race Course.
Two-time Eclipse Award winner Songbird (299 ) takes third slot after making her first start of the year in the G1 Ogden Phipps “Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Distaff Division,” on Saturday winning by a length under her regular rider Hall of Famer Mike Smith.
The top-ten in descending order are: Arrogate ( 40 first place votes; 400 points); Gun Runner (319); Songbird ( 299); Shaman Ghost (267); Mor Spirit (204); Stellar Wind (169); Lady Eli (104 ); Neolithic (64); Mind Your Biscuits (63 ); and Connect (49 ).
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll concludes November 6 after the running of the Breeders’ Cup.
About the NTRA
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA, Based in Lexington, Ky., owns and manages the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance; NTRA.com; the NTRA Top Thoroughbred and NTRA Top 3-Year-Old weekly media polls; the Eclipse Awards; the National Handicapping Championship; NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program; and Horse PAC, a federal political action committee. NTRA press releases appear on NTRA.com, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (facebook.com/1NTRA).