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CLASSIC EMPIRE REMAINS IN FIRST PLACE, NTRA TOP 3-YEAR-OLD POLL;
ARROGATE RETAINS FIRST PLACE, NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL
(Receives all 42 first-place votes)
Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Tuesday, May 30, 2017) – With eleven days remaining for the 149th Belmont Stakes (G1), Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y., the top-three-year-olds in the nation are in the final stages of preparation for the “Test of the Champion” as we enter week 18 of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll, which results were released today showing no changes.
John and Debby Oxley’s reigning two-year-old champion Classic Empire (20 first-place votes; 389 points) who ran in the first-two legs of the Triple Crown (Preakness, 2nd, Kentucky Derby 4th) is confirmed to run in the final and third leg of the Triple Crown on June 10 by his trainer Mark Casse. The Pioneerof the Nile colt remains in first-place on the top-ten for second week in a row.
Always Dreaming (15 first-place votes; 367 points) the Kentucky Derby winner remains in second 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. The Bodemeister colt has been declared out of the Belmont Stakes.
Preakness Stakes winner Cloud Computing (3 first-place votes; 337 points) is ranked third for Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence. Trainer Chad Brown has confirmed they will not run in the Belmont Stakes.
Lookin At Lee (222) ranked fourth is expected to run in the Belmont Stakes with Irad Ortiz, Jr., in the irons for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.
Sitting out the Preakness and Belmont Stakes in fifth position is Battle of Midway (149) followed by Irish War Cry (124) in sixth and who is being pointed to the Belmont Stakes according to his conditioner, Graham Motion.
Rounding out the field is: Unique Bella (1 first-place vote; 114 points); Mastery (2 first-place votes; 83 points) and Practical Joke (78).
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 3-Year-Old Poll concludes June 12 after the Belmont Stakes.
The top ranked older horses on this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for horses four and up shows slight movement in the bottom-half of the rankings.
The top five older horses on this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll remain unchanged, with Arrogate (42 first-place votes; 420 points) 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 being pointed towards the G1 $1million TVG Pacific Classic on August 19 at Del Mar Race Course.
Joining the ranks in sixth from fourteenth is Lady Eli (124) after a hard fought challenge in Saturday’s Gamely Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita by a half-length under regular rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. Trained by Chad Brown, Lady Eli, who overcame a life threatening bout with laminitis last year, negotiated 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:45.29.
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).