LEXINGTON, Ky. (Monday, March 14, 2016) – The heroes of last weekend’s “Road to the Kentucky Derby” stakes – Destin in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs and Danzing Candy in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park – each won convincingly enough to crack the top five in this week’s latest National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll, results of which were released today. Unbeaten standouts Mohaymen (414 points and 27 first-place votes) and Nyquist (366 points) – expected to clash in the April 2 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park – remained the leading sophomores, respectively.
Songbird (281), the leading 3-year-old filly with two easy wins this year and undefeated in six starts overall, crept up a spot to third as the previous holder of that slot, Mor Spirit (180), faltered with a tough trip in the San Felipe and fell to sixth. Destin tallied 215 points from voters, ahead of Danzing Candy’s 208.
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 as many as 50 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.
In the Top Thoroughbred Poll for horses four and up, California Chrome (403 points and 26 first-place votes) remains the leader on the basis of one minor stakes win this year. That race, however, set up the 5-year-old for a much tougher test to come March 26 in the world’s richest race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup.
The top three older horses were rounded out by 6-year-old Mshawish (304), winner of Gulfstream’s Donn Handicap (G1) in his last start, and 5-year-old mare Tepin (244), who moved up the ranks after a convincing win in Saturday’s Hillsborough Stakes (G2) going 1 1/8 miles on turf at Tampa Bay. In the last slot of the top 10 was Melatonin (80), the surprise gate-to-wire winner of Saturday’s Santa Anita Handicap (G1).
The full results for both NTRA weekly Thoroughbred polls can be found on the NTRA website at: http://www.ntra.com/ntra-top-thoroughbred-poll-march-14-2016.