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Gun Runner Remains in First Position in NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll
(receives 33 out of 39 first-place votes)
Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Monday, August 28, 2017) – True to form, the old adage ‘grave yard of favorites’ reared its ugly head at Saratoga this past Saturday on Travers Day with upsets reflecting changes in Week 31 of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Thoroughbred Poll for horses of all ages, results of which were released today.
Remaining in first for the second week in a row is Gun Runner (33 first-place votes, 382 points). Trained by Steve Asmussen for owners Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm, the multiple graded stakes winner moved up the ladder to first place last week after sitting second to Arrogate for the last 21 weeks. The Candy Ride colt won his second straight “Win and You’re In” qualifying event for a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 4 at Del Mar when he took the Stephen Foster (G1) in June and the Whitney two weeks ago.
Arrogate (5 first-place votes, 334 points), who had dominated the poll the first 29 weeks this year for trainer Bob Baffert and Juddmonte Farms, stays in second after his runner-up finish behind stablemate Collected ranked third with (225 points) in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic, a “Win and You’re In” contest for a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic two weeks ago. Arrogate, the leading earner in North American racing history, remains on target for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Moving up the ladder is Lady Eli (219) from seventh to fourth after her one and one-half length victory in the Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa (G2) at Saratoga for Sheep Pond Partners and trainer Chad Brown with Stellar Wind (211) in fifth for trainer John Sadler.
Two-time Eclipse Award winner Songbird (173) drops down from third to sixth place after being upset at the wire over the co-favorite Forever Unbridled (72 ) who breaks into the top-ten in tenth place after winning the Personal Ensign (G1) a “Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Distaff division” for trainer Dallas Stewart.
Two more horses moving into the top-ten is the newly minted Travers winner West Coast taking ninth position (1 first-place vote; 75 points) for owners Gary and Mary West and the speedy Drefong, (96) winner of the Forego (G1) who leaps into eighth place capturing a “Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Sprint Division.” Both of these horses along with Mor Spirit (ranked seventh, 98 points) are trained by Bob Baffert who conditions five of the top-ten in this week’s edition of the NTRA Poll.
The complete top-ten In descending order are: Gun Runner (33 first place votes,382 points); Arrogate (5 first-place votes, 334 points ); Collected (225) Lady Eli (219); Stellar Wind (211); Songbird (173); Mor Spirit (98); Drefong (96 ); West Coast (1 first-place vote; 75 points) and Forever Unbridled (72 ).
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll concludes November 6 after the running of the Breeders’ Cup.
The full results for the NTRA weekly Thoroughbred poll can be found on the NTRA website at:
Preview of vote by voters can be viewed at:
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).