Undefeated Justify was a unanimous choice atop the latest NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll after dominating the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on Saturday.
The latest superhorse from the barn of five-time Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert now moves on to Pimlico for the May 19 Preakness Stakes (G1) in hopes of keeping this year’s Triple Crown hope alive.
The top three in this week’s poll of Thoroughbred racing media reflect the Derby results. Justify, the emphatic 2 1/2-length winner, garnered all 39 first place votes for a perfect score of all 390 possible points. Runner-up Good Magic (349 points), last year’s Eclipse Award-winning Champion 2-Year-Old Male, was second on all but two ballots. Audible (312), third in the Derby by a neck, was a clear third in the poll as well.
The rest of the Top 10 was comprised of Derby fifth My Boy Jack (170), Longines Kentucky Oaks-winning filly Monomoy Girl (153), Derby 12th Bolt d’Oro (109), longshot Derby fourth Instilled Regard (102), Derby ninth Vino Rosso (97), Derby 19th but previously undefeated Magnum Moon, and Derby seventh Hofburg (97).
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 11, after the Belmont Stakes.
Justify’s Derby propelled him to second in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for horses of all ages. He was the clear leader in first-place votes with 22, versus 12 for West Coast, but lagged in overall points, 335 to 275, as some voters did not include him anywhere in their top 10.
Also new to the top 10 this week was 4-year-old Backyard Heaven, winner of the Alysheba Stakes (G2) on the Derby undercard over 2017 Derby winner Always Dreaming, multiple Grade 1 winner and $4.4 million-plus earner Hoppertunity, and multiple Grade 2 winner Good Samaritan. The Chad Brown trainee was ninth in the poll and will make the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs his next major target.
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll concludes November 5 after the Breeders’ Cup.
The full results for both weekly NTRA Thoroughbred polls can be found on the NTRA website at: https://www.ntra.com/ntra-top-thoroughbred-poll-may-7-2018.
Full accounting of top 10 votes, by voter: https://www.ntra.com/wp-content/uploads/Polls-week15-by_voter-2018.pdf.