Contact: Joan Lawrence, (646) 335-6833,




Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Monday, February 27, 2017) – The “Road to the Kentucky Derby” ran through New Orleans at the Fair Grounds with the running of the G2 Risen Star Stakes. Won by Brad Grady and trained by Joe Sharp Girvin (84) advances into the top-ten to ninth position in week five of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll, which results were released today.

The Tale of Ekati colt earned 50 qualifying points, ranking him number one in the newly released Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. His next start could come in the G1 Louisiana Derby on April 1.

Owned by Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC’s  and trained by Ian Wilkes, McCraken remains in first place  (17 first-place votes, 344 points) and holds on ever so slightly after being installed as the favorite at 5-1 in the final third of four Kentucky Derby Future Wagering Pools, which results were released this Sunday from Churchill Downs. The final Derby Future Wagering Pool takes place on March 31- April 2. Currently with 20 qualifying points the G3 Sam F. Davis S. winner is ranked fifth on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard for a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6. The Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 11 is under consideration for his next start.

The undefeated Holy Bull (G2) winner Irish War Cry (10 first-place votes, 309 points)  holds the second berth for trainer Graham Motion and is currently ranked 13th on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 10 qualifying points.

Moving into third is Mastery (3 first-place votes; 214 points) with Classic Empire (2 first place votes, 206 points), dropping down a notch to fourth.  Mastery is ranked 14th with 10 qualifying points while Classic Empire is ranked second with 32 points on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard respectively.

Rounding out the field is: El Areeb (1 first-place vote, 203 points); Unique Bella (5 first-place votes, 181 points); Gormley (140); One Liner (91); Girvin (84) and Gunnevera (69).

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 NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for horses four and up remains status quo with no changes in this week’s top-ten.

Eclipse Award Champion Arrogate (38 first-place votes and 380 points) received all first place votes after his spectacular win in the inaugural running of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park on January 28.

Ranked second is 2016 Eclipse Champion Female Songbird (285) followed by Gun Runner (263) and Eclipse Award Turf Champion Tepin (228) in fourth.

Rounding out the top-ten are: Shaman Ghost (200); Hoppertunity (139); Drefong (73); Neolithic (67); Lady Eli (61) and Midnight Storm (56).

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;; 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, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (