LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2020) – Wells Bayou capped a huge day for trainer Brad Cox when he captured the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on March 21 and the son of Lookin At Lucky also caught the eye of voters by earning 121 points to enter the top ten in the seventh position in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll.
Wells Bayou led every point of call in the Louisiana Derby to earn 100 qualifying points toward the 2020 Kentucky Derby, which has been postponed to September 5 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Wells Bayou’s win this past Saturday was one of three graded stakes victories on the day for Cox and it also marked the first career graded stakes triumph for the bay colt.
“We just have to figure out how to get him to the first Saturday in September and not May,” Cox said of Wells Bayou after the race. “It is uncharted territory and we will do the best we can.”
Undefeated Authentic, winner of the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes last time out, continues to hold a narrow lead over Tiz the Law for the poll’s top spot. Authentic garnered 12 first-place votes and 344 points to best Tiz the Law (18 first-place votes) by just two points. Tiz the Law is slated to make his next start this weekend in the Grade 1 Florida Derby scheduled for March 28 at Gulfstream Park.
Impressive Grade 2 Rebel Stakes winner Nadal remains third in the poll with 4 first-place votes and 322 points. Ete Indien, an 8 ½-length winner of the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes for trainer Patrick Biancone, sits fourth with 1 first-place vote and 212 points while highly-regarded Charlatan (199 points) holds down the fifth spot.
Honor A.P. (158 points) is sixth, just ahead of Wells Bayou. Sole Volante, stablemate of Ete Indien, is eighth with 114 points as Gouverneur Morris (60 points) and Independence Hall (55) complete the top ten.
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred polls are the sport’s most comprehensive surveys of experts. 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. All horses that have raced in the U.S., are in training in the U.S., or are known to be pointing to a major event in the U.S. are eligible for the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll.
The Top 3-Year-Old Poll concludes after the Belmont Stakes.
This week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll also has a new face in its midst in the form of graded stakes winner By My Standards. The Bret Calhoun-trained colt posted a three-length victory in the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic Stakes March 21, an outing that earned him 87 points from voters, good enough for ninth overall.
There was little movement at the top as champion distaffer Midnight Bisou secured 32 first-place votes and 383 points to maintain her commanding lead. Mucho Gusto, who captured the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes in his seasonal bow, is second with 307 points followed by fellow top-level winner Zulu Alpha (271 points).
The Dale Romans-trained Mr Freeze, winner of the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes, is fourth with 169 points while reigning champion 3-year-old male Maximum Security (7 first-place votes, 126 points) holds on to the fifth position. Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap winner Combatant and last year’s Kentucky Oaks heroine Serengeti Empress are now tied for sixth with 106 points apiece followed by Eclipse Awards finalist Code of Honor (90 points) in eighth. Rounding out the top ten behind By My Standards are Grade 1 winners McKinzie and Starship Jubliee, who each earned 53 points.
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll concludes November 9 after the running of the Breeders’ Cup.
The full results for the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll can be found on the NTRA website at:
Full accounting of top 10 votes by voter can be found at: