McCraken Remains First in NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll

The past weekend two Grade 2 prep races were run as the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" nears closer to Derby day. The winner from The Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (Tapwrit) and the San Felipe Stakes (Mastery) at Santa Anita Park resulted in changes in this week's top-ten in week seven of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll, which results were released today.

Keeping the number one berth is McCraken (15 first-place votes, 355 points) for Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC's and trainer Ian Wilkes. Currently with 20 qualifying points, the G3 Sam F. Davis S. winner is ranked eleventh on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard for a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6. 

Remaining in second for Peacock Racing Stable is Gunnevera (8 first-place votes, 324 points) after his 5 3/4 lengths victory in the Fountain of Youth S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park two weeks ago. The Dialed In   colt leads the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 64 points for trainer Antonio Sano. He will be targeting the G1 Florida Derby, April 1 for his next start.

Unique Bella (7 first-place votes, 245 points) moves up to third. The Santa Ysabel S. (G3) winner at Santa Anita is ranked number one on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Don Alberto Stable.

Mastery (8 first-place votes, 230 points) making his first start this year easily winning the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes by 6 3/4 lengths for trainer Bob Baffert takes fourth position. Unfortunately the Candy Ride   colt suffered a condylar fracture in his left front and is out of consideration for the Derby. 

Jumping up the ladder and climbing up to fifth is the South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Tapwrit (1 first-place vote, 209 points) for trainer Todd Pletcher. The Tapit   colt easily took command heading for home winning by 4 1/2 lengths, giving him 54 qualifying points and ranking him second on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard.

Rounding out the field is: Classic Empire (2 first-place vote, 189 points), J Boys Echo (1 first-place vote, 128 points); One Liner (126); Girvin (117) and Practical Joke (105.)

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 saw some racing action from the running of the Grade 2 Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita. The winner Shaman Ghost (321) takes second berth while second place finisher Midnight Storm (104), slides into the seventh slot in this week's top-ten. 

Eclipse Award Champion Arrogate (42 first-place votes, 420 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. The Bob Baffert, Juddmonte trainee is being pointed towards the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 25.

Ranked third is 2016 Eclipse Champion Female Songbird (295) followed by Gun Runner (294) and Eclipse Award Turf Champion Tepin (217) in fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten are: Hoppertunity (128); Midnight Storm (104); Drefong (80); Lady Eli (74) and Neolithic (73).  

The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll concludes November 6 after the running of the Breeders' Cup. 
 

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