The 2017 Triple Crown series is now in the books with the running of the final jewel, the 149th Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G1) at Belmont Park June 10.
The "Test of the Champion" winner Tapwrit did not get voted the best NTRA 3-year-old as the final votes were tabulated in week 20 of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll, which results were released today.
Always Dreaming (16 first-place votes; 347 points) the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner who did not run in the Belmont Stakes was voted the best 3-year-old by the media for trainer Todd Pletcher and owners Brooklyn Boyz Stable, MeB Racing Stable, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, St. Elias Stables, West Point Thoroughbreds, and Siena Farm.
John and Debby Oxley's 2-year-old champion Classic Empire (13 first-place votes; 340 points) who did run in the first two legs of the Triple Crown (Preakness Stakes (G1), 2nd; Kentucky Derby, 4th) and was scratched earlier in the week from the Belmont Stakes due to an abscess in his right-front foot is recovering, according to his trainer Mark Casse.
The Belmont winner, Tapwrit, (4 first-place votes; 316 points) who could do no better than sixth in his last start in the Kentucky Derby moves into third after his two-length win the Belmont Stakes. The Tapit colt is also trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Robert La Penta, and Bridlewood Farm.
Preakness winner Cloud Computing (2 first-place votes; 288 points) moves down a notch to fourth for Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence, followed Belmont runner-up Irish War Cry (202) in fifth place for trainer Graham Motion.
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 ranked older horses on this week's NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for horses 4 and up shows slight movement in this week's top-10 with Songbird moving up two notches and Mor Spirit joining the top 10 in fifth place after his victory in the Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap (G1), a "Win and You're In Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Division," at Belmont Park.
Arrogate (40 first-place votes; 400 points) remains the unanimous top choice. The leading earner in North American racing history is trained by Bob Baffert for owner Juddmonte Farm. Two-time Eclipse Award winner Songbird (299) takes the third slot after winning her first start of the year in the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1).
The top 10 in descending order are: Arrogate (40 first place votes; 400 points); Gun Runner (319); Songbird ( 299); Shaman Ghost (267); Mor Spirit (204); Stellar Wind (169); Lady Eli (104 ); Neolithic (64); Mind Your Biscuits (63); and Connect (49).