Invasor Rated Top Racehorse in World

Invasor Rated Top Racehorse in World
Photo: Alexander Barkoff
Invasor goes by Bernardini in deep stretch to win the Classic.
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Shadwell Stables’ Invasor has topped the Northern Hemisphere section of the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings for 2006, details of which were revealed Tuesday, Jan. 16, in London, England.
 
The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained 5-year-old earned a career-high rating of 129 pounds in defeating Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Bernardini by a length at Churchill Downs on November 4. Invasor’s triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Powered by Dodge (gr. I) capped a championship season in which the Argentinian-bred son of Candy Stripes also secured the Pimlico Special (gr. I), Suburban Handicap (gr. I) and Whitney Handicap (gr. I).
 
The rankings, for horses trained or campaigned in countries whose season runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, resulted in U.S.-trained horses filling the top three places in the handicap while accounting for five of the top 10.
 
A panel of official international handicappers rated Invasor a pound superior to Darley Stables’ Tom Albertrani-trained Bernardini (128), and Godolphin’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I) winner Discreet Cat (128), who are the equal top-rated 3-year-olds of last year.
 
Bernardini landed six straight wins in 2006 including the Preakness, Travers Stakes (gr. I) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) before winding up his career with a runner-up finish behind the late-closing Invasor at Churchill Downs.
 
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Discreet Cat was seven lengths superior to Invasor when the pair met in the UAE Derby (gr. II) at Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, in March. Invasor subsequently recorded a four-race unbeaten streak stateside, while Discreet Cat went undefeated in three U.S. outings.
 
Lava Man, a star of the California circuit for trainer Doug O’Neill, won six of seven starts in 2006 including the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. I), Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) and Pacific Classic (gr. I)
 
Lava Man is ranked equal fourth in the weights at 127, alongside Japanese superstar Deep Impact, the impressive winner of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) and third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), Arc winner Rail Link, and top Irish miler George Washington, winner of the Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I).
 
Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner who is still recovering from serious injuries sustained in the Preakness, achieved a rating of 126 in the "Run for the Roses" and is joined on that mark by 2005 world champion Hurricane Run and the Aidan O’Brien-trained Dylan Thomas, successful in the Irish Derby (Ire-I) and Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I).
 
Godolphin’s Electrocutionist, the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) hero who died later in the year, and European group I winner Shirocco were judged as 125 pound horses.
 
Alain de Royer-Dupre trained Pride, a close second in the Arc, collected a trio of group I successes in Hong Kong, England and her native France. She rounded off a glittering career when securing the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) at Sha Tin in December, and is the champion female of 2006 with a rating of 123.
 
Just behind her was Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf heroine Ouija Board, who achieved a mark of 122, while Belmont Stakes winner Jazil, owned like Invasor by Shadwell Stables, ends 2006 at 119.
 
The Neil Drysdale-trained Aragorn, winner of the Shoemaker Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I) and Eddie Read Handicap (gr. I), is the leading U.S.-based turf performer with a rating of 122. Runner-up to Miesque’s Approval (120) in the NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs, Aragorn is rated one pound superior to English Channel (121) who was third in the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf.
 
The prestige of leading sprinter in the WTRR is split three ways. Thor’s Echo’s wins in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) and Frank J. de Francis Memorial Dash earned the Doug O’Neill-trained 5-year-old a rating of 120, a mark equaled by Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) winner Henny Hughes (120) and crack Australian speedster Takeover Target (120), who was successful at the highest level in Australia, England and Japan last year.
 
Sir Percy, triumphant in the Vodafone Derby (Eng-I) for trainer Marcus Tregoning, is judged to have achieved a mark of 121 for that English classic-winning performance in June.

World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings for 2006 

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