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Welcome to the 2023 Divisional Rankings! Each week, we rank the best thoroughbred horses in America based on their divisions. In Italian fell out of the top 5 after losing the Diana Stakes (G1) at Saratoga last Saturday, but who took her place? Could Mage or Arabian Knight crack the list as a 3-year-old if either wins the Haskell Stakes (G1) this weekend at Monmouth Park? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
Here are my overall rankings as seen in the latest NTRA Top 10 Poll this week. The poll ranks the top thoroughbred horses based on if Horse of the Year voting was conducted at this very moment. Here’s what my last Top 10 poll looked like:
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1. Cody’s Wish – His story is amazing and a huge bright spot for racing. He just keeps winning and getting better with each start, most recently coming in the Met Mile (G1).
2. Up to the Mark – This is one of the best turf horses in the world right now after back-to-back dominant victories in the Turf Classic Stakes (G1) & the Manhattan Stakes (G1).
3. West Will Power – His win in the Stephen Foster Stakes (G1) sets him up for a big rest of the summer.
4. Rattle N Roll – He was a tough-luck second in the Stephen Foster Stakes (G1).
5. Defunded – This horse has been as consistent as anyone in this division all year long.
Sleeper: Smile Happy – Look for him to bounce back from a poor effort in the Stephen Foster Stakes (G1).
2023 Stephen Foster Stakes Replay | West Will Power Wins Breeders’ Cup Classic Prep At Ellis Park
1. Clairiere – She stands out amongst the dirt females as we head into the summer.
2. Caravel – She has always had the talent; however, now she has developed consistency. She’s beaten the boys twice this season.
3. Goodnight Olive – She made her way back to the winners circle in the Bed ‘o Roses Stakes (G2).
4. In Italian – She ran well in defeat, but must move down the rankings after the loss.
5. Echo Zulu – She could have a huge year if she stays healthy.
Sleeper: Nest – We haven’t seen her yet this year, but she could have a huge summer and make a splash in this division.
2023 Jaipur Stakes Replay | Caravel Cruises To 5th Straight Win; Can Anyone In America Stop Her?
1. Forte – It’s hard to rank this division right now, but the Florida Derby (G1) winner is the tentative leader as we head into a fun summer.
2. Mage – The Kentucky Derby (G1) winner can easily rise to #1 in this division if he can pick up another big win.
3. Two Phil’s – He was so good in the Ohio Derby (G3), but he suffered an ankle injury and has been retired.
4. Arcangelo – His rise to stardom has been ultra-impressive, culminating in a win in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
5. National Treasure – His win in the Preakness Stakes (G1) was huge; however, he still has some proving to do.
Sleeper: Arabian Lion – The Sir Barton Stakes winner might be the best horse in the crop; however, he still has to prove he can beat big-time horses around two turns.
1. Pretty Mischievous – She is way ahead of the rest after back-to-back Grade 1 victories in the Kentucky Oaks & the Acorn Stakes.
2. Maple Leaf Mel – She was dominant in the Victory Ride Stakes (G3) and looks like the top sprinter in this division.
3. Hoosier Philly – She returned to form in the Monomoy Girl Stakes and could be a major player in the big races this summer.
4. Defining Purpose – Her Indiana Oaks (G3) victory was impressive as she seems to be improving with each start.
5. Taxed – She ran well to finish second in the Indiana Oaks (G3) despite a tough trip and set up.
Sleeper: Gambling Girl – She ran well to finish second in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
2023 Acorn Stakes Replay | Pretty Mischievous Backs Up Kentucky Oaks Win With Another Big Score
1. Elite Power – He is head and shoulders above anyone in this division after dominating the True North Stakes (G2).
2. Skelly – This one is developing nicely for Asmussen & is riding a 5-race win streak.
3. Gunite – He is a star in his own right but was no match for our top horse in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint Stakes (G3).
4. Fort Bragg – This horse is turning into a monster one-turn runner; however, Baffert might stretch him out again.
5. Spirit of Makena – He’s won 3 straight at Santa Anita Park following the Triple Bend Stakes (G2).
Sleeper: Drew’s Gold – As far as a pure sprinter goes, he’s one of the best in the 3-year-old division.
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