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Racing Dudes Divisional Rankings 11/19/20: Focus Shifts Towards 2-Year-Olds
Essential Quality after winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Credit: Coady Photography)

Racing Dudes Divisional Rankings 11/19/20: Focus Shifts Towards 2-Year-Olds

Welcome to the 2020 Divisional Rankings! Each week, we rank the best thoroughbred horses in America based on their divisions. Let’s take a look at the rankings, including my last vote in the NTRA Top 10 Poll:

Overall Rankings

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:

  1. Authentic  
  2. Monomoy Girl
  3. Improbable
  4. Swiss Skydiver
  5. Tiz the Law
  6. Gamine
  7. Rushing Fall 
  8. Whitmore 
  9. Maximum Security  
  10. Vekoma     
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Older Males

1. Improbable – His runner-up Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) performance was good enough to earn him top billing in this division. He is off to stud duties.

2. Maximum Security – This horse horse definitely lost a step as the year progressed. Off to stud duty, where pharmaceutical aides will not be able to help him produce like he did on the track.

3.  Tom’s d’Etat – The old man came up flat in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) but will enjoy a deserved retirement at stud.

4. By My Standards – His no-show in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) put a damper on an otherwise tremendous season. Will the Pegasus World Cup (G1) be next?

5.Global Campaign – This horse continued to improve throughout the season while never running a poor race. The Pegasus World Cup (G1) will be his final start before retiring to stud.

Sleeper: Knicks Go – He dominated the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) so much that his connections are having second thoughts about retiring him – at least not before the Pegasus World Cup (G1).

Older Females

1. Monomoy Girl – The queen put up another ultra-impressive score in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), and in a shocking turn of events, Spendthrift Farm bought her at auction for $9.5 million and will run her back in 2021 from the same barn.

2. Rushing Fall – While her runner-up finish may have been disappointing, take nothing away from her effort in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1)

3. Midnight Bisou – She officially retired after coming out of a workout with a minor injury. She had a tremendous career and is off to become a broodmare.

4. Valiance – This Todd Pletcher trainee is developing into something nice with each passing race. With continued development into 2021, she may be able to give Monomoy Girl a challenge for the division.

5. Fighting Mad – Her winning streak came to an end in the Zenyatta Stakes (G2), where she finished third. She is expected to return at the end of 2020.

Sleeper: Beau Recall – She deserves credit for finishing second in the First Lady Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. 

3-Year-Old Males

1. Authentic – There is no doubt about it now: this is the 2020 Horse of the Year after a dominating win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

2. Tiz the Law – Back-to-back defeats put a damper on what was a tremendous season for him. The Pegasus World Cup (G1) is next.

3. Happy Saver – He threw his hat into the ring with an impressive victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park. 

4. Max Player – Let’s give him credit for running well in all three legs of the Triple Crown, especially when none of us thought he should even try.

5. Art Collector – Two non-efforts to end his season were not what you wanted to see from him. Hopefully, he rebounds in 2021.

Sleeper: Jesus’ Team – He never won a big race, but wow, did he blow up the tote underneath all summer and fall. 

3-Year-Old Females

1. Swiss Skydiver – She gave us many thrills this season in what was a tremendous campaign. 

2. Gamine – No horse in this division can touch her in one-turn races.

2. Shedaresthedevil – She’s heading to the farm to prep for 2021 after being unable to reproduce her winning Kentucky Oaks (G1) effort in the Spinster Stakes (G1).

4. Harvest Moon – We’ll give her a pass for her Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) effort; she’s still a lightly-raced 3-year-old with plenty of room to grow.

5. Speech – She just couldn’t hang with the top horses in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) as a 3-year-old, but she has every reason to take a step forward in 2021.

Sleeper: Bonny South – We’ll keep her here after she charged home to finish a tough-luck second in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2).

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1. Whitmore – The old man should be lauded after an amazing 17/1 upset in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

2. Vekoma – He had back-to-back monster efforts in the Carter (G1) and the Met Mile (G1) over tremendous fields, but he disappeared after that and retired before making it to the Breeders’ Cup.

3. C Z Rocket – He ran well in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) to round out a great year.  

4. Firenze Fire – It was nice to see this horse have a solid season after the trainer change. 

5. Volatile – Unfortunately, he retired due to injury just as he was peaking.

Sleeper: Nashville – Look out for this guy! He earned the highest Timeform figure of anyone who ran on the Breeders’ Cup Saturday card and will be a huge favorite in the Malibu Stakes (G1) if he makes it there.

2-Year-Old Males

1. Essential Quality – He earned this spot after leaving no doubts in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1)

2. Jackie’s Warrior – He had a tremendous season but failed to fire his best shot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1)

3. Dr. Schivel – Back-to-back wins at Del Mar had this horse looking great until his connections announced he would be away until 2021.

4. Fire At Will – Let’s give this turf horse some love after he dominated the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).

5. Reinvestment Risk – He never could get that big graded stakes win, but he was competitive in several tough races. 

Sleeper: Hot Rod Charlie – Was his runner-up effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) a fluke? We’ll see how he progresses after that surprisingly strong performance.

2-Year-Old Females

1. Vequist – A strong Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) performance should earn her an Eclipse Award. 

2. Aunt Pearl – This turf filly will finish the year a perfect 3-for-3 after winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

3. Simply Ravishing – Despite a poor start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), she still ran a competitive fourth. 

4. Dayoutoftheoffice – A second-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) rounded out an outstanding year for her. 

5. Girl Daddy – She’s right there with this group as we move into 2021. 

Sleeper: Astute – Look out for this up-and-comer who romped in the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar. 

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