Welcome to the 2019 Divisional Rankings! Each week, we will 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:
Here are my overall rankings as seen in the last NTRA Top 10 Poll of the season. The poll ranks the top thoroughbred horses based on if Horse of the Year voting was conducted at this very moment. With the year now more than half over, we’ve started to get a good feel for the top horses in the country. Here’s what my last Top 10 poll looked like:
1. Bricks and Mortar
3. Vino Rosso
4. Midnight Bisou
8. Blue Prize
10. Maximum Security
1. Bricks and Mortar – He wrapped up Horse of the Year with a win in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
2. Vino Rosso – It’s a shame he’ll retire after running the best race of his life in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
3. McKinzie – This was the most consistent horse all year long; however, he finished second too many times in big spots.
4. City of Light – His Pegasus World Cup (G1) win ended up being one of the best races that we saw all season long.
5. Tom’s d’Etat – A win in the Clark Stakes (G1) earned him a spot in the rankings.
Sleeper: Higher Power – Finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic backs up his solid Pacific Classic (G1) victory earlier in the year.
1. Midnight Bisou – Even though she finished second in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), she still is number one in this division by a mile.
2. Uni – An amazing victory in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) capped off an awesome season for her.
3. Sistercharlie – She came up empty in the Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf (G1); however, she still had a tremendous season.
4. Got Stormy – She picked another Grade 1 win in the Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar.
5. Blue Prize – Her win in the Distaff was an ultra-impressive performance.
Sleeper: Elate – Her Classic performance wasn’t terrible; however, she was never close to making an impact.
1. Maximum Security – He left no doubt with a season-defining win in the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1).
2. Code of Honor – An on-the-board finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic would have locked this division up, but that didn’t happen.
3. Omaha Beach – He just couldn’t get the job done in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
4. Tacitus – Another on-the-board finish for him in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) added to his consistent resume. He is done for the year but is expected to return in 2020.
5. Spun to Run – A solid runner-up effort in the Cigar Mile Handicap backed up his Breeder’s Cup Dirt Mile (G1) victory.
Sleeper: War of Will – The Preakness Stakes (G1) winner never could do much after that victory, but he is expected to return in 2020 after taking a break.
1. Covfefe – Even a tough draw couldn’t stop her in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). She’s earned this spot with several big wins.
2. Dunbar Road – When facing older horses, she did not run well; however, she did dominate her own age group for most of the year.
3. Guarana – She suffered her first defeat in the Cotillion Stakes (G1), though she still finished a solid second. Unfortunately, she will not run at the Breeders’ Cup.
4. Serengeti Empress – She tried to take them wire to wire in the Distaff but couldn’t quite hold on for the win.
5. Street Band – It was a non-effort for her in the Distaff; however, she had a nice season regardless of that outcome.
1. Mitole – The beast left no doubt with a powerful win in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
2. Imperial Hint – He showed he was all heart in a heart-stopping win in the Vosburgh Stakes (G1).
3. World of Trouble – The stellar World of Trouble rolled again at Belmont Park in the Jaipur Invitational Stakes (G1). He’s now off enjoying retirement.
4. X Y Jet – He finally got his Golden Shaheen (G1) victory in Dubai after coming so close in previous years. He recently returned to training with an eye on a fourth trip to Dubai.
5. Firenze Fire – This consistent sprinter picked up a big win at Penn National last time out.
Sleeper: Shancelot – This horse could be an absolute monster next season.
1. Structor – Perhaps a turf horse deserves top honors this year. He’s a perfect three-for-three, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), and the dirt horses’ lack of consistency as a group is staggering.
2. Storm the Court – A huge upset in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) gives this horse a lot of hype moving forward.
3. Independence Hall – In a shocking development, the best-looking future 3-year-old came out of the Nashua Stakes (G3) and not the Breeders’ Cup.
4. Dennis’ Moment – We’ll give him a pass after stumbling badly out of the gate in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
5. Thousand Words – He stamped himself as a major contender with a win in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2).
Sleeper: Shotski – A wire-to-wire Remsen Stakes (G2) victory puts his name on the map.
1. British Idiom – She locked up this division with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
2. Bast – A big upset win over Donna Veloce in the Starlet Stakes (G1) has her back in good order heading into 2020.
3. Lake Avenue – Her Demoiselle Stakes (G2) victory was impressive, especially considering she did it from the 12-hole.
4. Perfect Alibi – She has been consistent all year long while picking up two graded stakes victories.
5. Donna Veloce – She’s been close in both of her Grade 1 attempts; however, she was twice unable to finish the job.
Sleeper: Finite – Her win in the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) gives her some recognition heading into next season.