Welcome to the final 2018 Divisional Rankings of the year! Each week for the whole year, we have ranked the best thoroughbred horses in America based on their divisions. Let’s take a look at the last rankings, including my last 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. Even though Accelerate capped off his season with a tremendous win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, it was just too hard for me to rank him ahead of Justify. Here’s what my last Top 10 poll looked like:
3. Monomoy Girl
5. Roy H
6. City of Light
7. Mind Your Biscuits
8. Game Winner
10. Stormy Liberal
1. Accelerate – His Breeders’ Cup Classic win makes him a lock for Older Male of the Year and gives him a shot at Horse of the Year. The debate is getting heated on this subject.
2. City of Light – This horse has proven that he can do about anything while also winning at a variety of distances. His Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile win was fantastic.
3. Mind Your Biscuits – It wasn’t his day in the Breeders’ Cup Classic as he never quite got going, but we still should not ignore his successful and ambitious season.
5. Yoshida – The Breeders’ Cup Classic wasn’t his best effort, but it has still been a solid year for him.
Sleeper: Patternrecognition – After back-to-back graded stakes wins, he deserves a mention. His Grade 1 Cigar Mile win was impressive.
1. Sistercharlie – It is doubtful whether or not she wins Older Female of the Year, but she would undoubtedly get my vote. She capped off a tremendous season with another Grade 1 win in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
2. Abel Tasman – At her best, she was amazing this season; however, she fell off form in a major way. It’s time for her to be a mom.
3. Elate – An injury knocked her out of the Breeders’ Cup, but she had a pair of powerful performances earlier this year.
4. Blue Prize – She showed consistency all season long and did not embarrass herself in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
5. Unique Bella – Her injury and retirement means that she will continue to fall down the rankings. Hats off to a solid career.
Sleeper: Divine Miss Grey – She has quietly won a ton of the smaller races around the country all year long. Even in defeat, she shows up with a solid effort.
2. Catholic Boy – Draw a line through his non-effort in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. McKinzie took him out as the gates opened, which ruined his chances.
3. Good Magic – The Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner has been retired and will stand at Hill ‘n Dale Farms after a solid two-year career.
4. Audible – From a talent prospective, this could be the second-best horse in the crop. He returned from a long layoff to win a small stakes race with ease on the undercard of Breeders’ Cup Saturday. However, he finished second in last weekend’s Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday as the heavy favorite.
5. McKinzie – The Grade 1 Malibu Stakes was the “real” McKinzie. He’s set for a monster 2019.
Sleeper: Promises Fulfilled – Once they cut him back in distance, he was an absolute monster. He looks to have a bright future ahead of him.
1. Monomoy Girl – The undisputed champ of this division, if not for Justify, she would have a solid shot to win Horse of the Year.
2. Dream Tree – She has always been the second-best horse in this division, but an injury forced her to miss all of the important spring and summer races. She had a dominating Grade 1 Prioress Stakes win, but an injury forced her to miss the Breeders’ Cup. However, she was a complete no-show in the Grade 1 La Brea.
3. Midnight Bisou – The Breeders’ Cup Distaff was a bit too long for her, but at distances up to 1 1/16 miles, she is ultra-tough to beat.
4. Wonder Gadot – She looks to have gotten tired at the end of a very ambitious campaign.
5. Seperationofpowers – The Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes distance was a bit too long for her, but she is tough in one-turn races.
Sleeper: Eskimo Kisses – She picked up her first Grade 1 victory in the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga and has been a consistent filly all year long.
1. Roy H – The Champ returned to win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint for the second straight year. He will win two straight Eclipse Awards as well.
2. Stormy Liberal – Let’s give some love to the turf sprinters. Stormy Liberal made it back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint wins with an amazing effort to defeat World of Trouble.
3. Imperial Hint – He didn’t run poorly in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, but he was just no match for the race’s top horse.
4. Whitmore – This gutty horse danced every dance this year and is an absolute warrior.
5. Promises Fulfilled – Once they cut him back in distance, he was an absolute monster. He looks to have a bright future ahead of him.
Sleeper: X Y Jet – The 6-year-old gelding just keeps winning and will always be the horse that they have to catch up front. His Grade 3 Smile Sprint Stakes victory at Gulfstream Park was ultra-impressive.
1. Game Winner – He will be the easy choice for 2-Year-Old Male of the Year of this group after three straight Grade 1 wins culminated in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
2. Improbable – This might be Baffert’s best horse heading into 2019. He cruised home for an easy win in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity.
3. Instagrand – Based on talent, he might be the best horse in the division, but his lack of racing will see him fall down the rankings.
4. Maximus Mischief – He pushed his record to 3-for-3 with a beautiful win in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes. This is now a horse to be taken seriously.
5. Knicks Go – This horse is not a fluke. He backed up his Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity win with a second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. However, he did struggle badly in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes last time out.
Sleeper: Signalman – His Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes victory finds him in the rankings after a solid 2-year-old campaign.
1. Newspaperofrecord – This horse is an absolute beast. Good luck to anyone trying to defeat her.
2. Jaywalk – She proved her class in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies with a dominating wire-to-wire triumph.
3. Bellafina – A non-effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies is the only flaw from a terrific 2018 campaign.
4. Chasing Yesterday – The half-sister of American Pharoah is now a Grade 1 winner after a determined stretch run in the Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos.
5. Liora – The 27/1 upset winner of the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes deserves credit as she held off Restless Rider the entire length of the stretch.
Sleeper: Restless Rider – You can always count on her to show up with a nice effort, but she is having trouble winning.