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Racing Dudes Divisional Rankings 6/16/21: Who’s #1?
Essential Quality winning the Belmont (Credit: NYRA / Chelsea Durand)

Racing Dudes Divisional Rankings 6/16/21: Who’s #1?

Welcome to the 2021 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 latest 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 latest Top 10 poll looked like:

(PLEASE NOTE: No Bob Baffert horses will be ranked based on what they have done BEFORE May 7th. I will rank Baffert horses when they prove themselves AFTER that date.)

  1. Domestic Spending 
  2. Mystic Guide
  3. Silver State
  4. Essential Quality
  5. Letruska
  6. Maxfield
  7. Colonel Liam
  8. C Z Rocket
  9. Country Grammer
  10. Monomoy Girl    

Older Males

1. Domestic Spending – There is no doubt he’s the best turf horse we have on this side of the pond. He should be ultra-tough to beat leading up to the Breeders’ Cup.

2. Mystic Guide – His 2 wins this year were both extremely impressive. He’ll head into the summer as the division leader in the older dirt division.

3. Silver State – All he does is win! His Met Mile (G1) triumph was his sixth straight victory.

4. Maxfield – He’s been amazing this year, except for a poor effort in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1).

5. Colonel Liam – We’ll give him a pass for his poor effort in the Manhattan Stakes (G1). His resume is still very strong.

Sleeper: Country Grammer – He’s found new life under Bob Baffert, running 2 solid races in a row.

Older Females

1. Letruska – She left little doubt that she’s the best in the division with a dominating win in the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1).

2. Monomoy Girl – She lost nothing in defeat; however, she is currently at the farm with some muscle soreness. Will she be back?

3. Swiss Skydiver – Where will we see her next after she had to scratch out of the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1)?

4. Shedaresthedevil – Her effort in the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) left a lot to be desired.

5. Kimari – This filly is tough to beat when sprinting on dirt.

Sleeper: Valiance – The 2020 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) runner-up finisher should be ready for a big 2021 once she returns to the track.

3-Year-Old Males

1. Essential Quality – Wow, he turned a lot of heads winning the Belmont Stakes (G1) with a career high 109 Beyer Speed Figure.

2. Hot Rod Charlie – He ran way too good to lose the Belmont Stakes (G1). Look for him to have a big second half of the year.

3. Mandaloun – The expected eventual Kentucky Derby (G1) winner returned to take the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park.

4. Rombauer – The Preakness Stakes (G1) winner backed up that big effort with a solid third in the Belmont Stakes (G1).

5. Midnight Bourbon – He always shows up with a big effort, no matter who he faces.

Sleeper: Known Agenda – He’s a cut below the top horses, but he showed some ability earlier in the year.

3-Year-Old Females

1. Malathaat – The undefeated Kentucky Oaks (G1) champ is the clear division leader heading into the summer months of racing.

2. Search Results – Her Acorn Stakes (G1) victory was very impressive. Can she turn the tables on Malathaat?

3. Will’s Secret – She’s had a great season, winning 2 stakes and finishing a solid third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

4. Obligatory – Her runner-up Acorn Stakes (G1) performance proved her last win was no fluke.

5. Clairiere – This filly has shown great consistency this year and always shows up with the same type of effort.

Sleeper: Always Carina – She’s the up-and-comer for Chad Brown who could make a big impact this summer.


1. C Z Rocket – We’ll leave him #1 as his loss in the Sexton Mile (G3) was not at a sprint distance.

2. Firenze Fire – He is a monster at Belmont Park. He was impressive once again, winning the True North Stakes (G2).

3. Mischevious Alex – We’ll give him a pass in the Met Mile (G1). He didn’t get a great trip, plus he might be better going a bit shorter.

4. Flagstaff – He ran well once again in the True North Stakes (G2), finishing second to Firenze Fire.

5. Whitmore – The 2020 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) champion hasn’t won yet this season, but he’s shown up with great efforts in all 3 tries.

Sleeper: Drain the Clock – He’s now the best 3-year-old sprinter after out-dueling Jackie’s Warrior in the Woody Stephens Stakes (G1).

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