Welcome to the 2018 Divisional Rankings! Each week for the rest of the year, we will rank the best thoroughbred horses in America based on their divisions. Let’s take a look at the latest rankings:
2. West Coast – Gun Runner disposed of him in the Grade 1 Pegasus Stakes, and then Thunder Snow got the best of him in Dubai. Still, he’s a prime older male contender, and at this point, he’s first on most people’s lists. However, he is on an extended break following his return from Dubai, so it’s unclear when we’ll see him next.
3. City of Light – We learned in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita that 10 furlongs might not be what he wants to do. He ran well to finish third in that race but did not display his usual zip down the stretch. Will he stay in this category or go back to sprinting?
4. Bee Jersey – As of now, it is hard to know whether to put him in this category or in the sprint division. He and Mind Your Biscuits put on a show in the Grade 1 Met Mile, with Bee Jersey winning by a nose. The win was his fourth straight.
5. Pavel – After many tries, he finally broke through with a big victory in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap. He is a talented horse that could be a player if he finds consistency.
Sleeper: Dr. Dorr – He has quietly run some big races for trainer Bob Baffert and could be developing into a decent runner. Last time out, he was a solid second in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita.
1. Unique Bella – She picked up a dominating win in the Grade 1 Beholder Mile Stakes, which confirmed her spot at the top.
2. Abel Tasman – This Bob Baffert trainee proved that she was back in a big way with an impressive win in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park.
3. Fault – She’s 3-for-3 this year, all against graded stakes company. Based on resume alone, she’s the top filly in the division right now. However, a recent injury suffered while training was serious enough that her connections are now debating whether to retire her.
5. Salty – The hard knocker finally broke through with a win in the Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes after making a closing move along the rail. This could be the start of a big year for her.
Sleeper: Martini Glass – She’s tackled some big races lately, including a decent third-place effort in her last start (the La Troienne) despite being up against a track bias. This is one to watch as we move on throughout the year.
1. Justify – The Triple Crown winner has this division on complete lockdown and will undoubtedly be the 2018 Horse of the Year as well. Hopefully, we will see him in the summer at Saratoga or Del Mar.
2. Good Magic – He showed that he is a world-class animal after taking it to Justify all the way around the track in the Preakness. This horse will get a much-deserved break now, but he will be back for a solid summer campaign.
4. Hofburg – His consistency over the last few months earned him this spot heading into the summer. He should be one to show solid progression and likely has a big race with his name on it.
5. Gronkowski – Was his Belmont Stakes run a fluke, or is this horse for real? We will find out as he makes more starts in the United States, but his Belmont runner-up effort was a very good start.
Sleeper: Core Beliefs – A solid win in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby moves him up to this spot, but he is still a long way off from being ranked in the Top 5.
1. Monomoy Girl – This division is now on lockdown after she picked up her third straight Grade 1 victory in the Acorn Stakes. The Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks will be next.
2. Midnight Bisou – She made her competition look silly in the Grade 2 Mother Goose Stakes with an eye-catching effort while not being asked for her best. A rematch at Saratoga with Monomoy Girl awaits.
3. Wonder Gadot – The $1,000,000 Queen’s Plate Stakes was a much-deserved triumph after several close calls in big races all season long. It opens up the door for a lot of possibilities for her and brings her back into the discussion of top 3-year-old fillies if she can continue to win races.
4. Dream Tree – An injury forced her to miss the Kentucky Oaks, but she could come back strong with a summer campaign. She was a top contender before the injury.
5. Mia Mischief – She looks like the top 3-year-old sprinter in the country after a dominating win in the Grade 2 Eight Belles Stakes.
Sleeper: Road to Victory – She will stay in this spot after finishing second in the Mother Goose. That was only the second start of her 2018 season and her first career loss. She will move forward off of that effort.
1. Mind Your Biscuits – After a tough-luck runner-up finish in the Met Mile, he is still number one on this list. However, there are talks of stretching him out for the summer races, which would mean moving him to a different division.
2. 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 an easy return as he begins to prepare for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
3. Roy H – He deserves a free pass in Dubai because it was his first bad race in a long time. The defending Breeders’ Cup champ should come back ready to roll once he makes his next start in the United States.
5. American Anthem – This is a horse that has always shown talent. He will have to prove that he can stay consistent, but so far, he is 2-for-2 and looking solid in 2018.
Sleeper: Mitole – This is the best 3-year-old sprinter in the country. His last two races can compete with almost anyone, regardless of age.