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Racing Dudes Divisional Rankings 8/11/21: Kniiiiiiicks Go
Knicks Go winning the Whitney (Credit: NYRA)

Racing Dudes Divisional Rankings 8/11/21: Kniiiiiiicks Go

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:

  1. Knicks Go
  2. Domestic Spending
  3. Letruksa
  4. Essential Quality
  5. Maxfield
  6. Silver State
  7. Jackie’s Warrior
  8. Hot Rod Charlie
  9. Mandaloun
  10. Mystic Guide

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Older Males

  1. Knicks Go – The big gray horse is back on top after a fantastic effort in the Whitney Stakes (G1).

2. 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.

3. Maxfield – He showed a lot running second against a tough group in the Whitney Stakes (G1).

4. Silver State – His win streak came to an end at 6, but he was still solid in the Whitney Stakes (G1).

5. Mystic Guide – He stubbed his toe in the Suburban Handicap (G2), and now he’s out for the year after having surgery to remove a bone chip. We won’t know for a while if he’ll ever return to racing or simply retire.

Sleeper: Tizamagician – With all the injuries forcing horses dropping out of the Pacific Classic (G1), why can’t he win that race and become a player in this division?

Older Females

1. Letruska – Wow, she was fantastic once again in her Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) romp. She is clearly the top horse in this division.

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

3. Shedaresthedevil – She went out west and took home the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar.

4. Swiss Skydiver – Her Whitney Stakes (G1) effort wasn’t great; however, she should move forward off of that effort.

5. Gamine – Baffert’s sensational sprinter is back into the rankings as she points to the Ballerina Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.

Sleeper: Bell’s the One – This horse just keeps getting better, with her latest victory coming in the Honorable Miss Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.

3-Year-Old Males

1. Essential Quality – Despite a wide trip, he still was able to win the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2), which should be a useful prep for the Travers Stakes (G1)

2. Jackie’s Warrior – He might be the best sprinter in the country after his ultra-impressive Amsterdam Stakes (G2) victory.

3. Hot Rod Charlie – This horse can’t seem to catch a break. He ran way too well to end up being disqualified in the Haskell Stakes (G1) and is now skipping the Pacific Classic (G1) with a rumored injury. Hopefully his season isn’t over yet.

4. Mandaloun – This might be the luckiest horse in the world. He was named the winner of the Haskell Stakes (G1), plus he’ll be named the winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1) someday…maybe…right? He’s reportedly out for the year with a sore foot, however.

5. Rombauer – The Preakness Stakes (G1) winner backed up that big effort with a solid third in the Belmont Stakes (G1). However, he’s now off for the rest of the year.

Sleeper: Midnight Bourbon – Draw a line through his Haskell Stakes (G1) effort after clipping heels with Hot Rod Charlie, but he’s still maybe just a cut below the best.

3-Year-Old Females

1. Malathaat – She suffered her first defeat in the Coaching Club America Oaks (G1) but still is on top of this division for now.

2. Search Results – We’ll keep her here for now; however, her Test Stakes (G1) performance was just average.

3. Maracuja – Her Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) victory puts her in the mix in this division.

4. Bella Sofia – She showed up in a big way, dominating the Test Stakes (G1) by multiple lengths.

5. Clairiere – She’s simply not as good as the top horses in this division; however, she shows up and tries every time

Sleeper: Crazy Beautiful – This horse has quietly improved with each start. She could be set up for a big rest of the year.


1. Jackie’s Warrior – They’ll be hard-pressed to beat him anywhere, anytime if he repeats his monster Amsterdam Stakes (G2) performance.

2. C Z Rocket – Even though he’s lost 2 in a row, he still has an impressive resume and has shown consistency.

3. Dr. Schivel – This horse keeps improving with each race, taking home the Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) at Del Mar in his last start.

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

5. Whitmore – He’s failed to win this season; however, he has been very consistent.

Sleeper: Yaupon – He returned to the races with a big win at Pimlico that should lead to a start against tougher next time out.

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