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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:
1. Accelerate – Look out, he’s far and away the top dog in this division after a nearly 13-length victory in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar.
2. Diversify – When he is at his best, you simply cannot run with him on the front end. He crushed his rivals in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes, giving him a solid Suburban/Whitney double.
3. Catalina Cruiser – Say hello to the division’s newest star. He is now 3-for-3 in his young career after dominating the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar and should make one more start before the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
4. City of Light – We learned in the Grade 1 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? He’s currently entered in Saturday’s Grade 1 Forego Stakes going 7 furlongs at Saratoga.
5. Bee Jersey – He will stay in this spot for now, but unfortunately he has been retired with an injury. This is sad as he was just getting started with a big future ahead of him.
Sleeper: Mind Your Biscuits – For now, he is ranked in two divisions. He is probably most effective going short, but he deserves recognition for finishing second in the Whitney behind a loose-on-the-lead Diversify. Trainer Chad Summers has several options for his next start.
1. Unique Bella – Shocking news broke last Saturday that she was injured and would be retired. She will keep this spot for a brief moment, only to most likely be passed by the winner of the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes this weekend at Saratoga.
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 and is set for a showdown with Elate in the Personal Ensign.
3. Elate – Welcome back, Elate! After a long layoff, she made her 2018 debut in dominating fashion in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap and could be poised for a major year.
4. Sistercharlie – She has now won three Grade 1 turf races this year and seems to be getting better with every race.
5. Blue Prize – The Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap was her second win at Churchill Downs going 1 1/8 miles. That bodes well for her chances in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff later in the year.
Sleeper: 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. She is currently on the bench, though.
1. Justify – The Triple Crown winner has this division on complete lockdown and will undoubtedly be the 2018 Horse of the Year as well, even though a recent hoof injury caused his premature retirement.
2. Good Magic – His Grade 1 Haskell Invitational victory confirmed that he is indeed the second-best 3-year-old this year. If not for Justify, he probably would have had a shot at winning the Triple Crown.
3. Catholic Boy – After his Grade 1 Belmont Derby win, he has proven to be a special colt. If not for a bleeding issue in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, who knows what could have happened? He’ll try the dirt again in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes.
4. Audible – After solid victories in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes and the Grade 1 Florida Derby, he backed things up with a third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. However, there is no timetable for when he might run again.
5. Hofburg – He picked up a solid win in the $100,000 Curlin Stakes, which seemed to set him up for a big effort in the Travers before a fever caused him to drop out of that event. Hopefully, he can get a big-time win on his resume.
Sleeper: Tenfold – This rapidly-developing colt picked up his first stakes win in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy. He showed a lot of immaturity in that race, but he is becoming a nice horse.
1. Monomoy Girl – There is no doubt about it now: she is going to win the Eclipse Award for this division. Sealing the deal was her performance in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga to make it five in a row.
2. Wonder Gadot – She picked up another win against the boys and against Canadian bred horses, but now she goes back to open company this Saturday against the boys in the Travers.
3. Midnight Bisou – Another so-so effort at Saratoga in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes firmly places this horse in third with not much room to move forward.
4. Red Ruby – An injury will force her to miss the rest of the year, which is unfortunate as there was a window of opportunity for her to move up the rankings.
5. Seperationofpowers – This might be the best female sprinter in the country, regardless of age, after a tremendous win in the Grade 1 Test Stakes.
Sleeper: Eskimo Kisses – She picked up her first Grade 1 victory in the Alabama at Saratoga and has been a consistent filly all year long.
1. Mind Your Biscuits – For now, he will remain number one in this division until we are 100% sure that he will not go back to sprinting. Going 6 or 7 furlongs, he can beat anyone in the world, but the jury is still out on how he can do going longer. Still, this is an incredibly versatile and talented horse.
2. Imperial Hint – He turned the Grade 1 Vanderbilt Handicap into a total laugher after he dominated the field without being asked for his best. He is on track for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint once again after finishing second in that race a year ago.
3. 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. He is scheduled to make one more start before that in September’s Grade 3 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes at Laurel Park.
4. Roy H – The Bing Crosby was his first start since March and will likely be a solid building block for him, as he finished second. He will progress off of that race.
5. Ransom the Moon – This horse loves running in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes. He won the race for the second straight year, but now he needs to pick up a few wins in-between to move up the rankings.
Sleeper: Limousine Liberal – This horse is running as well as ever this year and will have a home track advantage at the Breeders’ Cup.
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