Welcome to the 2019 Divisional Rankings! Each week for the whole year, we will rank the best thoroughbred horses in America based on their divisions. Let’s take a look at the rankings, including my latest NTRA Top 10 Poll:
Here are my overall rankings as seen in the latest 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. With the year now more than half over, we’ve started to get a good feel for the top horses in the country. Here’s what my latest Top 10 poll looked like:
1. Bricks and Mortar
2. Midnight Bisou
6. World of Trouble
8. Imperial Hint
9. Maximum Security
10. Code of Honor
1. Bricks and Mortar – He picked up yet another victory in the Arlington Million Stakes (G1). This is the Horse of the Year at the moment, but there’s an older female who might turn it into a tight finish.
2. McKinzie – A big-time win in the Whitney Stakes (G1) moves him up the list in a major way.
4. Catalina Cruiser – Three straight victories capped off with a repeat score in the Pat O’Brien Stakes (G2) puts him right in the middle of this division heading into the fall.
5. City of Light – His Pegasus World Cup (G1) win will end up being one of the best races that we see all year long.
Sleeper: Yoshida – He hit the board in two straight Saratoga efforts, which is enough to keep him as a sleeper in this weak division.
1. Midnight Bisou – She locked up this division with a nose victory over Elate in the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1).
2. Sistercharlie – This world-class turf horse needs to be recognized at the highest level. She might be the most talented horse in training right now.
3. Elate – She suffered another heart-breaking Saratoga moment, losing the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) by a nose.
4. Got Stormy – Winning two stakes at Saratoga in a span of seven days easily makes her one of the top females, especially when one of the wins was the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) against the boys.
5. Rushing Fall – There is no disgrace in finishing second to her stablemate Sistercharlie in the Diana Stakes (G1).
Sleeper: Monomoy Girl – We haven’t seen her run this year, and there is no word on when she might make her next start, but she belongs here based on class and talent. On July 14, she finally returned to trainer Brad Cox’s barn and has reportedly been working up a storm.
1. Maximum Security – He left no doubt with an impressive victory in the Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1), but after not being ready for the Travers Stakes (G1), his next start is up in the air.
2. Code of Honor – His Travers Stakes (G1) victory was his third graded stakes triumph this year. He now is Maximum Security’s biggest threat in this division.
3. Mr. Money – His win in the West Virginia Derby (G3) gave him four straight victories. Now, will he try tougher company?
4. Omaha Beach – After a minor illness, he’s now scheduled to make his long-awaited return in the Ack Ack Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs at the end of September. Making the Breeder’s Cup Classic remains his ultimate goal, but he may run out of time.
5. Tacitus – It’s the year of what could have been for this horse. Narrow defeats in four straight big races have been heart-breaking.
Sleeper: Improbable – A solid win in the Shared Belief Stakes showed that he’s back on the right track.
1. Guarana – A win around two turns in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) makes her the top horse in this division by a decent margin.
2. Dunbar Road – Her Alabama Stakes (G1) triumph was a major step towards winning this division. Her stablemate is all that stands in the way.
3. Serengeti Empress – It was another great race from her in the Test Stakes (G1); however, she lost once again. She needs a win soon to stay near the top of the rankings.
4. Covfefe – Her Test Stakes (G1) win moves up her the list, with the chance to gain even more ground if she can consistently show that kind of effort.
Sleeper: Bellafina – A return to California might be what she needs to get back to top form. Her Test Stakes (G1) effort was disappointing.
1. Mitole – The Mighty Mitole returned to beast mode with an amazing performance in the Forego Stakes (G1).
2. World of Trouble – The amazing World of Trouble rolled again at Belmont Park in the Jaipur Invitational Stakes (G1).
3. X Y Jet – He finally got his Golden Shaheen (G1) victory in Dubai after coming so close in previous years. He recently returned to training with an eye on the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at the end of the year.
4.Imperial Hint – He’s back in a major way after setting a track record in his Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) victory.
5. Cistron – He may be a cut below the best horses in this division, but his Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) win was nice.
Sleeper: Giant Expectations – His Pat O’Brien Stakes (G2) effort was impressive. Maybe 6 or 7 furlongs are his best distances.
1. Green Light Go – His Saratoga Special (G2) triumph was impressive enough to earn the number one spot.
2. Basin – A powerful win in the Hopeful Stakes (G1) gives his connections plenty to be excited about moving forward.
3. Dennis’ Moment – There is no doubt he owns the most impressive win in the crop when he demolished his foes in an Ellis Park maiden special weight romp. He can prove it wasn’t a fluke in the Iroquois Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on September 14.
4. Nucky – Two straight wins, including the Del Mar Futurity (G1) at 35-1, means he has to be ranked in the top 5.
5. Three Technique – He lost to Basin on debut, before impressively breaking his maiden next time out at Saratoga in impressive fashion.
Sleeper: Eight Rings – After dumping the rider at the start of the Del Mar Futurity (G1), he still galloped out well ahead of the field. He could be a monster; however, we’ll have to see how he comes back from that incident.
2. Bast – Baffert looks to have a nice filly with this one who broke her maiden in the Del Mar Debutante (G1).
3. Amalfi Sunrise – She won the Sorrento Stakes (G2) in impressive fashion, making her a perfect two-for-two.
4. Inspiressa – After defeating Bast on debut, she lost to her in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) last time out.
5. Frank’s Rockette – She has suffered two close losses to Perfect Alibi, but she seems to have a lot of ability.
Sleeper: Stellar Sound – Her Del Mar Debutante (G1) effort was a disappointment, but there could be better days ahead.