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1. California Chrome – If there were any doubts before the Pacific Classic (I don’t think there were) it’s absolutely a FACT now that Chrome is the best horse in the country.
2. Flintshire – Was an absolute monster once again in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer…his turf races are a joy to watch.
3. Frosted – Stubbed his toe in a big way in the Woodward Stakes over the weekend as he was upset by Shaman Ghost. Will regroup and try to rebound in the Breeders’ Cup Classic now.
4. Melatonin– Proved his worth for the third straight race as now I’m completely sold that he’s for real. Now has two Grade 1 victories at the classic mile and one quarter distance.
5. Dortmund – His third place effort in the Pacific Classic was not as good as his San Diego Handicap race, but he still ran very well. Lets hope he stays healthy and continues to progress.
Sleeper: Effinex– He is so up and down, but that’s what makes people forget about him. At his best he can run with anyone.
1. Tepin – Will now be pointing towards the Woodbine Mile, and has started to work out strongly at Saratoga.
2. Beholder – No shame in finishing second to California Chrome in the Pacific Classic as she ran a fantastic race.
3. Stellar Wind – She takes down Beholder!! What an amazing effort by Stellar Wind in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes. She’s come back as an extremely strong four year old.
4. Cavorting – Massive win in the Personal Ensign around two turns projects her to another level now. Still couldn’t move her past the top three in this division though.
5. Curalina – Finished a close second in the Personal Ensign and has been running solid all year long.
Sleeper: Forever Unbridled – Another solid effort in the Personal Ensign, but it wasn’t enough to crack the top five just yet.
1. Exaggerator– No rain…no good! He struggled big time in the Travers Stakes, but his resume still puts him at number one for now.
2. Nyquist – He’s back to training and pointing towards the Pennsylvania Derby as is Exaggerator. With a win there he actually could become the top horse in this division again.
3. Arrogate– There is absolutely no doubt he his head and shoulders above anyone in this division, but one race doesn’t make a career. His Travers Stakes effort was beyond belief, and if he can run that type of race again he will win the Breeders Cup Classic and will be at the top in this division.
4. Creator– He stays ranked because of two grade one wins in the Arkansas Derby and Belmont Stakes. His summer at Saratoga was a disaster though, and he’s now done for 2016
5. American Freedom– Feel sorry for this horse as he’s ran two races in a row in grade one’s that were too good for him to lose yet he finished second in both of them. Really like him going forward.
Sleeper: Gun Runner– Brings it every single time even though he’s just a little bit short talent wise to beat the top horses in this group.
1. Songbird– She came to the Spa and proved she’s the best without a shadow of a doubt. The Summer of Songbird ended with another blowout Grade 1 victory in the Alabama Stakes.
2. Catch a Glimpse – Her win streak was busted in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes on Sunday at Saratoga, but she’s done enough to stay at number two.
3. Cathryn Sophia – Needs to rebound from her poor Acorn effort and get back to rolling soon. There are quality fillies behind her at the moment.
4. Carina Mia – Was ready to move her up the rankings if she won the Ballerina, but just didn’t have her top effort and finished third. Still a nice filly.
5. Off The Tracks – Can’t set those kind of blazing fractions next time out, but she’s shown a ton of quality in all her races.
Sleeper: Going for Broke – Ran an ok race in the Alabama Stakes to finish second to Songbird. Never threatened though.
1. Lord Nelson – Another massive performance in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby, and this time at 6 furlongs. Definitely the top dog in the division now.
2. A. P. Indian – Another massive effort as he easily won the Grade 1 Forego Stakes. Almost moved him to number one.
3. X Y Jet – Was running better than anyone before the injury. Hope he comes back 100% when he returns.
4. Kobe’s Back– No way I’m going to penalize him for his Triple Bend Stakes effort because the ride was poor. He’ll be fine.
5. Masochistic – Very solid effort even though it was only a three horse field in the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien.
Sleeper: Marking – Was sad to see him scratch out of the Grade 1 Forego, but his narrow loss to A.P. Indian earlier in the year shows he’s very talented.
1. Klimt – Won both the Del Mar Futurity and Best Pal Stakes just like Nyquist did last year. Top contender heading into Breeders Cup season.
2. Straight Fire – Backed up that really fast maiden win with a nice second place effort in the Del Mar Futurity.
3. Big Gray Rocket – Only a maiden winner but his potential could be endless. Most exciting prospect I’ve seen so far.
4. Practical Joke – Very impressive winning of the Hopeful Stakes as he’s not a perfect two for two for Chad Brown.
5. Syndergaard – Ran extremely fast to win a New York bred stakes, but we’ll need to see him in open company first before we move him up to far.
Sleeper: Blame Will – D Wayne Lukas trained horse may be his best in a what is turning out to be a strong crop for him this year.
1. Sweet Loretta – Winner of the Schuylerville and Spinaway Stakes so far makes her the leader in the clubhouse, but it’s wide open.
2. Union Strike – Got revenge on American Cleopatra while also becoming a Grade 1 winner in the Del Mar Debutante.
3. American Cleopatra – Solid second start of her career with a second in the Del Mar Debutante as Union Strike turned the tables on her.
4. Pretty City Dancer – Targeted the Spinaway Stakes from day one and was able to dead heat with Sweet Loretta.
5. Champagne Room – Third place effort in the Del Mar Debutante was solid after winning the Sorrento Stakes.
Sleeper: Nonna Mela – Winner of the Adirondack Stakes has been forgotten about as of now.
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