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Top 5 Best Horses Right Now By Division 09/04/23: Arabian Knight Bounces Back, Bright Future Emerges
Arabian Knight (Lindsay Affleck)

Top 5 Best Horses Right Now By Division 09/04/23: Arabian Knight Bounces Back, Bright Future Emerges

Each week, we rank the top 5 best thoroughbred horses in America by division. Bright Future made noise in Saratoga, winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) over Proxy.

After Arabian Knight successfully held off Geaux Rocket Ride to win the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar, did either horse join fellow 3-year-old Arcangelo in the overall top 5? Tell us YOUR top 5 in the Comments section!

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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 last Top 10 poll looked like:

  1. Arcangelo
  2. Up to the Mark
  3. Cody’s Wish
  4. Echo Zulu
  5. Elite Power
  6. Gunite
  7. White Abarrio
  8. Arabian Knight
  9. Casa Creed
  10. Geaux Rocket Ride

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Older Males

1. Up to the Mark – This is one of the best turf horses in the world right now after back-to-back dominant victories in the Turf Classic Stakes (G1) & the Manhattan Stakes (G1).

2. Cody’s Wish – He showed up with a lackluster effort in the Whitney Stakes (G1), but he still is one of the most accomplished horses in the country.

3. White Abarrio – If he can repeat his Whitney Stakes (G1) performance in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, then he could very well be the Horse of the Year.

4. Casa Creed – He took home the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga for the second straight season.

5. Proxy – He was a tough-luck second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1); however, he still has a better resume than the winner.

Sleeper: Bright Future – He jumped onto the scene in a big way with a win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1).

Older Females

1. Echo Zulu – Her effort in the Ballerina Handicap (G1) was a thing of beauty.

2. Caravel – She lost against the boys at Saratoga in the Troy Stakes (G3), but she is still having an awesome season.

3. Clairiere – Despite her total non-effort in the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1), she still has a strong resume.

4. Nest – She didn’t show up with her best effort in the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1).

5. Goodnight Olive – There was no shame in her running second to Echo Zulu in the Ballerina Handicap (G1).

Sleeper: In Italian – She ran well but couldn’t do better than runner-up in the Diana Stakes (G1).

3-Year-Old Males

1. Arcangelo – His rise to stardom has been ultra-impressive, culminating with winning the Belmont Stakes (G1) and the Travers Stakes (G1).

2 Arabian Knight – He’s back in the picture in a big way after winning the Pacific Classic (G1).

3. Geaux Rocket Ride – His second-place effort in the Pacific Classic (G1) puts him within striking distance heading into the fall.

4. Forte – He showed up with no real effort in the Travers Stakes (G1) for the first time this year.

5. Disarm – He was becoming one of the most consistent horses in the crop; however, he is now injured and will not run again this season.

Sleeper: Mage – We’ll see if he can bounce back after a poor start in the Travers Stakes (G1).

3-Year-Old Females

1. Maple Leaf Mel – She was 1 stride away from defeating multiple Grade 1 winner Pretty Mischievous by 6 lengths before her tragic breakdown.

2. Pretty Mischievous – With 3 straight Grade 1 victories on her resume, this ultra-consistent Brendan Walsh trainee is the clubhouse leader to be named the 3-year-old Filly of the Year.

3. Asinette – She has dominated 3 straight turf races, including the Del Mar Oaks (G1), to stamp herself as a major player in the division.

4. Wet Paint – Her Alabama Stakes (G1) effort was solid, but she wasn’t good enough to catch the winner. She still has a solid resume heading into the fall.

5. Randomize – She picked up her first graded stakes victory with a gate-to-wire Alabama Stakes (G1) win.

Sleeper: Aspray – She looked like a monster with an impressive Lake Placid Stakes (G2) win.


1. Elite Power – He put in another good effort but could not catch Gunite in the Forego Stakes (G1).

2. Gunite – He got revenge on Elite Power in the Forego Stakes (G1) but still trails 2-1 in head-to-head battles against him.

3. Skelly – This one is developing nicely for Asmussen & is riding a 5-race win streak.

4. The Chosen Vron – The California-bred defeated open company in the Bing Crosby Stakes (G1).

5. Anarchist – He finally got a big win in the Pat O’Brien Stakes (G2) at Del Mar.

Sleeper: Dr. Schivel – He will improve in his next start and is still a dangerous horse in California.