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Top 5 Best Horses Right Now By Division 10/9/23: Was A New Leader Crowned?
Up to the Mark (Candice Chavez/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Top 5 Best Horses Right Now By Division 10/9/23: Was A New Leader Crowned?

Our weekly rankings of the top 5 best horses right now by division in America are always right & never wrong. Except sometimes. Find out more!

Following last week’s 17 Breeders’ Cup prep races, was a new overall leader crowned & who could it be? How high did Randomized rise up the 3-year-old fillies division after her Beldame Stakes (G2) victory? Don’t forget to check out Aaron’s top 5 for every division below!

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

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Older Males

1. Up to the Mark – Our new #1 horse picked up his third straight Grade 1 victory with the Coolmore Turf Mile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.

2. Cody’s Wish – He returned a winner in the Vosburgh Stakes (G2), which set him up nicely for a return trip to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

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. Zandon – It was nice to see him back in the winner’s circle with a sharp effort in the Woodward Stakes (G2).

Sleeper: Slow Down Andy – He has been a consistent runner all year long, including a win last time out in the Awesome Again Stakes (G1).

Older Females

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

2. Idiomatic – She’ll head to the Breeders’ Cup at the favorite to win the Distaff after another impressive win in the Spinster Stakes (G1).

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

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

5. Adare Manor – She keeps racking up victories out in California against weak company.

Sleeper: War Like Goddess – She is back in the mix after beating the boys for the 2nd straight year in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1) at Belmont at the Big A.

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. Saudi Crown – He picked up his first big win in a gate to wire score in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1).

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 – She was a solid second in the Cotillion Stakes (G1), nearly catching the winner at the wire.

3. Randomized – She’s positioned to overtake this division in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff after dominating the Beldame Stakes (G2).

4. Asinette – Even though she finished second in the Rodeo Drive Stakes (G2), she still ran well in her first start against older horses.

5. 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.

Sleeper: Ceiling Crusher – She has arrived on the scene in a big way after a nice win in the Cotillion Stakes (G1).


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

2. Gunite – For some reason, they ran him in a 2-turn mile at Parx, which he lost because that isn’t his game. He should bounce back if he returns to 1 turn for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

3. Dr. Schivel – He fought hard to win the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2) over a solid field.

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: Skelly – He’s gone missing, but he was developing into a good horse.

2-Year-Old Males

1. Prince of Monaco – He is the clear division leader after back-to-back graded stakes victories at Del Mar, including the Futurity (G1).

2. Timberlake – He looked pretty solid in winning the Champagne Stakes (G1).

3. Muth – Baffert had him ready to fire a big one as he dominated the American Pharoah Stakes (G1).

4. Locked – His Breeders’ Futurity (G1) victory should set him up well for the Breeders’ Cup.

5. Nutella Fella – His Hopeful Stakes (G1) upset looks better on paper after the runner-up Timberlake returned to win his next start.

Sleeper: West Saratoga – He surprised many by winning the Iroquois Stakes (G3).

2-Year-Old Females

1. Tamara – Her win in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) was tremendous.

2. Candied – She arrived onto the scene with a big win in the Alcibiades Stakes (G1).

3. V V’s Dream – Even though she was second in the Alcibiades Stakes (G1), she still ran well.

4. Brightwork – She might be better sprinting; however, she still has 3 big stakes wins on her resume.

5. Just F Y I – She is developing nicely after a win in the Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont at the Big A.

Sleeper: Ways and Means – She was a tough-luck second in the Spinaway Stakes (G1) behind Brightwork but was reportedly injured after the race.