Essential Quality Retains His Lead In NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll

Undefeated Essential Quality, the likely favorite for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve on May 1, remains at the top of this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll.

Essential Quality, a striking gray Godolphin homebred, trained by Brad Cox, breezed five furlongs in 59.60 on Saturday morning at Churchill Downs. He is undefeated in five starts, including his most recent victory in the Grade 2 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 3. The Eclipse Award-winning two-year-old male of 2020 received 34 first-place votes and 373 points in this week’s poll.

Hronis Racing and Talla Racing’s Rock Your World, winner of the Grade 1 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on April 3, retains second place. Trained by John Sadler, Rock Your World has one first-place vote and 286 points.

St. Elias Stable’s Known Agenda, winner of the Grade 1 Curlin Florida Derby on March 27 for two-time Kentucky Derby- winning trainer Todd Pletcher, has moved into third place with one first-place vote and 265 points, and has switched positions with Grade 2 Louisiana Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie.

Trained by Doug O’Neill, who also has saddled two Kentucky Derby winners, Hot Rod Charlie has one first-place vote and 263 points. Klaravich Stables Inc.’s Highly Motivated, a game second to Essential Quality in the Blue Grass for trainer Chad Brown, rounds out the top five with 167 points.

Keith Asmussen and Erv Woolsey’s Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner Super Stock moves up one spot to No. 6 this week. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Super Stock has 138 points. Zedan Racing Stables Inc’s Medina Spirit, who finished second to Rock Your World in the Santa Anita Derby, rises to seventh place with 114 points. Gary and Mary West’s homebred Concert Tour, who was withdrawn from Kentucky Derby consideration over the weekend, drops to eighth place with 109 points. Life is Good, who is sidelined with an injury and will miss the Triple Crown, is in ninth place with one first-place vote and 75 points. Another Steve Asmussen runner, Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Midnight Bourbon, second in the Louisiana Derby, is in 10th place with 52 points.

The racing world is still buzzing following last Saturday’s rousing finish in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park, where St. George Stable’s 5-year-old mare Letruska defeated two-time Eclipse Award-winner Monomoy Girl by a nose. Trained by Fausto Gutierrez, Letruska zoomed to sixth place in this week’s National Thoroughbred Poll. Godolphin’s 4-year-old Mystic Guide, winner of the Group 1 Dubai World Cup, maintains the No. 1 ranking with 29 first-place votes and 358 points. Charlatan, runner-up in the Group 1 Saudi Cup, retains second place with eight first-place votes and 330 points. Despite her defeat, Monomoy Girl (253 points) remains in third place, followed by Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup winner Knicks Go in fourth (231 points). Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Turf winner Colonel Liam moves up one spot to fifth place (191 points), and is followed by Letruska (183 points). Last year’s Eclipse Award-winning female sprinter, Gamine, is in seventh place (99 points) followed by Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap winner Idol in eighth (86 points). After finishing third in the Apple Blossom, Swiss Skydiver is now in ninth place (78 points). She is followed by Grade 3 Count Fleet Handicap winner C Z Rocket in 10th place (49 points).

The NTRA Top Thoroughbred polls are the sport’s most comprehensive surveys of experts. Every week eligible journalists and broadcasters cast votes for their top 10 horses, with points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. All horses that have raced in the U.S., are in training in the U.S., or are known to be pointing to a major event in the U.S. are eligible for the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Voting in the Top Three-Year-Old Thoroughbred Poll concludes following the Belmont Stakes on June 5 and the Top Thoroughbred Poll is scheduled to be conducted through November 6.

The post Essential Quality Retains His Lead In NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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