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McCraken holds onto first place in NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll

March 6, 2017     E-mail this page to a friend!

This past weekend of prep races for the “Road to the Kentucky Derby ”jostled the top-ten rankings with races cross crossing the east, west, and southern coasts in week #6 of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll.

Still ranked number one is McCraken (13 first-place votes, 312 points) for Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC’s and trainer Ian Wilkes. Currently with 20 qualifying points, the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) winner is ranked eighth on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard for a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6.

Moving up the ladder from tenth to second this week for Peacock Racing Stable is Gunnevera ( 9 first-place votes, 292 points) after his 5¾-length victory in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The Dialed In colt leads the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 64 points for trainer Antonio Sano. He is targeting the Florida Derby (G1) on April 1 as his next start.

Mastery (4 first-place votes, 251 points) who is yet to make his first start this year retains his third position. The sensational filly Unique Bella (8 first-place votes, 223 points) moves up two notches to fourth after her smashing 2¼-length win in the Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita on March 4. The massive Tapit filly is ranked number one on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Don Alberto Stable.

Classic Empire (1 first-place vote, 156 points), Gormley ( 1, 151) and One Liner (0, 128) stand at fifth, six and seventh respectively.

Ranked eighth is the recent Aqueduct Gotham Stakes (G3) winner J Boys Echo (2 first-place votes, 111 points). Owned by Albaugh Racing Stable and trained by Dale Romans, J Boys Echo earned 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, virtually guaranteeing a spot in the starting gate for a shot at the roses. J Boys Echo scored his first stakes win following promising finishes in the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot (4th) last fall and the Grade 3 Withers (3rd) on February 4 at the Big A.

Rounding out the Top 10 are: Girvin (110) and Practical Joke (94).

The NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll is the sport’s most comprehensive survey of experts ranking the generation of Thoroughbreds that includes all Triple Crown contenders. 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. The Top 3-Year-Old Poll concludes June 12 after the Belmont Stakes.