With the major North American preparatory races complete in advance of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, the leaders in the weekly NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll are expected to hold position until the two-day event takes place at Santa Anita Park on November 1-2.
The top spot on the poll has been owned by multiple Grade 1 winner Bricks and Mortar since April 8 as the son of Giant's Causeway has yet to put a foot wrong since returning to the races last December. Trained by Chad Brown for Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, Bricks and Mortar has five wins from as many starts this year – four of them Grade 1 victories – and heads into the Breeders' Cup off a triumph in the Arlington Million XXXVII Stakes on August 10. The dark bay horse earned 27 first-place votes and 413 total points this week, solidifying him as the leading Horse of the Year candidate ahead of his venture to Santa Anita.
The biggest threat to Bricks and Mortar with regards to the ultimate year-end honor would appear to be leading distaffer Midnight Bisou, who holds solidly in the second position with 13 first-place votes and 379 points. The daughter of Midnight Lute has also been flawless in 2019, winning all seven of her starts, and is expected to be the heavy favorite in the Breeders' Cup Distaff on November 2. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bisou has already turned in two workouts over the Santa Anita surface including a five-furlong breeze in 1:01.60 on Monday.
Peter Brant's Sistercharlie (IRE), the reigning champion turf female and defending winner of the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, remains in third with 1 first-place vote and 311 points in the wake of her triumph in the Flower Bowl Stakes on October 6 – her sixth consecutive Grade 1 score.
Multiple Grade 1 winner Mitole (1 first-place vote, 290 points) is fourth in the rankings on the strength of a campaign that has seen the son of Eskendereya win five of six starts this season. Expected Breeders' Cup Classic contender McKinzie (208 points) is fifth followed by Code of Honor, the adjudicated winner of the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, in the sixth spot with 198 points.
The Top Thoroughbred Poll wraps up November 4 after the running of the Breeders' Cup.
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.
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