Mucho Gusto, Tiz The Law Retain Top Spots On NTRA Polls

by | 02.24.2020 | 3:37pm
Mucho Gusto, under Irad Ortiz Jr., in the Gulfstream Park winner's circle after the Pegasus World Cup

With light graded stakes action taking place this past weekend, there was relatively little shifting in the respective top ten positions in both the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Thoroughbred Poll and NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll.

The Bob Baffert-trained Mucho Gusto, winner of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes on January 25, earned 16 first-place votes and 300 points overall to hold the lead position in the Top Thoroughbred Poll for a second straight week. The son of Mucho Macho Man is slated to start this Saturday in the inaugural running of the $20 million Saudi Cup where he will face, among others, the three horses who occupy the next trio of spots behind him in the poll.

Champion Maximum Security notched 14 first-place votes and 287 points to move up one spot to second overall heading into his seasonal bow in the Saudi Cup. Fellow Eclipse Award-honoree Midnight Bisou (5 first-place votes, 269 points) is third as she readies to face males for the first time with multiple Grade 1 winner McKinzie (209) fourth.

Pegasus World Cup Turf winner Zulu Alpha remains fifth with 148 points with newly-retired champion Covfefe (112 points) sixth. Code of Honor (97 points), Firenze Fire (62), Silver Dust (51), and Hard Not to Love (44) round out the top ten.

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.

The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll concludes November 9 after the running of the Breeders' Cup.

Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law leads the Top 3-Year-Old Poll with 24 first-place votes and 326 points following his season-opening triumph in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes on February 1. The son of Constitution captured the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes last October and suffered his lone blemish in four career starts when he finished third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on November 30.

Unbeaten Thousand Words, winner of the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes in his sophomore debut, remains second with 5 first-place votes and 246 points while his massive-sized stablemate Nadal (2 first-place votes, 191 points) holds in third.

Sole Volante, winner of the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes, earned 160 points to move up to fourth with Baffert trainee Authentic (148 points) in fifth. Well-regarded Dennis' Moment is sixth with 144 points as he prepares to start in this Saturday's Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes in what will be his first outing since stumbling badly at the start of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last November.

“I've felt anxiety about this horse every day since the Breeders' Cup,” said Dale Romans, trainer of Dennis' Moment. “It's been a long four months waiting to get him back here to prove how good he is.”

Mr. Monomoy, winner of a division of the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes on February 15, is seventh with 139 points followed by Silver Prospector (2 first-place votes, 95 points), Maxfield (1 first-place vote, 84 points), and Independence Hall (81 points).

The Top 3-Year-Old Poll concludes June 8 after the Belmont Stakes.

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