The first graded stakes victory of Higher Power's career proved eye-catching enough to voters as the 4-year-old son of Medaglia d'Oro debuted in the tenth position in this week's NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll.
Trained by John Sadler for Hronis Racing, Higher Power notched a 5 ¼- length victory in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar on August 17 – his first stakes win in 13 career starts. That effort against a field which included Grade 1-winners Seeking the Soul and Pavel was enough to earn Higher Power 42 points in this week's balloting, sliding him into the tenth spot after previously being unranked.
“We're so blessed to have great horses and a great trainer with a great staff,” owner Kosta Hronis said after the race. “I can't say enough about that.”
The appearance of Higher Power marked the only major shift within the poll's top 10 this week. As he has for nearly five months now, multiple Grade 1-winner Bricks and Mortar holds down the top position with authority, earning 36 first-place votes and 387 points. The son of Giant's Causeway has won all five of his starts in 2019 with his most recent victory coming when he captured the Grade 1 Arlington Million XXXVII Stakes on August 10.
Multiple Grade 1-winner McKinzie registered 3 first-place votes and 337 points to remain in the second spot with reigning champion turf female Sistercharlie (IRE) moving up one spot to third with 276 points.
Leading distaffer Midnight Bisou (272 points) sits fourth heading into her expected start in Saturday's Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Midnight Bisou has won all five of her starts this year and will be attempting to secure her fifth career Grade 1-win this weekend.
Midnight Bisou's stablemate Mitole (166 points) is also expected to be in action at Saratoga in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes, and sits just behind his fellow Steve Asmuseen-trainee in fifth place. Fellow Grade 1 winners World of Trouble (156 points) and Imperial Hint (116) rank sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by Maximum Security (75) in eighth and Elate (73) – who is also expected to run in the Personal Ensign – ninth.
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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