The successful return of reigning champion turf female Sistercharlie (IRE) to the races and Elate's overwhelming display of class helped launch the two distaffers into the top ten of this week's NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll.
In her first start since capturing the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs last November, Peter Brant's Sistercharlie picked up right where she left off when she headed up a six-horse field in the Grade 1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on July 13. Facing three of her own stablemates, including multiple Grade 1 winner Rushing Fall, Sistercharlie led a sweep of the top three positions for trainer Chad Brown when she prevailed by 1 ¾ lengths to earn her fifth career top-level triumph.
That effort was good enough for the 5-year-old mare to vault into the sixth position on the NTRA Poll with 189 points. She is now likely to join fellow Brown trainee and NTRA Poll leader Bricks and Mortar (32 first-place votes, 406 points) on the trip to Arlington International Racecourse for August 10 as they are being pointed to the Grade 1 Beverly D. and Grade 1 Arlington Million, respectively.
Bricks and Mortar has held the top positon in the poll since April 8.
Multiple Grade 1 winner Elate was the other new addition to this week's rankings, notching 54 points to land in the tenth spot. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Elate garnered favor from voters on the strength of a 4 ½-length victory in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap – a race she also captured in 2018. The win was the second straight for the 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro as she entered off a 1 ½-length triumph in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap on June 15.
Horses trained by Brown and Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen make up four of the top six positions on the NTRA Poll. Asmussen-conditioned Grade 1 winners Mitole (7 first-place votes, 371 points) and Midnight Bisou (2 first-place votes, 283 points) maintain second and third, respectively, with Bob Baffert-trained McKinzie (262 points) fourth and Jason Servis protégé World of Trouble (214) in fifth.
Dallas Stewart-trained Seeking the Soul (90 points) is now seventh behind Sistercharlie. Two-time Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow (IRE) (1 first-place vote, 86 points) is eighth followed by Grade 1 winner Vino Rosso (72 points) in the ninth spot.
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.
The full results for the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll can be found on the NTRA website at:
Full accounting of top 10 votes by voter can be found at:
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