This weekend's loaded slate of Grade 1 races slated to take place at Belmont Park will feature the leaders of both the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll and NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll, respectively, in Preakness Stakes winner War of Will and multiple Grade 1 winner Bricks and Mortar.
Gary Barber's War of Will is set to become the only horse this year to contest all three legs of the Triple Crown when he makes his expected start in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on June 8. The son of War Front leads the Top 3-Year-Old Poll for a second week by a narrow margin over Maximum Security, earning 18 first-place votes and 359 points. That point total was one better than Maximum Security (15 first-place votes), who crossed the wire first in the Kentucky Derby but was disqualified due to interference.
The rest of the top 10 was largely unchanged from the week prior. Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner Omaha Beach remains in third position with 6 first-place votes and 291 points while Country House, who was elevated to first in the Kentucky Derby, is fourth with 255 points. Graded stakes winner and expected Belmont Stakes contender Tacitus is fifth with 222 points with Code of Honor (206 points) sixth followed by reigning juvenile male champion Game Winner (128).
Longines Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress, who is scheduled to run in Saturday's Grade 1 Acorn Stakes, is eighth (81 points). Owendale (55 points) is ninth with Grade 1 winner Improbable (45) in tenth.
Chad Brown-trainee Bricks and Mortar figures to be the one to beat in Saturday's Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont and the son of Giant's Causeway remains firmly in front in the Top Thoroughbred Poll with 31 first-place votes and 373 points.
Grade 1 winners McKinzie (5 first-place votes, 302 points) and Mitole (198) are second and third, respectively, and are set to face each other in Saturday's Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont.
Leading distaffer Midnight Bisou, who is on track to start in Saturday's Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Stakes, remains fourth with 188 points while Gift Box sits fifth with 171 points. World of Trouble (157 points) is sixth followed by multiple Grade 1 winner Catholic Boy (1 first-place vote, 155 points). Vino Rosso, winner of the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita Stakes, is eighth with 107 points followed by champion Monomoy Girl, Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow (IRE), and Grade 1 winner Vasilika, all tied for ninth with 75 points.
Thunder Snow received a single first-place vote while Vasilika cracked the top 10 for the first time this year.
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 4 after the running of the Breeders' Cup.
The Top 3-Year-Old Poll concludes June 8 after the Belmont Stakes.
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