Mucho Gusto leads first NTRA poll; who's the top 3-year-old?

Mucho Gusto leads first NTRA poll; who's the top 3-year-old?
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

On the heels of signature victories at Gulfstream Park, Pegasus World Cup winner Mucho Gusto (NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll) and Holy Bull hero Tiz the Law (Top Three-Year-Old Poll) were ranked No. 1 in Tuesday's initial 2020 rankings.

The NTRA lists, compiled by Top 10 ballots from journalists and broadcasters, are billed as "the sport’s most comprehensive surveys of experts." All horses that have raced in the U.S., are in training here, or are known to be pointing to a major American event are eligible.

A pair of races overseas figure to shape the Top Thoroughbred Poll for the first half of the season. The top four -- Mucho Gusto, Midnight Bisou, Maximum Security and McKinzie -- are all set to travel this week for the $20 million Saudi Cup that runs on Feb. 29. Depending on how they run in the world's richest race, staying in the Middle East for the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) on March 28 is an option as well.

The Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) winner Zulu Alpha rounded out the first five, while Covfefe and Code of Honor -- two newly turned 4-year-olds who haven't run yet in 2020 -- were next.

Recent stakes winners Firenze Fire (Laurel's General George), Silver Dust (Fair Grounds' Mineshaft) and Warrior's Charge (Oaklawn's Razorback) were also ranked this week.

No. 1 votes were split among the top three, with a full look at the rankings below.

Other horses receiving votes: HARD NOT TO LOVE (36), GIFT BOX (34), SPUN TO RUN (34), UNI (33), SISTERCHARLIE (27), UNITED (20), IMPERIAL HINT (20), TOM’S D’ETAT (20), MIDCOURT (17), FINITE (17), STARSHIP JUBILEE (17), MR. FREEZE (17), HIGHER POWER (16), TIZ THE LAW (15), MAGIC WAND (15), MITOLE (15), LADY APPLE (14), SHANCELOT (9), BRITISH IDIOM (8), COOKIE DOUGH (7), GOT STORMY (7), TEXAS WEDGE (7), SIR WINSTON (5), IRIDESSA (3), MIND CONTROL (3), TEXAS WEDGE (3), VENETIAN HARBOR (3), OWENDALE (3), NADAL (2), OMAHA BEACH (2), MAJESTIC REASON (2), MONOMOY GIRL (2), CAPTAIN SCOTTY (2), TARAZ (1)

As for the glamour divisions containing a number of 2020 Kentucky Derby and Oaks hopefuls, Tiz the Law received a majority of top votes with Bob Baffert's trio of Thousand Words, Nadal and Authentic next on the list.

While both male and females are eligible for the list, Finite, the late Taraz and reigning champion British Idiom were the only fillies to receive votes.

Other horses receiving votes: ENFORCEABLE (55), GOUVERNEUR MORRIS (47), STORM THE COURT (44), MODERNIST (44), CHARLATAN (20), STRUCTOR (17), EIGHT RINGS (15), FINITE (10), ANNEAU D’OR (9), CHANCE IT (5), WELLS BAYOU (4), AZUL COAST (4), HONOR A.P. (3), TARAZ (3), MISCHEVIOUS ALEX (3), FORE LEFT (1), BRITISH IDIOM (1)

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