Though he was caught in late stretch en route to finishing second in the $20 million Saudi Cup on Saturday, Charlatan’s game effort against international competition was enough for the son of Speightstown to garner favor among voters, who moved the colt into the No. 1 spot on this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association Top Thoroughbred Poll.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Charlatan finished a length behind Mishriff in the Saudi Cup — the first time in five career starts that the chestnut colt had not crossed the wire in front. That outing earned Charlatan 25 first-place votes and 353 points to move him up one spot on the poll.
“(Charlatan) ran a big race,” Baffert told the Santa Anita Park notes team on Sunday morning. “He put away Knicks Go, just ran him down, turned in a gallant effort and it’s too bad he got beat. That’s a demanding track. The stretch is so long, and he ran hard. The way he ran, it shows what a brilliant horse he is.”
Knicks Go, who led the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll last week, dropped to second in the balloting with one first-place vote and 288 points after running fourth in the Saudi Cup.
Godolphin’s unbeaten homebred Maxfield, winner of the Grade 3 Mineshaft Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 13, remains third with five first-place votes and 265 points while champion distaffer Monomoy Girl (six first-place votes, 264 points) holds in fourth.
Swiss Skydiver, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2020, moved up to fifth with 160 points, followed by Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes (G1) winner Colonel Liam (156 points).
Reigning champion female sprinter Gamine is seventh with 93 points with Jesus’ Team (92 points), champion turf male Channel Maker (73), and champion male sprinter Whitmore (55) completing the top 10.
|2||KNICKS GO (1)||5-H||2-1-0-0||288||1|
|4||MONOMOY GIRL (6)||6-M||0-0-0-0||264||4|
There were no positional changes in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Thoroughbred Poll as champion juvenile male Essential Quality remains the clear leader with 26 first-place votes and 345 points.
Life Is Good, winner of the Sham Stakes (G3) on Jan. 2, remains second with 5 first-place votes and 295 points while Mandaloun, who captured the Risen Star Stakes (G2) on Feb. 13, is third with 4 first-place votes and 238 points.
Holy Bull Stakes winner Greatest Honour (one first-place vote, 225 points) sits fourth with Medina Spirit (188 points) in fifth. Caddo River (one first-place vote, 165 points) remains sixth followed by Concert Tour (101 points), Keepmeinmind (81) and Jackie’s Warrior (70). Grade 3 Withers Stakes winner Risk Taking (65 points) completes the top 10.
|1||ESSENTIAL QUALITY (26)||3-C||0-0-0-0||345||1|
|2||LIFE IS GOOD (5)||3-C||1-1-0-0||295||2|
|4||GREATEST HONOUR (1)||3-C||1-1-0-0||225||4|
|6||CADDO RIVER (1)||3-C||1-1-0-0||165||6|