Vekoma takes top spot in NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

Vekoma takes top spot in NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll
Photo: Ryan Thompson/Gulfstream Park
With Midnight Bisou and Tom’s d’Etat both suffering defeats in their respective Grade 1 races at Saratoga Race Course this past weekend, multiple top-level winner Vekoma gained the majority of support among voters to move into the No. 1 position on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Thoroughbred Poll. Top Thoroughbred Poll

Other horses receiving votes: MUCHO GUSTO (46), RUSHING FALL (45), TACITUS (29), CODE OF HONOR (21), NEWSPAPEROFRECORD (20), VEXATIOUS (13), FIGHTING MAD (12), INSTILLED REGARD (12), DUNBAR ROAD (11), STARSHIP JUBILEE (10), GUARANA (7), WAR OF WILL (5), FACTOR THIS (5), UNITED (5), WHITMORE (3), VELOCITY (3), SERENGETI EMPRESS (1), NETWORK EFFECT (1), HONOR A.P. (1), COLLUSION ILLUSION (1)


Vekoma has been flawless in his 4-year-old campaign to date, winning all three of his outings including victories in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap and Metropolitan Handicap (G1). The son of Candy Ride (ARG) surged to the top of this week’s poll with 13 first-place votes and 321 total points and is expected to make his next start in the $300,000 Forego (G1) on Aug. 29 at Saratoga.

“We're trying to make it to the Breeders' Cup and the Forego is the most logical next spot,” trainer George Weaver told the NYRA publicity team regarding Vekoma. "So far, everything's looking good and we're looking forward to getting him back to the races. The sky's the limit for him."

Tom’s d’Etat could have made a case to move into the No. 1 slot with a victory in last Saturday’s Whitney Stakes (G1) but the 7-year-old stumbled out of the gate en route to a third-place finish. The son of Smart Strike still earned 6 first-place votes and 299 points to hold onto the No. 2 spot while his Whitney conqueror Improbable moved into the third position with 6 first-place votes and 278 points.


Champion Maximum Security (9 first-place votes, 256 points) maintains the fourth spot while fellow Eclipse Award-winner Midnight Bisou - who had held the top spot in the poll since March 10 - dropped to fifth with 1 first-place vote and 248 points after she finished second as the favorite behind Vexatious in thePersonal Ensign Stakes (G1).

Zulu Alpha (140 points) ranks sixth followed by Monomoy Girl, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2018, in seventh with 2 first-place votes and 120 points.

Top-ranked sophomore Tiz the Law ranks eighth with 3 first-place votes and 118 points while By My Standards (112 points) and Volatile (56) round out the top 10.

Ahead of his expected run in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga this Saturday, Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law remains the clear choice in the NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll with 40 first-place votes and 400 total points. Honor A. P., who finished second in the Shared Belief Stakes on Aug. 1, holds onto the No. 2 spot with 300 points.

TOP THREE-YEAR OLD POLL

Other horses receiving votes: DR POST (73), MAX PLAYER (48), NADAL (26), CHARLATAN (20), COUNTRY GRAMMER (19), MAXFIELD (13), COLLUSION ILLUSION (11), DECORATED INVADER (8), PNEUMATIC (4), SHARED SENSE (3), ETE INDIEN (2), SPEECH (2), RUSHIE (1), SOLE VOLANTE (1), MAJOR FED (1), WELLS BAYOU (1), SHEDARESTHEDEVIL (1), CARACARO (1)


Haskell Stakes (G1) victor Authentic (280 points) sits third followed by Blue Grass Stakes (G2) winner Art Collector (276), who is expected to be the heavy favorite in the Ellis Park Derby on Aug. 9.

Los Alamitos Derby victor Uncle Chuck (180 points) ranks fifth ahead of his planned start in the Travers Stakes while stablemate Thousand Words (138) rejoins the top 10 in sixth following his victory in the Shared Belief Stakes.

Haskell runner-up Ny Traffic (112 points) ranks seventh followed by King Guillermo, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), in eighth with 106 points. Sophomore fillies Swiss Skydiver (89 points) and Gamine (84) complete the top 10.

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