Smart Looking Wise Dan Back On Top of NTRA Thoroughbred Poll

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) poll has a former #1 back in the top spot. Wise Dan, two-time and reigning NTRA Horse of the Year, found himself sitting on top of the 2014 NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll after a disappointing showing by previous #1 position holder Palace Malice. The heavy favorite in the $1.5 million Whitney Handicap, Palace Malice finished off the board in the sixth spot, in a race which saw 10 to 1 longshot Moreno take the victory. That was enough of a misstep to give Wise Dan, trained by Charlie LoPresti, first place in the NTRA rankings.

California Chrome Claims 2nd NTRA Top Thoroughbred Spot

Morton Fink owns Wise Dan, who grabbed 24 top votes, up from the 19 top votes he received last week. That gives the seven-year-old gelding a total of 368 points. Fink may return Wise Dan to the race track on August 30 at Saratoga. The options there are the 1 1/16 mile $250,000 Bernard Baruch run on grass, or the 1 1/8 mile $600,000 Woodward contested on dirt. California Chrome, the talented three-year-old who just missed capturing this year's Triple Crown by winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but failing at Belmont, is in second place with 312 points.

California Chrome "Looks Great" - Art Sherman

California Chrome has been training at Los Alamitos Race Course, where he worked on Friday. California Chrome trainer Art Sherman said that the workout for his colt was unscheduled. He stated he was just giving the horse a run, and wanted to "open up his lungs and stretch his legs." He said that his horse "looks great," and that he would be racing soon. The unimpressive showing by Palace Malice that allowed Wise Dan to move into the top NTRA spot is certainly a head scratcher. The horse was previously undefeated in the first four races he ran this year, many of them against excellent competition. Palace Malice now sits in third place after garnering 8 top votes and accumulating 305 points overall.

Close Hatches Tops Filly Vote-Getters

For the fillies, the leading female thoroughbred in the poll received a single first-place vote and holds 228 points overall. That gives Close Hatches a solid fourth place position. The next three slots are held by Game On Dude (132 points), Bayern (129) and Eclipse Award champion Shared Belief (107). Moreno appears on the pole for the first time in eighth place, with the four-year-old gelding receiving 94 point from his 1 1/4 length victory in the Whitney. The win was impressive, as Moreno bested both Itsmyluckyday and last year's champion three-year-old colt Will Take Charge. The victory over Will Take Charge was a vindication of sorts for Moreno, who was barely edged by that horse for a victory in the 2013 Travers.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association poll runs through the season-ending Breeders' Cup series of races held on November 1. Wicked Strong is holding in ninth spot on the national poll with 85 points. Untapable, the three-year-old filly which looked pretty much unbeatable for much of the year, holds the 10th spot with 70 points, and has won 4 out of the 5 races she has entered this season.

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