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A ‘Confident’ New Contender Cracks the Latest Kentucky Derby Poll

Each week, members of the national media vote on the nation’s top contenders on the Triple Crown Trail in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Thoroughbred Poll.

Week 5 of the 2023 NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Thoroughbred Poll, conducted by the (NTRA), covers race performance through February 28, 2023.

The 3 year survey represents horses competing up to and through the Triple Crown. The leaderboards are based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-1 voting system. First place votes are in parentheses.


AMERICA’S BEST THROUGHBloods FOR FEB. 27th, 2023

1. Strength (22 First Place Votes)

Owner: Repole Stable and St Elias Stable

Trainer: death plecher

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Record 2023: N / A

Last race: 1StFanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance 4th Nov at Keeneland Race Course

Next race: Fountain of Youth Stakes, March 4th at Gulfstream Park


2. Arabian Knight (11 first place votes)

Owner: Zedan racing stables

Trainer: Tim Yakteen

Jockey: John Velazquez

Record 2023: 1 start – 1 win – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Last race: 1StSouthwest Stakes, January 28 at Oaklawn Park

Next race: Arkansas Derby, April 1 at Oaklawn Park


3. Instant coffee (1 first vote)

Owner: Golden Square

Trainer: Brad Cox

Jockey: Luis Saez

Record 2023: 1 start – 1 win – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Last race: 1StLecomte Stakes, January 21 at the Fairgrounds

Next race: Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby, March 25 at the Fairgrounds


4. Trust game

Owner: Don’t tell my wife Stables

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Jockey: James Graham

Record 2023: 2 starts – 1 win – 0 seconds – 1 third

Last race: 1st, Rebel Stakes, February 25 at Oaklawn Park

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Next race: TBD, either the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby on March 25 at the Fairgrounds, or the Arkansas Derby on April 1 at Oaklawn Park, or the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on April 8 at Keeneland Race Course


5. Cave Rock

Owner: Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Juan Hernandez

Record 2023: N / A

Last race: 2ndFanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance 4th Nov at Keeneland Race Course

Next race: open


6. Angels of the Empire

Owner: Stables of the Albaugh family

Trainer: Brad Cox

Jockey: Luis Saez

Record 2023: 2 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 0 thirds

Last race: 1st, Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Lincoln and Lamarque Crescent City Ford, February 18th at the Fairgrounds

Next race: TBD, either Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby, March 25 at Fairgrounds, or Arkansas Derby, April 1 at Oaklawn Park, or Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, April 8 at Keeneland Race Course


7. Press View

Owner: Gary and Mary West

Trainer: Brad Cox

Jockey: man Franco

Record 2023: 1 start – 1 win – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Last race: 1StWithers Stakes, February 11 at Aqueduct

Next race: Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets, April 1st at Aqueduct


8th. rocket can

Owner: Frank Fletcher racing operations

Trainer: Bill Mott

Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Record 2023: 1 start – 1 win – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Last race: 1st, Holy Bull Stakes, February 4th at Gulfstream Park

Next race: Fountain of Youth Stakes, March 4th at Gulfstream Park


9. Flaming sevens

Owner: Rodeo Creek Race

Trainer: Chad Brown

Jockey: Flavien Prat

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Record 2023: N / A

Last race: 4thFanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance 4th Nov at Keeneland Race Course

Next race: Fountain of Youth Stakes, March 4th at Gulfstream Park


10 (tie). process

Owner: Centenarian farms

Trainer: death plecher

Jockey: Luis Saez

Record 2023: 2 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 0 thirds

Last race: 1StSam F. Davis Stakes, February 11 at Tampa Bay Downs

Next race: open


10 (tie). reincarnate

Owner: SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital and Catherine Donovan

Trainer: Tim Yakteen

Jockey: John Velazquez

Record 2023: 2 starts – 1 win – 0 seconds – 1 third

Last race: 3approxRebel Stakes, February 25 at Oaklawn Park

Next race: TBD, possibly the Arkansas Derby, April 1 at Oaklawn Park


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