IMPROBABLE MOVES TO THE FRONT IN NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL
LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 28, 2020) – A third straight Grade 1 victory has put Improbable in the driver’s seat of the handicap ranks heading into the November 7 Breeders’ Cup Classic as the son of City Zip takes over the lead in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Thoroughbred Poll.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert for owners WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, and SF Racing, Improbable moved to the forefront of the race for divisional honors when he captured the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes by 4 ½ lengths on September 26. That victory earned the 4-year-old chestnut colt 28 first-place votes and 354 points in the poll, knocking his stablemate Maximum Security out of the top spot.
Since opening his 2020 campaign with a runner-up finish in the April 11 Oaklawn Mile Stakes, Improbable has reeled off top-level wins in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Whitney, and Awesome Again Stakes.
“Improbable is getting really good,” Baffert told the Santa Anita Park publicity team on Sunday. “He’s got a lot of Grade 1s on his resume, he’s filled out, matured, and Drayden (Van Dyke) rode a great race, just sat back there early on.”
Champion Maximum Security finished second in the Awesome Again Stakes, halting a six-race win streak. The 4-year-old bay colt dropped to second overall in the poll with 3 first-place votes and 277 points.
Multiple Grade 1 winner Vekoma (3 first-place votes, 246 points) is third followed by Tom’s d’Etat (2 first-place votes, 228 points) and champion Monomoy Girl (1 first-place vote, 195 points).
Multiple graded stakes winner By My Standards remains sixth with 153 points followed by champion Midnight Bisou (139 points) and Tiz the Law (108). Kentucky Derby winner Authentic (99 points) and multiple Grade 1 winner Rushing Fall (71) round out the top 10.
Authentic, who is also trained by Baffert, continues to head up the NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll ahead of his expected run in the October 3 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The son of Into Mischief notched 23 first-place votes and 356 points this week and was installed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s Preakness.
Belmont and Travers Stakes winner Tiz the Law continues to hold in second with 14 first-place votes and 347 points while Grade 2 winner Art Collector – the 5-2 second choice on the Preakness morning line – remains in third with 269 points.
Kentucky Oaks runner-up and Preakness entrant Swiss Skydiver moves up one spot to fourth with 176 points followed by the recently retired Honor A. P. (162 points) and Thousand Words (149).
Kentucky Oaks winner Shedaresthedevil sits seventh with 116 points with Preakness entrant Max Player (96 points) in eighth. Grade 1 winner Gamine (90 points) and Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Mr. Big News (62) complete the top 10.
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred polls are the sport’s most comprehensive surveys of experts. Every week eligible journalists and broadcasters cast votes for their top 10 horses, with points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. All horses that have raced in the U.S., are in training in the U.S., or are known to be pointing to a major event in the U.S. are eligible for the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Voting in both the Top Three-Year-Old Poll and the Top Thoroughbred Poll is scheduled to be conducted through the conclusion of the Breeders’ Cup in November.
The full results for the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll can be found on the NTRA website at:
Full accounting of top 10 votes by voter can be found at: