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Mar 23, 2012

Havre de Grace and Union Rags lead NTRA Polls


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Havre de Grace, 2011 Horse of the Year, moved into the lead in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) National Poll off her commanding victory in Saturday's New Orleans Ladies Stakes. Union Rags remains atop the NTRA Three-Year-Old Poll.

Havre de Grace, trained by Larry Jones, won the New Orleans Ladies by more than four lengths and was rewarded with 18 first-place votes and 422 points. Owned by Fox Hill Farm, the five-year-old mare was making her 2012 debut in the Fair Grounds race.

"It's always good to get the first one out from under you, get the cobwebs dusted off," Jones on Saturday. "And the time of the race -- I haven't seen a lot of 1:36 miles here this meet so it shows she's back fully."

Jones expects Havre de Grace to defend her title in the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park.

Dropping one spot to second is Game On Dude. Trained by Bob Baffert, the five- year-old received 20 top votes and 410 points. The gelding is expected to start in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31.

Mucho Macho Man, winner of the Gulfstream Park Handicap, is third with 10 first-place votes and 368 points.

Santa Anita Handicap champ Ron the Greek moved up to fourth with 210 points.

Completing the top 10 are Hymn Book (150), Awesome Feather (1, 144), Royal Delta (144), Union Rags (134), Acclamation (1, 111) and Caleb's Posse (89).

Union Rags continued to lead the Three-Year-Old Poll with 40 first-place votes and 477 points. The colt will start next in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 31.

Creative Cause, winner of the San Felipe Stakes, is second with six top votes and 405 points. Trained by Mike Harrington, the colt will start in the Santa Anita Derby on April 7.

Eclipse Award winner Hansen remains in third with two first-place votes and 372 points. The winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile is set for the Wood Memorial on April 7.

El Padrino, winner of the Risen Star Stakes, ranked fourth in the poll with one top vote and 301 points. The colt is set to start in the Florida Derby.

Secret Circle jumps into fifth-place off his win in Saturday's Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Trained by Baffert, the colt received a single first-place vote and 205 points. The winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint is being pointed next for the Arkansas Derby.

"He's improving," Baffert said. "He came out of the Rebel well and we'll probably go back to Oaklawn for the Arkansas Derby."

Dropping into sixth is Alpha with 195 points followed by Gemologist (172), Bodemeister (148), I'll Have Another (143) and Mark Valeski (82).

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