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Apr 13, 2012

Union Rags keeps small lead in Three-Year-Old Poll


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Weekend Kentucky Derby prep races made the NTRA Three-Tear-Old Poll a little tighter with less than four weeks until the Run for the Roses. Union Rags keeps his place in first, but his advantage has dropped.

Union Rags, third in the April 31 Florida Derby, received 21 first-place votes and 423 points. His points margin decreased to 19 with Wood Memorial winner Gemologist going past Creative Cause into the second spot. Gemologist picked up 10 top votes and 404 points.

"He's a great horse," said Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm, winning owner of Gemologist. "This stamps him as a Derby prospect, which we're excited about."

The top two finishers from Saturday's Santa Anita Derby hold down the third and fourth positions in the poll. Race winner I'll Have Another and runner-up and Creative Cause are separated by a single point.

Both colts received six first-place votes with I'll Have Another getting 366 points and Creative Cause 365.

"This will set him up (for the Kentucky Derby)." said Creative Cause's trainer Mike Harrington. "He ran hard. It didn't hurt him. He's still got a lot left in him. Maybe the other horse (I'll Have Another) had to run too hard to beat him. We won't know for four weeks."

Champion colt Hansen, set for Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, drops from third to fifth with eight top votes and 354 points.

Rounding out the top 10 are Wood Memorial runner-up Alpha (240), Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy (1, 229), Secret Circle (110), Bodemeister (93) and Sunland Derby champ Daddy Nose Best (69).

In the National Poll, Havre de Grace holds on to the top spot with 32 first- place votes and 466 points. The reigning Horse of the Year will skip Friday's Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park and be pointed to the La Troienne at Churchill Downs on May 4.

Keeping a hold of the No. 2 spot is Gulfstream Park Handicap winner Mucho Macho Man. The four-year-old colt received 18 top votes and 436 points.

Santa Anita Handicap winner Ron the Greek remains third with 265 points followed by Awesome Maria (255), Game On Dude (211), Awesome Feather (195), Hymn Book (183), Acclamation (134), Carter Handicap winner Jackson Bend (115) and New Orleans Handicap champ Nates Mineshaft (2, 112).

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