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Jun 29, 2012

Ron the Greek holds on to first in NTRA Poll


New York, NY (Sports Network) - For the second straight week, Ron the Greek is the top rated thoroughbred in the NTRA Poll. The five-year-old horse initially gained the top position after winning the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 16.

Trained by Bill Mott, Ron the Greek received 11 first-place votes and 261 points in voting for races through June 24. Earlier this year the horse won the Santa Anita Handicap and was second to Alternation in the Oaklawn Handicap on April 14. He began 2012 with another runner-up finish to Mucho Macho Man in the Sunshine Millions Classic.

"It's good to see him come back and run two good races since the Santa Anita Handicap," Mott said following the Foster win. "He seems like he's an improving horse and you'd have to say he's one of the top handicap horses in the country."

Met Mile champ Shackleford keeps his position in second with four top votes and 211 points. Just five points back in third is Game On Dude. The five-year- old also picked up four first-place votes and 206 points.

Wise Dan, second in the Foster, slides from third to fourth with 176 points. Trained by Charles Lopresti, Wise Dan was the 9-10 Foster Handicap favorite.

"We'll probably head to Saratoga with him. I think that's the plan," noted Lopresti.

Champion filly Royal Delta, also trained by Mott, is fifth with three first- place votes and 166 points. The four-year-old easily won the Fleur de Lis Handicap immediately preceding the Foster.

"She's a champion. She was a deserving champion last year and it looks like right now, from what we saw tonight, there are more good things to come. The Delaware Handicap is possible," Mott said after the win.

Leading three-year-old I'll Have Another is sixth in the voting with seven top votes and 133 points. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner is retired and will begin his life as a stallion in Japan.

Acclamation and Alternation are separated by a single point in the poll. Both horses received one first-place vote with Acclamation having 85 points and Alternation 84.

Successful Dan, stablemate of Wise Dan, is ninth with 80 points and Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister completes the top 10 with 75 points.

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