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Aug 10, 2012

Fort Larned joins leader Game On Dude in NTRA Poll


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Fort Larned, fresh off a victory in Saturday's Whitney Invitational at Saratoga, has been voted into the NTRA National Thoroughbred Poll for the first time. Continuing atop the poll is five-year- old gelding Game On Dude.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Game On Dude retains his first-place position for the fifth straight week. The winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup received 18 top votes, two fewer than last week, for 365 points. Game On Dude is training at Del Mar for the track's Pacific Classic on Aug. 26.

Moving up a spot into second is Suburban Handicap winner Mucho Macho Man. The four-year-old colt picked up five first-place votes and 310 points.

Gaining two spots in the poll from fifth into third is champion filly Royal Delta. Training for the Personal Ensign on Aug. 26, Royal Delta garnered three top votes and 252 points.

"She's training good, she's eating good, she's moving good... it's all good," said trainer Bill Mott about the Delaware Handicap winner.

A runner-up finish behind Fort Larned in the Whitney dropped Ron the Greek from second to fourth. The five-year-old lost five of last week's six top votes and 94 points to tumble to a total of 251.

Completing the first half of the top 10 is defending Pacific Classic champ Acclamation. The six-year-old received four first-place votes and 248 points.

Making his first appearance in the NTRA Poll is Fort Larned. The four-year-old colt won the Whitney by 1 1/4 lengths and was rewarded with 211 points in the voting.

"He ran hard; he's a little tired," said trainer Ian Wilkes of Fort Larned on Sunday. "But he's happy, although not as happy as I am. Really, I was expecting that kind of performance from him. I believe in him. He's a very good horse. He ran the same type of race in the Cornhusker. In that race, he beat Successful Dan; yesterday, there were more good horses."

Holding down seventh in the poll is Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another with a dozen top votes and 183 points. The colt is followed by Shackleford (118), Paynter (107) and Wise Dan (79).

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