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Aug 31, 2012

Dullahan replaces Royal Delta in NTRA Poll


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Dullahan got the best of his elders Sunday with a win the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar. The effort put the 3- year-old colt into the top 10 of this week's NTRA National Thoroughbred Poll replacing 4-year-old filly Royal Delta.

Owned by Donegal Racing, Dullahan posted a half-length victory over 13-10 favorite Game On Dude in the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic. The voters elevated the colt to seventh in the poll with 154 points.

"People are going to insist that this is a synthetic (track) horse because he has won three Grade Is on synthetic," Donegal Racing's Jerry Crawford said. "But there's no one else in the country that has won three Grade Is on any surface and placed in graded stakes on the turf and finished third in the Kentucky Derby. I would respectfully submit that the question with Dullahan is not what surface can he run on, but what surface can't he run on?"

Despite the loss, Game On Dude remained in first-place with 11 top votes and 325 points, just 13 fewer than last week.

"Game On Dude ran a good race, the other horse just got us. Dullahan is a nice horse and he thrives on synthetics," noted the runner-up's trainer Bob Baffert.

Wise Dan and Mucho Macho Man swapped positions from last week. Wise Dan is second with six first-place votes and 286 points, while Mucho Macho Man dropped to third with eight top votes and 280 points. Mucho Macho Man will start Saturday in the Woodward at Saratoga.

Ron the Greek moved up one spot to fourth with a single first-place vote and 253 points.

Whitney Handicap winner Fort Larned gained a rung into fifth with two top votes and 209 points.

Kentucky Derby and Preakness champ I'll Have Another is sixth with a dozen first-place votes and 176 points.

Following Dullahan in the voting comes Alabama winner Questing (1, 151), Acclamation (2, 125) and Arlington Million winner Little Mike (93).

Royal Delta dropped out of the top 10 after finishing second in the Personal Ensign Handicap to Love and Pride on Saturday.

"It wasn't our day. We weren't good enough on the day, under the conditions, to win," the filly's trainer Bill Mott said. "The winner beat us on the day. We gave her 10 pounds. I guess with the 10 pounds we needed things to go perfectly."

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