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Apr 12, 2013

Verrazano back in first for 3-year-old poll


New York, NY (Sports Network) - The game of musical chairs atop the NTRA 3-year-old poll continued this week with Verrazano moving ahead of Orb in the latest voting. The National Poll remained mainly unchanged with Game On Dude and Animal Kingdom leading the way.

Verrazano, winner of Saturday's Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, regained the top spot in the 3-year-old rankings from Orb. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Verrazano picked up 23 first-place votes and 460 points to move past Florida Derby champ Orb, who received 17 top votes and 455 points. Both should meet on May 4 in the Kentucky Derby.

"It was a very good prep race. He (Verrazano) got a lot out of it without doing too much," said Michael McCarthy, assistant to Pletcher.

Louisiana Derby winner Revolutionary kept the third spot in the poll with six first-place votes and 313 points.

Santa Anita Derby champ Goldencents jumped up to fourth off his 1 1/4-length victory. Trained by Doug O'Neill, the colt received 305 points without the benefit of first-place votes.

"I think with the mile and a quarter (Kentucky Derby) coming up, with these longer races you have to have tactical speed, which he does," said O'Neill. "And, you have to have a real strong head on his shoulders, which he does, but the biggest key to these races is to stay injury free. These races can tax a horse, so I think if he can stay injury free, he's got a good chance to win it."

O'Neill won last year's Santa Anita and Kentucky Derbies with I'll Have Another.

Also getting back into the poll was Normandy Invasion, second in the Wood Memorial. Trained by Chad Brown, the colt garnered one first-place vote and 258 points to move into the fifth spot. Javier Castellano is the jockey for both Normandy Invasion and Revolutionary.

"I'd like to retain him on the horse; we all would," Brown said about the jockey. "But, it's going to be up to him and his agent, and I'm sure he's going to monitor his two Derby mounts, their health and how they came out of their races before making a decision. We're not applying any pressure right now. We'll just see what they want to do."

Florida Derby runner-up Itsmyluckyday fell back a spot to sixth with one top vote and 218 points. He was followed by Vyjack (152), Dreaming of Julia (1, 106), Will Take Charge (91) and Oxbow (79).

Game On Dude has a 50-point advantage over Animal Kingdom in the National Poll, though they each have 20 first-place votes. Game On Dude received 452 points to Animal Kingdom's 402.

The next seven places in the voting were unchanged from last week with Wise Dan getting six top votes and 319 points followed by Point of Entry (2, 309), Graydar (276), Fort Larned (2, 187), Royal Delta (170), Suggestive Boy (123) and Ron the Greek (81).

Verrazano, the lone 3-year-old in the National Poll, was 10th with 59 points.

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