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Apr 26, 2013

Game On Dude and Orb lead respective polls


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Game On Dude used a hard-fought win in the Charles Town Classic to remain in first place in the NTRA National Poll, while Florida Derby winner Orb slid past Wood Memorial champ Verrazano atop the 3- year-old rankings.

Game On Dude outlasted Clubhouse Ride by a half-length to win Saturday's $1.5 million Charles Town Classic. Trained by Bob Baffert, the 6-year-old gelding was rewarded with 19 first-place votes and 450 points, a 15-point advantage over reigning Horse of the year Wise Dan.

At the conclusion of Santa Anita's 2012-13 winter/spring meet, Game On Dude was named Horse of the Meet by the media.

"His Big 'Cap (Santa Anita Handicap) win was pretty breathtaking," said Baffert. "The fans will remember that race for a long time. It was pretty amazing."

Wise Dan, winner of his return race the previous week, garnered 17 top votes and 435 points.

Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom holds on to third with 13 first- place votes and 389 points. The 5-year-old will make one final start in England before retirement.

Turf runner Point of Entry held steady in fourth with a single first-place vote and 311 points.

Graydar, winner of the Donn and New Orleans Handicaps, is fifth with 195 points, followed by Royal Delta (178), Suggestive Boy (117), Ron the Greek (81) Mizdirection (75) and Cyber Secret (73).

Without the benefit of a major stakes race, Orb jumped over Verrazano into first in the 3-year-old poll.

Trained by Shug McGaughey, Orb picked up 17 first-place votes and 456 points in the next-to-last rankings before the Kentucky Derby.

Verrazano, one of five probable starters in the Run for the Roses trained by Todd Pletcher, dropped to second although he received 22 top votes. His point total fell by three to 451, however

"I thought he went great and he seemed to get over the track well. We liked what we saw," Pletcher said after a Sunday workout by Verrazano.

Revolutionary, also trained by Pletcher, holds at third in the voting with six first-place votes and 342 points.

"I think this colt has the potential (to win the Derby)," noted jockey Calvin Borel, who will ride Revolutionary in the Run for the Roses. "He's a nice horse and he's been through everything you want a Derby horse to go through,"

The next four spots in the poll are unchanged from last week, with Goldencents (308) fourth followed by Normandy Invasion (230), Itsmyluckyday (228) and Overanalyze (129).

"The little time I was at Churchill Downs before with Bobby Frankel, I observed other trainers to see what worked for them here," said Chad Brown, Normandy Invasion's trainer. "I am going to give him every chance to be successful,"

Vyjack (127) and the filly Dreaming of Julia (122) each moved up a spot to eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 3-year-old poll, leaving Java's War (97) in 10th.

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