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Apr 04, 2014

California Chrome is new 3-year-old leader


New York, NY ( - California Chrome, a likely favorite for Saturday's Santa Anita Derby, has assumed the lead in the National Thoroughbred Association 3-year-old Poll for the week ending March 30.

Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome, winner of the San Felipe Stakes, takes over the lead from Cairo Prince for week 4 of the voting. Cairo Prince dropped from first to ninth after finishing fourth in last Saturday's Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. California Chrome received 25 first-place votes and 439 points.

Candy Boy, another Santa Anita Derby probable, is now second with 13 top votes and 382 points.

Entering the poll in third-place is Florida Derby winner Constitution. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the colt picked up two first-place votes and 329 points.

"I'm very, very proud of him. It's a testament to the quality of horse he is," Pletcher said about winning the Florida Derby, "to go from a maiden to an allowance to a Grade 1 and to show a different running style and get some dirt in his face and put in an effort like that against much more seasoned horses."

Samraat remains fourth with three top votes and 262 points. Trained by Richard Violette, the colt will start in the $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on Saturday.

Wildcat Red advances from eighth to fifth after finishing second to Constitution by neck in the Florida Derby. Trained by Jose Garoffalo, Wildcat Red picked up one first-place vote and 226 points.

"I think we're thinking seriously to go to Kentucky if the horse comes back in good shape. I'm not disappointed, it was a hell of a race, he did a great job and he was himself like he usually is," Garoffalo said.

Rebel Stakes runner-up Tapiture is sixth one spot ahead of Rebel winner Hoppertunity. Tapiture has one top vote and 209 points to Hoppertunity's 190 points. The two colts are likely to meet again in Oaklawn Park's Arkansas Derby on April 12.

Louisiana Derby winner Vicar's in Trouble enters the top 10 in eighth-place with one first-place vote and 187 points. Cairo Price is ninth with a single top vote and 116 points followed by Fair Grounds Oaks winner Untapable who has two top votes and 114 points.

Game On Dude remains solidly in first-place in the National Poll with Palace Malice gaining second after his convincing victory in the New Orleans Handicap.

Game On Dude again received 23 first-place votes and accumulated 479 points.

Jumping from sixth to second, Palace Malice garnered 393 points including one top vote.

"This horse holds a special place in my heart," said Palace Malice's jockey Mike Smith. "I'm just so happy that I got to reunite with him and he didn't let us down. He might be better than he was last year."

Will Take Charge, second to Game On Dude in the Santa Anita Handicap, is third with three first-place votes and 392 points.

Completing the poll are Lea (4, 346), Wise Dan (19, 312), Mucho Macho Man (266), Sahara Sky (163), Winning Prize (126), Beholder (94) and Close Hatches (61).

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