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May 09, 2014

California Chrome dominates 3-year-old poll


New York, NY ( - Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome is a near unanimous selection as leading 3-year-old in week 9 of the NTRA Poll.

Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome swept to a 1 3/4-length victory in last Saturday's 140th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs. He was rewarded with 49 of 50 first-place votes and 499 points. Next for the colt will be the 139th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17.

"To be honest, I'm not real comfortable with running him back in two weeks," the 77-year-old trainer noted Sunday, "but I know that's what we're bound to do. I don't normally run any kind of horse back in two weeks, not even lowly claimers. I'm more the kind of guy who likes to wait seven or eight weeks between races. These horses run hard and they need time to recover."

Climbing in the poll from fifth to second is Danza, third in the Kentucky Derby. The Arkansas Derby champ garnered 384 points and is probable for the Preakness.

Moving from 10th to third is Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable. The filly, who won Friday's race by 4 1/2 lengths, received the remaining first-place vote and 382 points.

"Not only did she beat a quality field, she did it very impressively," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "She's a very confident horse. She's very forward, motor's running and stuff. She goes out there to win."

Wicked Strong, fourth in the Run for the Roses, is also fourth in the voting with 333 points followed by Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve (285), Samraat (245), Hoppertunity (169), Dance With Fate (107), Ride On Curlin (72) and Constitution (45).

In the NTRA National Poll, two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan maintains a large lead in the voting after Saturday's win in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs.

The 7-year-old gelding, trained by Charles LoPresti, received 39 first- place votes and 483 points.

"The way he has trained and the way he's done, I would say, at this point in time, he's better than he was last year. This was a little bit stiffer group of horses," LoPresti noted. "Horses like that are hard to find. They're true warriors and they don't want to get beat and they know where the wire is and they know how to win. He's just that kind of horse."

Palace Malice moves up one into second with two top votes and 379 points. Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude climbs a rung to third with one first-place vote and 350 points.

California Chrome advances from ninth to fourth off his Kentucky Derby victory. The leading 3-year-old garnered five top votes and 264 points. Staying in fifth is Donn Handicap winner Lea with two first-place votes and 260 points.

Eclipse Award winning filly Beholder is sixth with 172 points followed by Mucho Macho Man (164), Oaklawn Handicap winner Will Take Charge (1, 146), Close Hatches (130) and Untapable (128).

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