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Aug 22, 2014

Subtle changes in Thoroughbred Poll


New York, NY ( - Week 19 of the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll offered little movement among the 10 horses who have been inhabiting the recent rankings.

Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan continues atop the poll with the same 22 first-place votes as last week but picking up four additional points to 359.

Owned by Morton Fink, the 7-year-old gelding is training for his first start in more than three months due to colic surgery in May. Trainer Charlie LoPresti has not nailed down a firm return start.

"He's ready now; I'm just trying to fight in my head where to run him and what's the right thing to do," said LoPresti. "Do I run him here (in the Bernard Baruch on Aug. 30)? Do I run him in Canada (in the Woodbine Mile on Sept. 14)? I have to talk to Mr. Fink. My heart says ... I don't know what my heart says."

Palace Malice and California Chrome traded the next two spots in the poll. Both colts picked up nine top votes with Palace Malice receiving 323 points to 322 for the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner.

Trainer Todd Pletcher is considering adding blinkers to Palace Malice for his start on Aug. 30 in Saratoga's Woodward.

"I'm not committed to running him in blinkers," Pletcher said. "He'll work without blinkers on Saturday or Sunday. He worked the same as he did without them. I didn't see a big change in his personality."

California Chrome, trained by Art Sherman, continues to train at Los Alamitos for his next start, wherever that may be.

"I'll probably have Victor (Espinoza) come over and work him next week," Sherman said Saturday.

Holding on to the next four places are Close Hatches (1, 233), Bayern (156), Game On Dude (126) and Shared Belief (98).

Whitney winner Moreno jumped past Wicked Strong with 86 points to the 3-year- old's 78 and 3-year-old filly Untapable received 77.

The National Poll continues through the Breeders' Cup on Nov. 1.

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