Nov 07, 2014
Main Sequence gains top spot in final poll
By: SPORTS NETWORK
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Breeders' Cup Turf winner Main Sequence finished in first place in the final 2014 NTRA Thoroughbred Poll.
Trained by Graham Motion, Main Sequence advanced four spots in the rankings off his half-length victory in Saturday's $3 million Turf at Santa Anita. The 5-year-old gelding received 20 first-place votes and 418 points after closing his campaign a perfect 4-for-4.
"He has won four Group I's. No other horse has done what he's done," Motion said about Main Sequence's Horse of the Year chances. "At the end of the day, I'm not going to lose sleep over it. He certainly deserves consideration. I'm sure there'll be a lot of split opinions because of the dirt and turf. I get that. It's America, we race on dirt."
Finishing second was Breeders' Cup Classic champ Bayern, trained by Bob Baffert. The 3-year-old colt, a nose victor in the 1 1/4-mile Classic, picked up 13 top votes and 385 points.
"We're very proud of Bayern," Baffert said. "He showed what he can do on a big day. He put it all together. He's won the Classic and other major races. He did it on the big stage and he ran hard. He wasn't going to let (Classic runner-up) Toast of New York past him."
Third in the rankings was Kentucky Derby and Preakness champ California Chrome off his third-place finish in the Classic, a neck behind Bayern. The chestnut colt, trained by Art Sherman, gained five first-place votes and 331 points.
"He tried really hard, although in the end he just got a little tired," jockey Victor Espinoza said of California Chrome following the Classic. "But it was a tremendous year. It was such a great run winning the Derby and Preakness and after his race today, I still think he deserves to be the 3-year-old champion."
The fourth spot in the poll goes to Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Untapable, trained by Steve Asmussen for Winchell Thoroughbreds. The 3-year-old filly got four first-place votes and 327 points.
"Untapable performed excellently and ran a huge race," said Asmussen, who indicated the filly will run in 2015.
Former top-ranked gelding Shared Belief, fourth in the Classic, finished fifth in the voting with a single top vote and 295 points.
"He came out OK," said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer of Shared Belief. "I don't have any plans. He will go back to Golden Gate Fields. He needs to be freshened up a bit."
Wise Dan, the reigning two-time Horse of the Year, was unable to defend his consecutive Breeders' Cup Mile wins due to an injury. The 7-year-old gelding, trained by Charlie LoPresti, finished sixth in the poll with five first-place votes and 283 points.
Goldencents successfully defend his title in the Dirt Mile on Friday and was rewarded with 172 points to finish seventh. The colt was followed by Tonalist (103), Palace Malice (59) and Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Work All Week (39).
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