Code of Honor Joins Top Five in NTRA Thoroughbred Poll
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 8, 2020) – On the strength of his victory in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby this past weekend, Honor A. P. jumped four positions in the latest National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Three-Year-Old Poll and now trails only expected Belmont Stakes favorite Tiz the Law in the rankings.
Trained by John Shirreffs, Honor A. P. earned 7 first-place votes and 364 points to move up to the No. 2 position. The Santa Anita Derby marked the first top-level win for the dark bay son of Honor Code and he now ranks second overall on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 120 points.
“It was very gratifying to see him run that well…It was really exciting,” Shirreffs told the Santa Anita Park publicity team. “Everybody at the barn is really joyful. He got 100 (Kentucky Derby qualifying) points for the win, so it puts us in a good position.”
Honor A. P. stated his case to be considered among the elite of the sophomore male ranks but Tiz the Law remains the one his classmates must catch. The son of Constitution retains the top spot in the poll with 31 first-place votes and 394 points as he continues to tune up for his expected run in the June 20 Belmont Stakes.
Tiz the Law breezed five furlongs in 1:00.53 seconds on Monday at Belmont Park and is set to have one more work ahead of his start in the classic.
“He’s given us nothing but positive indications,” Barclay Tagg, trainer of Tiz the Law, told the NYRA publicity team. “He just couldn’t be doing any better.”
Grade 1-winner Maxfield, who captured the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes on May 23 in his seasonal bow, moved up one spot to third with 3 first-place votes and 310 points. Authentic, whose runner-up finish in the Santa Anita Derby marked his first defeat in four starts, dropped to fourth with 260 points followed by King Guillermo (189 points) and Charlatan (131). Sole Volante ranks seventh with 119 points, just ahead of stablemate Ete Indien (99 points). Nadal, who was recently retired due to injury, is ninth with 84 points as Basin (61 points) completes the top 10.
There was no change at the head of the pack in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll as Midnight Bisou, the reigning champion older dirt female, earned 29 first-place votes and 383 points this week to retain her lead spot. While Mucho Gusto (265 points) and By My Standards (1 first-place vote, 263 points) remain second and third, respectively, Grade 1-winner Code of Honor surged into the fourth position with 4 first-place votes and 197 points on the heels of his victory in the Grade 3 Westchester Stakes on June 6.
Tom’s d’Etat (150 points) holds in fifth followed by Zulu Alpha (1 first-place vote, 144 points). Vekoma’s victory in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap was enough to move him into the top 10 for the first time as he lands in the seventh spot with 117 points. Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup Stakes winner Improbable (109 points) now sits in the eighth position after previously being unranked while champion Maximum Security (4 first-place votes, 108 points) and McKinzie (103 points) round out the top 10.
Tiz the Law (35 points) was not ranked in the top 10 but did receive two first-place votes.
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred polls are the sport’s most comprehensive surveys of experts. Every week eligible journalists and broadcasters cast votes for their top 10 horses, with points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. All horses that have raced in the U.S., are in training in the U.S., or are known to be pointing to a major event in the U.S. are eligible for the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Voting in both the Top 3-Year-Old Poll and the Top Thoroughbred Poll is scheduled to be conducted through the conclusion of the Breeders’ Cup in November.
The full results for the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll can be found on the NTRA website at:
Full accounting of top 10 votes by voter can be found at:
NTRA Press Release