Five horses pointed to Breeders’ Cup races this weekend are among the top 10 in the latest Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll released November 2.
In this latest poll, for the first time in 2021, horses of all ages are combined into a single top 10. That’s had the effect of knocking all but two three-year-olds – Beren, who’s ranked third, and Jaxon Traveler, who’s sixth – from the rankings.
The list is topped – no surprise here – by the Maryland-bred Knicks Go. The multiple Grade 1 winner trained by Brad Cox won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, and he heads this year’s Midlantic contingent, albeit in a different race. Knicks Go is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the $6 million, 1 ¼-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Knicks Go has been the top-rated Midlantic-bred in every poll released this year.
Four other runners ranked in the top 10 also are pointed to the Breeders’ Cup. The group includes the fourth-, seventh-, ninth- and tenth-ranked horses on the list.
Of that group, it’s actually ninth-rated Aloha West who has the best shot of a win, judging by the morning line. The Maryland-bred is 8-1 on the morning line in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, a race in which Jackie’s Warrior is the 6-5 favorite. Jose Ortiz will ride.
Aloha West just missed last out, finishing second behind Special Reserve in the Grade 2 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland. Trained by Wayne Catalano, he’s a four-year-old colt by Hard Spun who was bred by Bobby Manfuso and Katy Voss. Aloha West, who’s won four of eight in his career and earned more than $270,000, is a half-brother to the undefeated Moquist.
Fourth-ranked The Critical Way is 15-1 on the morning line in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint but is on the also-eligible list and will need two scratches to draw in. A seven-year-old Tizway gelding who was bred in Pennsylvania by Blackstone Farm LLC, The Critical Way has won nine times in his career while amassing nearly $550,000 in earnings.
This season, The Critical Way has won three stakes, including the Grade 3 Parx Dash, for trainer Jose Delgado. If he draws in, Luis Saez will ride.
Also in the Turf Sprint is the Pennsylvania-bred filly Caravel, who is in the main body of the race but is 20-1 on the morning line. The four-year-old Mizzen Mast filly has won seven of 11 in her career, her top win having come earlier this year in the Grade 3 Caress at Saratoga. She also was third in the Grade 1 Highlander Stakes at Woodbine.
Caravel is trained by Graham Motion for owners Bobby Flay and Elizabeth Merryman. Merryman bred the filly and owned and trained her for the first part of her career, selling a majority interest in her following her victory June 25 in the Goldwood Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Jose Ortiz is named to ride in the Breeders’ Cup.
Finally, the New Jersey-bred Horologist is back for a second try in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, in which she is 30-1 on the morning line, one of three runners lined so high. Horologist ran ninth in last year’s Distaff.
Horologist has won twice this year and also placed in a pair of graded stakes. She is a daughter of Gemologist who was bred in the Garden State by Holly Crest Farm. She’s trained by Bill Mott for an ownership group that includes original owner There’s A Chance Stable and others.
Other runners in the top five include the Pennsylvania-bred Chub Wagon, who has eight wins and a second from nine starts this year; fellow PA-bred Beren, who’s won seven of 11; and last-out Maryland Million Distaff winner Hello Beautiful.
Jaxon Traveler (MD) is ranked sixth, and Chess Chief (VA) is ranked eighth to round out the top 10.
Of the top 10, Maryland-breds and Pennsylvania-breds accounted for four horses each. One New Jersey-bred and one Virginia-bred filled out the roster. Six of the top 10 were males, and four were females.
The monthly Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred is the only publication devoted to Thoroughbred breeding and racing in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Racing Biz, an online publication, is the independent voice for mid-Atlantic racing and breeding.
The poll is conducted of media members and others involved in the Thoroughbred industry and restricted to horses that have run in 2021 and were bred in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Carolinas.
1. Knicks Go (MD), 5H by Paynter-Kosmo’s Buddy, by Outflanker; bred by Angie Moore and trained by Brad Cox for Korea Racing Authority. 2021 highlights: Won G1 Whitney S., G1 Pegasus World Cup, G3 Lukas Classic, G3 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker H.
2. Chub Wagon (PA), 4F by Hey Chub-Takin the Plunge, by Lion Heart; bred by Joe-Dan Farm and George Chestnut and trained by Guadalupe Preciado for Daniel Lopez and George Chestnut. 2021 highlights: Won Plum Pretty S., Roamin Rachel S., Dashing Beauty S., Shine Again S., Skipat S., Unique Bella S.
3. Beren (PA), 3C by Weigelia-Silmaril, by Diamond; bred by Susan Quick and Christopher Feifarek and trained by Butch Reid for St. Omer’s Farm and Christopher Feifarek. 2021 highlights: Won Danzig S., Parx Summer Sprint S., Gold Fever S., Paradise Creek S., Crowd Pleaser S.
4. The Critical Way (PA), 7G by Tizway-Critical Factor, by Star de Naskra; bred by Blackstone Farm LLC and trained by Jose Delgado for Monster Racing Stables. 2021 highlights: Won G3 Parx Dash, Wolf Hill S., Get Serious S., Turf Dash, 3rd G2 Shakertown S. Last month: 5
5. Hello Beautiful (MD), 4F by Golden Lad-Hello Now, by Tiznow; bred by Hillwood Stables LLC and trained by Brittany Russell for Madaket Stables LLC, Albert Frassetto, Mark Parkinson, K-Mac Stable and Magic City Stables LLC. 2021 highlights: Won Maryland Million Distaff, Weathervane S., Alma North S., What A Summer S.
6. Jaxon Traveler (MD), 3C by Munnings-Listen Boy, by After Market; bred by Dr. & Mrs. A. Leonard Pineau and trained by Steve Asmussen for West Point Thoroughbreds and Marvin Delfiner. 2021 highlights: Won Star de Naskra S., Bachelor Stakes, 2nd G3 Chick Lang S., 3rd G3 Quick Call S.
7. Horologist (NJ), 5F by Gemologist-Cinderella Time, by Stephen Got Even; bred by Holly Crest Farm and trained by Bill Mott for There’s A Chance Stable, Medallion Racing, Abbondanza Racing, LLC, Parkland Thoroughbreds, Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher. 2021 highlights: Won Summer Colony S., Top Flight Invitational S., 2nd G2 Beldame, G3 Shuvee
8. Chess Chief (VA), 5H by Into Mischief-Un Blessed, by Mineshaft; bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm and trained by Dallas Stewart for Estate of James Coleman, Jr.. 2021 highlights: Won G2 New Orleans Classic, 3rd G2 Alysheba, 3rd G3 Mineshaft. Last month: 3
9. Aloha West (MD), 4C by Hard Spun-Island Bound, by Speightstown; bred by Robert Manfuso and Katharine Voss and trained by Wayne Catalano for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. 2021 highlights: 2nd G2 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix S.
10. Caravel (PA), 4F by Mizzen Mast-Zeezee Zoomzoom, by Congrats; bred by Elizabeth Merryman and trained by Graham Motion for Bobby Flay and Elizabeth Merryman. 2021 highlights: Won G3 Caress S., 3rd G1 Highlander S. Last month: Also receiving votes.
Also receiving votes: Street Lute, Leader of the Band, Field Pass, Pickin’ Time, Hollywood Talent, Muad’dib, Star of Night, Golden Brown, Whereshetoldmetogo, Vault, Door Buster, Admiral Abe, Largent, Cordmaker
Note: All horses listed at their 2021 ages.
Participating Voters: Ted Black (freelance writer), Michael Campbell (Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey), Joe Clancy (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Cindy Deubler (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Linda Dougherty (freelance), Debbie Easter (Virginia Thoroughbred Association), Paul Espinosa (Charles Town Races), Sara Gordon (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Cricket Goodall (Maryland Horse Breeders Association), Sara Gordon (Maryland Horse Breeders Association), Jim Hague (freelance), Nick Hahn (freelance), Carol Holden (West Virginia Breeders Classics), Tom LaMarra (Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Jeff Nations (freelance), Vinnie Perrone (freelance), Frank Petramalo (Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association), John Piassek (freelance), Gary Quill (The Racing Biz), David Richardson (Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Brian Sanfratello (Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association), Sal Sinatra (Maryland Jockey Club), Chris Sobocinski (Delaware Park), Dan Tordjman (freelance), Frank Vespe (The Racing Biz), Bill Watson (freelance), Lydia Williams (freelance), Bobby Zen (freelance).