Home » A ‘Confident’ New Contender Cracks the Latest Kentucky Derby Poll

A ‘Confident’ New Contender Cracks the Latest Kentucky Derby Poll

Each week, members of the national media vote on the nation’s top contenders on the Triple Crown trail in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Thoroughbred Poll.

Week 5 of the 2023 NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Thoroughbred Poll conducted by the (NTRA) covers racing performances through Feb. 28, 2023.

The 3-year-old poll represents horses competing up to and through the Triple Crown. Rankings are based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-1 voting system. First place votes are in parentheses.


AMERICA’S TOP THOROUGHBREDS FOR FEB. 27, 2023

1. Forte (22 first-place votes)

Owners: Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

2023 record: N/A

Last race: 1st, FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Nov. 4 at Keeneland Race Course

Next race: Fountain of Youth Stakes, March 4 at Gulfstream Park


2. Arabian Knight (11 first-place votes)

Owner: Zedan Racing Stables

Trainer: Tim Yakteen

Jockey: John Velazquez

2023 record: 1 start – 1 win – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Last race: 1st, Southwest Stakes, Jan. 28 at Oaklawn Park

Next race: Arkansas Derby, April 1 at Oaklawn Park


3. Instant Coffee (1 first-place vote)

Owner: Gold Square

Trainer: Brad Cox

Jockey: Luis Saez

2023 record: 1 start – 1 win – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Last race: 1st, Lecomte Stakes, Jan. 21 at Fair Grounds

Next race: Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby, March 25 at Fair Grounds


4. Confidence Game

Owner: Don’t Tell My Wife Stables

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Jockey: James Graham

2023 record: 2 starts – 1 win – 0 seconds – 1 third

Last race: 1st, Rebel Stakes, Feb. 25 at Oaklawn Park

Next race: TBD, either the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby, March 25 at Fair Grounds, or Arkansas Derby, April 1 at Oaklawn Park, or Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, April 8 at Keeneland Race Course


5. Cave Rock

Owners: Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Juan Hernandez

2023 record: N/A

Last race: 2nd, FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Nov. 4 at Keeneland Race Course

Next race: TBD


6. Angel of Empire

Owner: Albaugh Family Stables

Trainer: Brad Cox

Jockey: Luis Saez

2023 record: 2 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 0 thirds

Last race: 1st, Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Lincoln and Lamarque Crescent City Ford , Feb. 18 at Fair Grounds

Next race: TBD, either Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby, March 25 at Fair Grounds, or Arkansas Derby, April 1 at Oaklawn Park, or Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, April 8 at Keeneland Race Course


7. Hit Show

Owners: Gary and Mary West

Trainer: Brad Cox

Jockey: Manny Franco

2023 record: 1 start – 1 win – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Last race: 1st, Withers Stakes, Feb. 11 at Aqueduct

Next race: Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets, April 1 at Aqueduct


8. Rocket Can

Owner: Frank Fletcher Racing Operations

Trainer: Bill Mott

Jockey: Junior Alvarado

2023 record: 1 start – 1 win – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Last race: 1st, Holy Bull Stakes, Feb. 4 at Gulfstream Park

Next race: Fountain of Youth Stakes, March 4 at Gulfstream Park


9. Blazing Sevens

Owner: Rodeo Creek Racing

Trainer: Chad Brown

Jockey: Flavien Prat

2023 record: N/A

Last race: 4th, FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Nov. 4 at Keeneland Race Course

Next race: Fountain of Youth Stakes, March 4 at Gulfstream Park


10 (tie). Litigate

Owner: Centennial Farms

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey:  Luis Saez

2023 record: 2 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 0 thirds

Last race: 1st, Sam F. Davis Stakes, Feb. 11 at Tampa Bay Downs

Next race: TBD


10 (tie). Reincarnate

Owners: SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital and Catherine Donovan

Trainer: Tim Yakteen

Jockey: John Velazquez

2023 record: 2 starts – 1 win – 0 seconds – 1 third

Last race: 3rdRebel Stakes, Feb. 25 at Oaklawn Park

Next race: TBD, possibly the Arkansas Derby, April 1 at Oaklawn Park


Six Beginner Betting Tools

  1. Start simple with an easy guide for how to bet on horse racing.
  2. Not sure what that word means? Horse racing terminology is a language of its own. Allow us translate for you.
  3. What the heck is a speed figure? This beginner’s guide to speed figures has everything you need to know.
  4. Betting on horse racing can be intimidating. Team ABR put together some Dos and Don’ts for the new fan getting started betting on racing.
  5. We all make mistakes when it comes to betting on horse racing, here are eight lessons learned from experience.
  6. Figure out how much each bet will cost in advance with our Gambling Calculator, presented by NYRA Bets.