11/16/2010 1:11PM

Harbinger tops current World Thoroughbred Rankings

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Harbinger wins the King George VI and Elizabeth Stakes by 11 lengths at Ascot on July 24.

Harbinger is the world leader in the latest World Thoroughbred Rankings computed by national handicappers from all of the world’s major racing nations. The now retired 5-year-old son of Dansili maintains a wide edge in the standings with the135 rating he achieved for his 11-length triumph in the 1 1/2-mile King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 24.

Somewhat surprisingly, Blame rates second place in the world standings at 129, a mark awarded for his narrow victory over Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Zenyatta is rated in a four-way tie for 10th place along with three-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Goldikova.

Before analyzing the WTR, it must be remembered that they represent the single best performance of a horse during the current calendar year. The system is on the opposite end of the spectrum of the Eclipse Award system, in which voters base their judgment on yearlong performance.

Makfi and Quality Road are co-rated as the best milers on the WTR list at 128. Makfi got his rating for his victory over Goldikova in the Prix Jacques Le Marois, while Quality Road earned his for his weight-giving second-place finish to Blame in the Whitney Handicap, which, at 1 1/8 miles, falls into the WTR’s mile category. Those two are in a three-way tie for third overall on the list with Workforce, who received his grade for both his seven-length victory in the Epsom Derby and his head victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

One-mile Sussex Stakes winner Canford Cliffs, Arc runner-up Nakayama Festa, and Irish Champion Stakes winner Cape Blanco find themselves in a three-way tie for sixth at 127. Rip Van Winkle is alone in ninth place at 126 by virtue of his win in the Juddmonte International.

A four-way logjam at 10th place includes Zenyatta, who earned her rating for both her weight-giving victory in the Vanity Handicap and her second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Joining her at 125 is Goldikova, who was awarded that mark for her Breeders’ Cup Mile triumph. Goldikova and Zenyatta are the co-high-rated females of any age on the WTR list. Also rated at 125 are Champion Stakes winner and Juddmonte International runner-up Twice Over, and the Australian-trained So You Think, who earned his grade for victories in three races, the Yalumba Stakes, the Cox Plate, and the Mackinnon Stakes.

Fly Down and Lookin At Lucky are in a two-way tie for 19th at 123. Australia’s Black Caviar and Hong Kong’s Sacred Kingdom are the highest-rated sprinters at 122. Prix de l’Opera winner Lily of the Valley is the world’s highest-rated 3-year-old filly at 121, but these ratings do not include Snow Fairy’s four-length win in the Sunday’s Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup. Melbourne Cup winner Americain is the top stayer at 121, a mark he shares with America’s leading turf performer Gio Ponti.

The year-end World Thoroughbred Rankings will be announced Jan. 12.

WORLD THOROUGHBRED RANKINGS

Horse Category/Surface Rating
Harbinger Long/Turf 135
Blame Intermediate/Dirt 129
Makfi Mile/Turf 128
Quality Road Mile/Dirt 128
Workforce Long/Turf 128
Canford Cliffs Mile/Turf 127
Cape Blanco Intermediate/Turf 127
Nakayama Festa Long/Turf 127
Rip Van Winkle Intermediate/Turf 126
Goldikova Mile/Turf 125
So You Think Intermediate/Turf 125
Twice Over Intermediate/Turf 125
Zenyatta Mile-Intermediate/Artificial-Dirt 125