01/16/2007 12:00AM

Maktoum trio top world ratings


American-trained horses owned by the Maktoum family dominated the 2006 World Thoroughbred Racehorse Ratings as Invasor was rated the best older horse in the world and overall highweight at 129 with Bernardini and Discreet Cat sharing the 3-year-old championship at 128.

Formerly known as the International Classification, the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Ratings are compiled by a panel of international handicappers from Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, the United States, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia. They also serve as Europe's official championship rankings.

Undefeated in four Grade 1 starts in America, the Hamdan al Maktoum-owned, Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Invasor, an Argentine-bred son of Candy Stripes, holds a solid two-pound edge in the older horse category over Japanese superstar Deep Impact and West Coast champ Lava Man, each of whom was pegged at 127. It was Invasor's victory over Bernardini in the Breeders' Cup Classic that clinched the top spot following wins in the Pimlico Special, Suburban, and Whitney handicaps.

The Andre Fabre-trained Hurricane Run, whose victory in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes made him the highweight European older horse at 126, finished four pounds lower than his 2005 world championship rating of 130.

Pride nosed out Ouija Board for the older filly or mare title, 123-122. An Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained daughter of Peintre Celebre, Pride won Group 1 races in France, England, and Hong Kong, all of them against males. Ouija Board, who beat males in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, also captured the Nassau Stakes as well as a second Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf title. Gorella at 118 was the highest rated American-trained older filly or mare, while Fleet Indian earned the best mark for an American-trained filly or mare on dirt at 117.

Australian bargain-basement gelding Takeover Target, a Group 1 winner there as well as in England and Japan, and Breeders' Cup Sprint and De Francis Dash winner Thor's Echo shared the sprint title at 120. Deep Impact was rated the world's best stayer at 123 with Yeats at 121 and Melbourne Cup winner Delta Blues at 120. Aragorn took American turf honors from English Channel by a 122-121 margin. Showing Up is the American 3-year-old turf champ at 120, just a pound behind Epsom Derby winner Sir Percy and four pounds ahead of French Derby winner Darsi.

The handicappers couldn't separate Darley's Preakness, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Bernardini and Godolphin's Cigar Mile winner Discreet Cat in the 3-year-old division, awarding them both a mark of 128. That is one pound higher than the co-European champion 3-year-olds, 2000 Guineas and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner George Washington, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Rail Link. Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro tied Dylan Thomas for the fifth spot at 126.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Alexandrova and the de Royer-Dupre-trained Mandesha, both three-time Group 1 winners in Europe, shared 3-year-old filly laurels with the Todd Pletcher-trained Wait a While, the winner of both the American Oaks and the Yellow Ribbon. All three were rated 118. Pine Island is the highest rated 3-year-old filly on dirt at 115.

Henny Hughes was named the world's best 3-year-old sprinter at 120 while English St. Leger winner Sixties Icon and Japanese St. Leger winner Song of Wind shared the 3-year-old stayers title at 116.

The 2-year-old list, restricted to horses trained in Europe, was headed by the Jim Bolger-trained dual Group 1 winner Teofilo,a son of Galileo, at 123. That is one pound better than Holy Roman Emperor, a two-time Group 1 winner himself who was beaten into second by Teofilo in both the National Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes. Bolger also trains the European juvenile filly champ Finsceal Beo, the five-length winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac. Finsceal Beo earned a 119 rating for that effort.