01/12/2010 12:00AM

Sea the Stars shines in '09 world rankings

Edward Whitaker/Racing Post
Sea the Stars (right) was awarded a 136 World Thoroughbred Ranking for this 2 1/2-length win in the Irish Champion Stakes. He also received the second highest rating for his Arc victory.

Sea the Stars is the highweight horse on the 2009 World Thoroughbred Rankings at 136, the highest rating achieved since Peintre Celebre was rated 137 in 1997.

A John Oxx-trained son of Galileo, Sea the Stars earned his championship rating in the 1 1/4-mile Irish Champion Stakes.

The World Thoroughbred Rankings, determined by a panel of handicappers and racing secretaries from all of the major racing nations in the world, serve as the official European championship ratings.

The 131 Sea the Stars received for his victory in the 1 1/2-mile Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is the second best rating in the world, one pound ahead of the 130 received by Goldikova for her victory in the Prix Jacques le Marois.

That 130 made the two-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner the best miler in the world as well as the leading female and leading older horse. Next came a pair of Aidan O'Brien-trained 3-year-olds, Rip Van Winkle at 129 and Fame and Glory at 128.

The leading American-trained horse of either sex on any surface, Zenyatta received a 128 for winning the Breeders' Cup Classic. With all of America holding its breath over who will take Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year, Zenyatta won this skirmish by a single pound over Rachel Alexandra, who was awarded a 127 for her victory in the Haskell Invitational.

:: CHART: (britishhorseracing.com)

Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra are the two highest-rated American-trained horses on the lists, with Zenyatta rated the best in the world on synthetic surfaces and Rachel Alexandra the best on dirt. Rachel also rates as the best American

3-year-old. At 125, Gio Ponti, who earned that rating for his second-place finish in the Classic, shares world older male honors with two-time Breeders' Cup Turf winner Conduit, three-time Arc runner-up Youmzain, and Dubai Duty Free winner Gladiatorus.

Summer Bird is the leading 3-year-old colt in America, having earned a 123 rating in both the Travers Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The battle for world's best sprinter ended in a tie as both Hong Kong Sprint winner Sacred Kingdom and King's Stand Stakes winner Scenic Blast came in at 122. Quality Road is rated the best 3-year-old sprinter in the world at 121 by virtue of his Amsterdam Stakes score. That is three pounds better than the best European 3-year-old sprinter, Prix de l'Abbaye winner Total Gallery.

Yeats was declared the world's leading stayer, earning a 122 mark for his fourth consecutive triumph in the Ascot Gold Cup. Autumn Tenno Sho winner Company is the highest-rated Japanese horse at 122.

Other horses of note are Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, who at 122 rates a pound behind Summer Bird. French Oaks winner Stacelita, at 122, is the leading European 3-year-old filly. Goodwood Stakes winner Gitano Hernando is the highest rated 3-year-old in the world on synthetics at 120, the same mark earned by Santa Anita Handicap winner Einstein. St. Leger winner Mastery is the best 3-year-old stayer at 117, one pound better than Breeders' Cup Marathon winner Man of Iron. Fabulous Strike is the best older sprinter in America at 120, while California Flag is America's best turf sprinter at 118.

In a juvenile division limited to European-trained horses, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Racing Post Trophy winner St Nicholas Abbey is the clear leader at 124, four pounds higher than Godolphin's Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner Passion for Gold. Criterium International winner Jan Vermeer is third at 119 for O'Brien. The Criquette Head-Maarek-trained Cheveley Park Stakes winner Special Duty rates as the leading 2-year-old filly at 117, with Jealous Again, trained by Wesley Ward to win Royal Ascot's Queen Mary Stakes, second at 115.