Updated on 11/19/2014 9:46AM

Watchmaker Watch: Weekly divisional ratings


Updated: November 17, 2014. Weekly Thoroughbred racing divisional ratings by Mike Watchmaker, national handicapper for Daily Racing Form. Horses must have at least one start in North America.

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Older Males

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1 – Main Sequence,
by Aldebaran
Turfer is also most accomplished older male
2 – Palace Malice,
by Curlin
He's coming back next year; that's good news
3 – Wise Dan,
by Wiseman’s Ferry
Also a turfer, also comparatively accomplished
4 – Lea,
by First Samurai
May have done big things if he stayed healthy

5- Goldencents,
by Into Mischief
8- Itsmyluckyday,
by Lawyer Ron
6- Zivo,
by True Direction
9- Game On Dude,
by Awesome Again
7- Moreno,
by Ghostzapper
10- Will Take Charge,
by Unbridled’s Song

Older Females

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1 – Close Hatches,
by First Defence
Retains this ranking on her body of work
2 – Beholder,
by Henny Hughes
Two-time champ will race again in 2015
3 – Princess of Sylmar,
by Majestic Warrior
Timely retirement; was absolutely top class
4 – Don't Tell Sophia,
by Congaree
Ran well again when second in the Distaff

5- Midnight Lucky,
by Midnight Lute
8- Belle Gallantey,
by After Market
6- Iotapa,
by Afleet Alex
9- Let Faith Arise,
by Kafwain
7- Antipathy,
by A.P. Indy
10- Broken Sword,
by Broken Vow

3-Year-Old Males

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1 – California Chrome,
by Lucky Pulpit
Think his overall record is slightly the best
2 – Bayern,
by Offlee Wild
Should have been DQ'd, but he is very good
3 – Shared Belief,
by Candy Ride
The most talented; Classic debacle cost him
4 – Tonalist,
by Tapit
Too far back in Classic; not a good fit for SA

5- Toast of New York,
by Thewayyouare
8- Tapiture,
by Tapit
6- Wicked Strong,
by Hard Spun
9- Danza,
by Street Boss
7- V. E. Day,
by English Channel
10- Candy Boy,
by Candy Ride

3-Year-Old Females

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1 – Untapable,
by Tapit
Dominant barely describes her status here
2 – Stopchargingmaria,
by Tale of the Cat
Pace compromised, distant 2nd in Beldame
3 – Sweet Reason,
by Street Sense
She's much better than she showed at SA
4 – Artemis Agrotera,
by Roman Ruler
Also better than she showed in F-M Sprint

5- Euro Charline,
by Myboycharlie
8- Taris,
by Flatter
6- Stonetastic,
by Mizzen Mast
9- Ria Antonia,
by Rockport Harbor
7- My Miss Sophia,
by Unbridled’s Song
10- Unbridled Forever,
by Unbridled’s Song

2-Year-Old males

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1 – American Pharoah,
by Pioneerof the Nile
Highly flattered by Juvenile result; still best
2 – Texas Red,
by Afleet Alex
Got a good setup, and crushed in the Juvenile
3 – Carpe Diem,
by Giant's Causeway
No match at SA, but he'll improve with time
4 – Blofeld,
by Quality Road
Passed the BC, but impressed again in Nashua

5- Daredevil,
by More Than Ready
8- Calculator,
by In Summation
6- Upstart,
by Flatter
9- Om,
by Munnings
7- Competitive Edge,
by Super Saver
10- Hootenanny,
by Quality Road

2 Year-Old Females

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1 – Lady Eli,
by Divine Park
Juvy Filly Turf winner is best here. Period
2 – Sunset Glow,
by Exchange Rate
Being second best to Lady Eli is no disgrace
3 – Peace and War,
by War Front
Alcibiades win flattered by Top Decile in BC
4 – Top Decile,
by Congrats
Sharp in all three of her outings; bright future

5- Take Charge Brandi,
by Giant's Causeway
8- Wonder Gal,
by Tiz Wonderful
6- Angela Renee,
by Bernardini
9- By the Moon,
by Indian Charlie
7- Cavorting,
by Bernardini
10- Condo Commando,
by Tiz Wonderful

Turf Males

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1 – Main Sequence,
by Aldebaran
BC Turf was his 4th Grade 1; the boss here
2 – Wise Dan,
by Wiseman’s Ferry
Missed the BC, but won three Grade 1 races
3 – Karakontie,
by Bernstein
Showed his best French form, took the Mile
4 – Flintshire,
by Dansili
Was a terrific, close second in the BC Turf

5- Anodin,
by Anabaa
8- Obviously,
by Choisir
6- Trade Storm,
by Trade Fair
9- Imagining,
by Giant’s Causeway
7- Tom's Tribute,
by Lion Heart
10- Hardest Core,
by Hard Spun

Turf Females

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1 – Dayatthespa,
by City Zip
Won the big one; finished with 2 Gr. 1 scores
2 – Stephanie's Kitten,
by Kitten's Joy
Could have been on top with one less second
3 – Euro Charline,
by Myboycharlie
Her Beverly D. form went on to hold up well
4 – Just The Judge,
by Lawman
All three of her N. American starts were good

5- Riposte,
by Dansili
8- Abaco,
by Giant's Causeway
6- Coffee Clique,
by Medaglia d’Oro
9- Emollient,
by Empire Maker
7- Somali Lemonade,
by Lemon Drop Kid
10- Parranda,
by English Channel


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1 – Palace,
by City Zip
Outrun in BC, but did win two Grade 1 sprints
2 – Work All Week,
by City Zip
BC Sprint was his first Gr. 1; huge title threat
3 – Secret Circle,
by Eddington
Strong second in Sprint; one of the best here
4 – Goldencents,
by Into Mischief
Dirt Mile winner also had sharp sprint form

5- Private Zone,
by Macho Uno
8- Judy the Beauty,
by Ghostzapper
6- Rich Tapestry,
by Holy Roman Emperor
9- Big Macher,
by Beau Genius
7- Bobby's Kitten,
by Kitten's Joy
10- Wild Dude,
by Wildcat Heir


Pagani Zonda 2 days ago
Hootenany is the most accomplished horse in the 2 year old male division. Yet he sits 10th, and all because you are bias towards Dirt horses.
B 2 days ago
I agree with everything said here, except for male sprinter, but can you honestly say it's right for a horse to win 3 Eclipse Awards for only running 4 times? There needs to be a change in the Eclipse categories.
Hail No 7 days ago
After reviewing the "older male" category again, I can't see how Palice Malice, though he had a wonderful year, sadly too short of a campaign, though, is number 2? Also, Lea? still? Aren't there better choices for some of those spots? I'd say Goldencents has to be in the top 4,, Main Sequence and Wise Dan, what wonderful runs they had, Dan had a truly remarkable year, even after all he had to go through, and that TurfClassic at CD, I don't care what "number" he ran, add 20 points for heart and determination, and MS is the real deal, especially in his Sword Dancer, and ran smartly in his BC, too, they would both get my "John Henry" award for awesomeness :)
Craig Bradshaw 7 days ago
Mike's take on the 3 yr. old males is spot on. shared belief is the most talented, but is small and can't play bumper cars inside. SB has to be taken outside where he can get the most from his high energy.
Hail No 9 days ago
I guess I'm in your dog house?
Chad mc rory 9 days ago
When does the Secretariat Vox Populi get started and who puts out and tallies ballots?
Ray Sousa 9 days ago
Don't see much wrong with WATCHMAKERS rankings .the only objection I have is with BAYERN .I don't think he is the 2nd best 3yo on the back of his theft of the breeders cup classic.and his speed bias aided Pennsylvania derby win.
Pagani Zonda 9 days ago
Speed bias at the Haskell too.
Meydan Rocks 9 days ago
Speed bias yes… untill he blows everyone out without knocking them out at the start. Just listen to Baffert talk about him. I don't think he's blowing smoke up anyone's you know what on that one.
Hail No 7 days ago
One of our posters pointed out to me a news conference, where BB said that the "ground broke out" from under Bayern, he told Garcia to say it, too, and he did several times. That's a lot of smoke :)
Pagani Zonda 2 days ago
He said it right when the press conference started. He leans over to Martin to get the story straight...
Hail No 9 days ago
Well, his Haskell was also a hard biased track, too (SA east) as well as the PA Derby (SA southeast). I thought his Woody Stephens at 7Furlongs was incredible I thought he'd blow away the Sprint, (with a clean break, haha). He did "steal" the Classic, but it goes' down as a win in the books.I don't agree. but some people are saying he is the best 3yo. I still take Chrome, a shame he didn't have one more prep before the Classic.
Hail No 9 days ago
Well, he had a hard fast "biased" track for his Haskell, too, (SA East), and the PA Derby, (SA Southeast), yes, he did "steal" the Classic, but it goes' down in the books as a win. I loved his WStephens at 7F and really thought he'd blow them away in the Sprint, with a clean break,haha. Some people think Bayern is the top 3yo, I still think it's Chrome, a shame he didn't have one more prep for the Classic.
Robynrokn 9 days ago
Bayern beat the others, straight up. Can't believe the DRF "veterans" never saw a horse break and veer into others without getting DQ'd. It's called racing and racing luck for a reason. CC couldn't catch him twice and if SB is soooo superior he should have been able to overcome a little bounce at the start of a 1 1/4 race.
Ray Sousa 9 days ago
if you cant distinguish between what BAYERN did to steal the race and normal gate accidental bumping. Then you never will understand what racing is . And you contradict yourself because BAYERN has never been able to himself recover from a bad break. And has only won when on the lead. so its safe to say that had some one mugged him at the start like he did he would have run up the track.
Pagani Zonda 9 days ago
Thanks for your contribution to this comment section............
Ann 15 days ago
Why the Heck do you keep putting turf horses into the Older Male category? You don't do it with the Older Female and Female Turf categories, so what is your excuse for this absurd fiction you are promoting? Dirt is the primary surface for US racers and requires no distinguishing name - it is implicit. Turf is a specialty category, like sprinter or 2yo. A horse with no main track races on the year has no business being considered for the Older Male category's year end award.
Ray Sousa 9 days ago
Turf is the primary surface world wide and the best horses run on turf.that is a fact. Whether we like it or not..so if we have a us based horse like WISE DAN or MAIN SEQUENCE who are clearly world class up against a bunch of suspect dirt horses then why cant the better horses get credit..lets face it TOAST OF NEW YORK came with in a head of beating our dirt "SUPERSTARS" and he is a euro 4th stringer who runs best on polytrack.
Matthew Hood 8 days ago
So many problems with your argument. 1.) TONY is hardly a 4th string Euro. He had earned 1.4 million coming into the Classic as a 3 yr old. He just prefers poly so he wasn't running in the big grass races. They just don't offer major stakes races on the poly at Wolverhampton. 2.) There is major controversy on how he obtained that second place finish so you just can't take that at face value. 3.) This is a ranking of North American horses, not European. So your drivel about the best horses in the world run on grass does not even apply. 3.) You're making the argument that Wise Dan and Main Sequence are world class because they run on grass, yet the best dirt horses are trash because they run on dirt? This is just so laughable that it doesn't even deserve a response.
Matthew Hood 8 days ago
OK, obviously that last one should have been the 4th point not 3rd again.
Pagani Zonda 8 days ago
You're comparing your dirt horses to who though?. At least Main Sequence and Wise Dan can be compare to Top Grass runners.
B 9 days ago
I do think it is getting to the point of ridiculous. The last two years we have seen Wise Dan win the older male & turf awards. We are apparently going to see it again this year with Main Sequence and even possibly in the female division with Dayatthespa. This year, we are also most likely going to see a 2 year old grass filly win the 2 year old filly award for the first time. For years there has been confusion over & debating over this issue. If the 2 year old categories are for both dirt & turf horses, why aren't they all? I think it is time to simplify the situation & change the categories to the best 2 year male/female, 3 year old male/female, older male/female, male sprinter/female sprinter without specifying any particular surface. Clean, fair & simple.
Dan Cronin 16 days ago
Not really sure I can argue these , pretty close to what I was thinking. Not sure why all the hate out there.