New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome maintains his large lead in the NTRA Poll of 3-year-olds heading into Saturday's 139th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.
The colt, trained by Art Sherman, again received all but one first-place vote just days before the running of the second jewel of racing's Triple Crown. California Chrome, owned by Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, garnered 47 top votes and 479 points.
"When you've got a horse that can run like he has and has the record that he has now, you know, he's just a professional," Sherman said in a recent conference call. "He doesn't do anything wrong and he trains good. He has no bad habits, and he's a pleasure to ride."
The lone first-place vote not going to the Kentucky Derby winner went to Untapable winner of the Kentucky Oaks. The filly posted 382 points to move up a spot into second over Danza.
Danza, third in the Run for the Roses, has 369 points followed by Wicked Strong (308), Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve (267), Samraat (211), Hoppertunity (130), Peter Pan Stakes winner Tonalist (101), Ride On Curlin (75) and Dance With Fate (72).
The NTRA National Poll offered no changes in the top 10.
Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan received 36 first-place votes and 462 points. He's followed by Palace Malice, winner of last week's Westchester Handicap at Belmont Park. The 4-year-old colt picked up five top votes and 403 points.
"He's 3-for-3, so far, this year," said trainer Todd Pletcher about Palace Malice. "He doesn't seem to have any distance limitations, short or long, to win twice at a mile, once at a mile and an eighth, Belmont (Stakes) on the resume. We're really excited about where he is, how he is doing, and hopefully (there is) more to come."
Palace Malice will start in the Met Mile on Belmont Stakes Day, June 7.
Game On Dude is third with one top vote and 329 points followed by California Chrome (5, 256) Lea (1, 245), Beholder (175), Mucho Macho Man (146), Will Take Charge (144), Close Hatches (112) and Untapable (108).