Is hell freezing over?
In the latest NYRA Top Thoroughbred Poll, Accelerate, fresh off his victory in the Pacific Classic, passed Justify as the No. 1 horse in America.
Accelerate received 337 points, including six first-place votes. Justify received more first-place votes (31), but some poll respondents – Bob Ehalt, Evan Hammonds, Gary West, Jill Byrne, Joe Kristufek and Dan Tordjman -have left Justify off their ballot entirely since he retired. He has 319 total points.
Diversify ranked third with 269 points, including one first-place vote.
Accelerate has won three Grade I races, but none of them have the prestige as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Justify has won four Grade I races and is undefeated in six starts; Accelerate has lost once this year in five starts, finishing second in the G2 Oaklawn Handicap. And Justify won the TRIPLE CROWN. Every Triple Crown winner except for Omaha has won Horse of the Year.
If Accelerate wins the Breeders’ Cup Classic, he may have an argument. But right now Justify is well deserving of Horse of the Year. No horse has ever done what he did in so little time. He is a monster horse.