Bricks and Mortar ranked #1 in NTRA’s Final Top Thoroughbred Poll of 2019

Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Bricks and Mortar — who was unbeaten in all six of his starts this year — kept his No. 1 spot in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Top Thoroughbred Poll, which was released Monday.

Bricks and Mortar received 42 of the 44 first-place votes cast in the poll, in which the 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway has been ranked first since April 8.

The poll strengthens Bricks and Mortar’s prospects as the front-runner for the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year.

Shortly after Bricks and Mortar won the biggest race of his career, co-owner William Lawrence said, “… I think, winning today, showing the heart that he showed, he’s certainly our Horse of the Year, and hopefully he’ll be the voters’.”

Mitole moved up two slots to second in the NTRA poll following his 1 1/4-length win over Shancelot in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Mitole, a 4-year-old colt by Eskendereya, had six wins in seven starts in 2019. His only loss came to Imperial Hint in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga, in which he finished an uncharacteristic third for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Mitole’s co-owner, William Heiligbrodt, noted that “everybody likes honors,” but said winning the race was the important thing.

“All I can say he’s done everything he’s been asked to do. And it’s been a really, really tough campaign,” he said shortly after Mitole’s Breeders’ Cup win.

The NTRA poll also includes:

— Vino Rosso, who moved up six spots to No. 3 following his win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic for trainer Todd Pletcher, who called it the strongest performance he’d seen by any horse this year.

— Midnight Bisou, ranked No. 4 following her runner-up finish to Blue Prize in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The 4-year-old filly had a seven-race win streak going into the Distaff.

— Tied for fifth in the poll are Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up McKinzie and Sistercharlie, whose three-race win streak was broken with her third-place finish to Iridessa and Vasilika in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

— Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Uni, a 5-year-old mare who is ranked seventh following three wins in four starts this year.

— Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Covfefe, who is ranked eighth. The 3-year-old filly has five wins in six races in 2019.

— Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Blue Prize, who is ranked ninth following her third consecutive victory.

— Maximum Security, who is the only horse in the top 10 not to have raced in last weekend’s Breeders’ Cup. The 3-year-old colt’s biggest victories were the Grade 1 Haskell and Florida Derby, with his most controversial race being the Kentucky Derby in which he was disqualified to 17th for interference after crossing the finish line first.