Two very accomplished Pennsylvania-breds are the clear choices of voters in the latest Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll.

In the poll, released August 8, Grade 1 winners Caravel (older horses) and Angel of Empire (3-year-olds) were the unanimous choice of voters in their respective divisions, though both met defeat in their most recent starts.

Caravel finished a disappointing fourth as the 1-2 favorite in the Grade 3 Troy against the boys in her most recent start August 5 at Saratoga. Meanwhile, Angel of Empire was third last time out in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, also at Saratoga, on July 29. But in both cases, their overall resumes place them at the top of their classes.

Caravel is 3-for-4 on the season with earnings of more than $580,000. Her ledger includes a win against the boys in the Grade 1 Jaipur. Angel of Empire is 2-for-6 this year with more than $1.4 million in earnings; his top win came in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.

Also notable is the large number of horses on the two lists who were not among the top runners in the most recent poll June 9. Five of the 11 (there was a tie for fifth among older horses) were not among the top runners last time, with three of those among the horses receiving votes last time and two having received none.

The two that jumped into the poll were Roses for Debra among older horses and three-year-old Super Accelerate. The former made her first stakes start of the campaign a winning one when she scored in the Grade 3 Caress at Saratoga July 22, her third consecutive win. The latter likewise registered his third consecutive win when he scored in Laurel Park’s Star de Naskra July 29.


Voting conducted through August 4

Caravel won the 2022 Grade 3 Intercontinental Stakes at Belmont Park. Photo Susie Raisher.
  1. Caravel (PA), 6M by Mizzen Mast-Zeezee Zoomzoom, by Congrats; bred by Elizabeth Merryman and trained by Brad Cox for Qatar Racing, Marc Detampel and Madaket Stables LLC. 2023 highlights: Won G1 Jaipur, G2 Shakertown. Last: 2
  2. Repo Rocks (VA), 5G by Tapiture-Hawaiian Love, by Not for Love; bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin III and trained by Jamie Ness for Double B Racing Stables. 2023 highlights: Won G3 Westchester, G3 Toboggan, Stymie S., 2nd G1 Carter H. Last: 1
  3. Nimitz Class (PA), 4C by Munnings-Five Diamonds, by Flatter; bred by Arrowwod Farm and trained by Bruce Kravets for Tom Coulter. 2023 highlights: Won John B. Campbell S., Harrison Johnson Memorial S., 2nd G3 Salvator Mile. Last: 3
  4. Award Wanted (MD), 6M by Macho Uno-Touring Hong Kong, by Cherokee’s Boy; bred by Dr. Alexandro Rubim Dias and trained by John Robb for No Guts No Glory Farm. 2023 highlights: Won Obeah S., Geisha S. Last: Receiving votes
  5. Twisted Ride (PA), 4G by Great Notion-Diva’s Gold, by Tenpins; bred by Kasey K Racing Stable and trained by Michael Moore for Kasey K Racing Stable LLC, Michael R. Day, and Final Turn Racing Stable LLC. 2023 highlights: Won Fishtown S., Page McKenney S., 2nd G3 Runhappy S. Last: 4
  6. (tie for 5th) Roses for Debra (PA), 4F by Liam’s Map-Essential Rose, by Bernardini; bred by Blackstone Farm LLC and trained by Christophe Clement for John O’Meara. 2023 highlights: Won G3 Caress S. Last: NA
  7. Also receiving votes: Swayin to and Fro, Morning Matcha, Eastern Bay


Voting conducted through August 4

  1. Angel of Empire (PA), 3C by Classic Empire-Armony’s Angel, by To Honor and Serve; bred by Forgotten Land Investment Inc & Black Diamond Equine Corp and trained by Brad Cox for Albaugh Family Stables LLC. 2023 highlights: Won G1 Arkansas Derby, G2 Risen Star S., 3rd G1 Kentucky Derby, 3rd G2 Jim Dandy. Last: 1
  2. Little Roo Roo (WV), 3G by Limehouse-Pepper Bay, by Bop; bred by Sherwood Bryant and trained by Michael Jones, Jr. for Michael Jones, Jr.. 2023 highlights: Won Coin Collector S., It’s Only Money S., Robert G. Leavitt S. Last: Receiving votes
  3. Tappin Josie (PA), 3F by Anchor Down-Homemaker, by Afternoon Deelites; bred by Charles Blanford and trained by Horacio De Paz for Darryl Abramowitz. 2023 highlights: Won Society Hill S. Last: 2
  4. Super Accelerate (MD), 3C by Accelerate-Bawlmer Hon, by Silver Train; bred by Bowman and Higgins Stable and trained by Robin Graham for Steven Walfish. 2023 highlights: Won Star de Naskra S. Last: NA
  5. Great Spirit (WV), 3F by Great Notion-Happy Numbers, by Polish Numbers; bred by Jill Daniel and trained by Crystal Pickett for Jill Daniel. 2023 highlights: Won Fancy Buckles S., Sylvia Bishop Memorial S. Last: Receiving votes
  6. Also receiving votes: Ninetyprcentmaddie, Riding Pretty, Precious Avary, Chase the Chaos, Bosserati, Coffeewithchris, Gigante

Notes Saratoga giveth, and Saratoga taketh away: our two division leaders both were beaten in their most recent starts at the Spa, while Roses for Debra parlayed a win in the Caress into a spot on the older horse list… Three-time WV-bred stakes winner Little Roo Roo and Great Spirit, who stretched out for her first win around two turns in the Sylvia Bishop Memorial, both joined the top five 3yo for the first time… Voters were clear in the older horse on the top three, but after that, there wasn’t much to pick among the runners, only nine of whom received a vote… Twelve different 3yo received at least one vote… The two lists include six Pennsylvania-breds among the top 11 (including the tie for fifth among older horses), along with two Maryland-breds, two West Virginia-breds, and a Virginia-bred… Six of the 11 are males, and five are females…


The monthly Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred is the only publication devoted to Thoroughbred breeding and racing in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Racing Biz, an online publication, is the independent voice for mid-Atlantic racing and breeding.

The poll is conducted of media members and others involved in the Thoroughbred industry and restricted to horses that have run in 2023 and were bred in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Carolinas.

Participating Voters: Ted Black (freelance writer), Michael Campbell (Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey), Joe Clancy (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Cindy Deubler (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Linda Dougherty (freelance), Debbie Easter (Virginia Thoroughbred Association), Paul Espinosa (Charles Town Races), Rich Glazier (Delaware Park), Cricket Goodall (Maryland Horse Breeders Association), Jim Hague (freelance), Nick Hahn (freelance), Carol Holden (West Virginia Breeders Classics), Tom LaMarra (Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Jeff Nations (freelance), Vinnie Perrone (freelance), Frank Petramalo (Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association), John Piassek (freelance), Gary Quill (The Racing Biz), David Richardson (Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Brian Sanfratello (Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association), Chris Sobocinski (Delaware Park), Dan Tordjman (freelance), Frank Vespe (The Racing Biz), Bill Watson (freelance), Lydia Williams (freelance), Bobby Zen (freelance).


Original source credited to

Cover Photo Credit to Susie Raisher

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