Wise Dan (center) and Game On Dude (right) rank in the top five of the IFHA World Thoroughbred Rankings, which is topped by star Australian sprinter Black Caviar (left).
The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) rankings of the world’s best racehorses has always been of particular interest to me, not only because I’ve always held a special interest for international racing but also because I like to see how the American horses stack up to the competition.
The IFHA basically takes input from racing officials and handicappers from five continents to come up with a rating for each horse for a specific period of time based upon their performances during this timeframe.
(NOTE: see bottom for much more detailed explanation
of rankings from the IFHA.)
This week, Equibase launched a new IFHA World Thoroughbred Rankings page on its website featuring the rankings, age, sex and connections. The page also includes links to the Equibase bios, the America’s Best Racing bios of American-based or –raced horses, 5-cross pedigrees from Equineline, and detailed race records.
Through the years, I’ve frequently been of the opinion that U.S.-based horses were undervalued in the IFHA ratings. Given my proximity to U.S. racing as well as the typical “we’re underappreciated” homer attitude most fans (remember, short for fanatics) display regarding their favorite team or home country, perhaps my perspective was slightly slanted.
In the most recent ratings (based on racing from Dec. 1, 2012 through Aug. 4, 2013), however, U.S.-based horses are very well represented with four ranked in the top six and nine horses ranked in the top 25.
This speaks to the depth and quality of Thoroughbreds in the U.S.
Wise Dan tops the U.S. contingent in the rankings. He sits in second with a 129 rating that is just a point behind brilliant, unbeaten Australian star sprinter Black Caviar. Multiple Grade 1 winner Game On Dude checks in tied for fourth with a rating of 126 that is equal to budding English-based star 3–year-old Toronado.
BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC WINNER WISE DAN
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
Of the nine horses based in the U.S. ranked in the top 25, Animal Kingdom has been retired and turf standout Point of Entry is sidelined with an injury. But with Wise Dan, Game On Dude, Fort Larned (tied, 6th) and Obviously (tied, 18th) as well as Royal Delta, Orb and Verrazano (all tied at 25th) all gearing up for big second halves to the season, the path to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships should be very entertaining. Let’s hope some of the best European horses also make the trek to Santa Anita come November.
The LONGINES World's Best Racehorse Rankings is horseracing's equivalent to World Rankings by other major sporting organizations such as ATP Tennis Rankings, World Golf Rankings, FIFA World Rankings for soccer and IRB Rugby World Rankings. The LONGINES Rankings are based on the ratings earned by horses running worldwide from North and South America, Europe, Middle East, South Africa, Asia through to Australia and New Zealand. The ratings are compiled under the auspices of The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) by racing officials & handicappers representing the five continents who compile the ranking order by agreeing on the rating for each horse. The ratings are based on the performance of horses in elite races held during the designated period which takes in account the quality of opposition and achievements of each horse. Throughout the year the Longines Rankings are published at regular intervals and the consolidated annual rankings are released in January. The annual rankings denote the champions in the various distance categories for example sprint or mile, surface either turf or dirt/artificial and also the fillies & mares category.