It's been well-documented how 2011 was not exactly a vintage season for horse racing in the United States. A look at the recently-released World Thoroughbred Rankings, which was topped by European sensation Frankel, certainly confirms that fact. The highest ranked U.S.-based horse on the list was Drosselmeyer, the upset winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic, who came in at No. 14.

The World Thoroughbred Rankings are produced by the World Rankings Supervisory Committee and published by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.

Frankel, who was Europe's champion 2-year-old in 2010, kept his perfect record intact in 2011 with five wins from as many starts. Four of those wins came in Group 1 contests. Frankel's rating of 136 matches Sea the Stars in 2009 as the highest rating ever achieved in the World Thoroughbred Rankings.

Frankel, who is owned by Juddmonte Farms and named after the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, will return to the races in 2012. His forthcoming campaign is one of the most highly-anticipated in decades in Europe.

Right behind Frankel in the ratings was Australian superstar mare Black Caviar with a rating of 132. The remarkable Black Caviar has never been beaten in 16 career starts and may in fact be the fastest sprinter in the world. She is also slated to return to the races in 2012 and may in fact do a bit of globetrotting in order to show those outside of Australia her greatness.

Rounding out the top five horses in the world, according to the World Thoroughbred Rankings, were French-bred Cirrus Des Aiggles, Danedream (Germany), and Canford Cliffs (Ireland).

As for the home team, Acclamation and Tizway were the only other U.S.-based horses in the Top 20. Both received a rating of 123. Acclamation, an Eclipse Award finalist for champion turf horse, earned the rating based on his win in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar.

Tizway earned his 123 rating based off his impressive win in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga.

Caleb's Posse was the highest-rated among U.S.-based 3-year-olds with a rating of 122. An Eclipse Award finalist for champion sprinter, Caleb's Posse merited his ranking based off his win in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

While the 2011 season certainly wasn't one of America's best, the silver lining is nearly all of the top horses of 2011 will be back for 2012 campaigns, which include all three classic winners—Animal Kingdom, Shackleford and Ruler on Ice; as well as likely Horse of the Year Havre de Grace.

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