PAULICK DERBY INDEX: FROM WORST TO…FOURTH

by | 11.17.2010 | 12:46am

It seems that a trend is developing in the run up to the Derby. The last two weeks, we have had a contender appear out of nowhere to take the fourth position and even earn a couple of first place votes. Quality Road's impeccable run to take the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth over some very impressive competition clearly made an impression on our voters.


Of course, this performance should not overshadow the equally strong outing by The Pamplemousse who rose seven places in our poll, moving comfortably into fifth place. It appears there might be a slight dirt vs. synthetic bias creeping in as Quality Road edges out The Pamplemousse and Old Fashioned continues to lead Pioneerof the Nile.


We have been honored with a few additional pollsters this week, adding Los Angeles Newspaper Group's Art Wilson, Dana Byerly of Green But Game, web pioneer Alex Brown and Simon Bray of TVG. We are confident their expertise and passion for the game will be a great addition. Also, we would like to thank ESPN.com, the Lexington Herald-Leader and The Saratogian for picking up the weekly PDI.

Ray's Picks and Analysis


1-Pioneerof the Nile. Nothing has happened to change my belief that this son of the Unbridled stallion Empire Maker has the right profile to win the Kentucky Derby: solid pedigree, experience in high-class 2-year-old races, and a trainer who knows how to get a colt ready for his best on the first Saturday in May.


2-Old Fashioned. Interesting that Unbridled is the grandsire of the top two horses on my list. One of the most important sources of stamina we have in the Thoroughbred gene pool today, Unbridled (by the Mr. Prospector stallion Fappiano) was dismissed by speed figure followers coming into the 1990 Kentucky Derby. I thought his victory that year served as a reminder that the Derby is unique, and that traditional handicapping methods are not well-suited to the race. It's more about horsemanship and getting a peak performance on the right afternoon, something Carl Nafzger did with Unbridled.


3-The Pamplemousse. Naysayers knock him as having a sprinter's pedigree (by Kafwain, a son of sprint champion Cherokee Run, out of a Rubiano mare), but how could you not like the way he strided out down the stretch to pull away from his opponents in the nine-furlong Sham Stakes on Santa Anita's synthetic Pro-Ride track? Appears to have just one way to go, and that's on the front end.


4-Stardom Bound. We'll know more about how last year's 2-year-old filly champion is doing after Saturday's Santa Anita Oaks. I think she's an exceptional filly who will hold her own against colts if given the opportunity. Tapit, was a top-notch racehorse who was undone by the horribly sloppy conditions of the Churchill Downs track when Smarty Jones won the 2004 Derby, and he's turning into a very promising young sire.


5-Quality Road. Lived up to his sensational morning workouts when he trounced his rivals in the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Though it was only a one-turn mile (a configuration, by the way, that used to be considered a good prep in New York for horses like Secretariat and Easy Goer when the Gotham Stakes was run at that distance), Quality Road seemed to settle fine just off the early pace and move to the lead whenever John Velazquez wanted. Son of Elusive Quality (sire of Smarty Jones) will have to prove himself around two turns, and that opportunity probably will arise in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.


6-Friesan Fire. Like several of my other top contenders, this son of A.P. Indy has a pedigree that suggests a mile and a quarter is within his scope. Of course, to quote the great Charlie Whittingham, “I know he can get a mile and a quarter. I just don't know how fast!” The intriguing aspect of Friesan Fire's family is the Australian female side that traces back to the exceptional racemare Bint Marscay and the great sire Sir Tristram. We'll know more about his quality after the March 14 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, where he's already won the LeComte and Risen Star Stakes.


7-Desert Party. The mystery horse from Dubai who's burden got a lot heavier this past week with the announcement from Godolphin that 2-year-old champ and Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman was injured and is off the Derby trail. A good 2-year-old in the U.S. last year, Desert Party has looked good thus far in Dubai but has some history to overcome.


8-Beethoven. If Gulfstream Park's main track was playing to speed last Saturday, then Beethoven got the worst of it in the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes. The son of Sky Mesa came from far back in the one-turn mile to get third, which was a forward moving performance that should be encouraging to his connections.


9-Patena. Aside from the super-hyped allowance winner Dunkirk (not on my top 10), no horse is getting more pre-race attention than this son of Seeking the Gold, who was purchased by IEAH Stables after running second to Friesan Fire in the LeComte Stakes in January and shifted from the barn of Josie Carroll to Rick Dutrow. All systems appear to be a go for the Louisiana Derby after a six-furlong workout at Gulfstream Park last Saturday. The important thing, according to Dutrow, is that Patena “scoped clean” after the work. He had been coughing for about 10 days, the trainer said. “We've been clearing different issues, and it seems to all be coming together,” Dutrow said.


10-Theregoesjojo. Finished well to be second to Quality Road in the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth for trainer Ken McPeek, who was pleased with the effort. Son of Brahms (by Danzig) defeated Quality Road in his previous start Jan. 10 and should be tighter after his most recent race. Not sure where he will surface, but it won't take that much improvement for Jojo to get his first stakes win.













Ray Paulick Fan Vote Alex Brown Paul Moran Bill Reed John Conte Bill Finley
Paulick Report Paulick Report Alex Brown Racing At The Races Billy Reed Says Conte's Picks ESPN, NYT
Pioneerof the Nile Old Fashioned Quality Road Old Fashioned Old Fashioned Old Fashioned Old Fashioned
Old Fashioned The Pamplemousse Dunkirk Stardom Bound Quality Road The Pamplemousse Pioneerof the Nile
The Pamplemousse Quality Road Stardom Bound Pioneerof the Nile Dunkirk Dunkirk Friesan Fire
Stardom Bound Dunkirk Old Fashioned Quality Road Pioneerof the Nile Pioneerof the Nile The Pamplemousse
Quality Road Pioneerof the Nile The Pamplemousse Hello Broadway Friesan Fire Quality Road Stardom Bound
Friesan Fire Friesan Fire Rachel Alexandra The Pamplemousse Hello Broadway Haynesfield Quality Road
Desert Party Stardom Bound Desert Party Friesan Fire Desert Party Friesan Fire Desert Party
Beethoven Desert Party Affirmatif Desert Party Patena Hello Broadway Haynesfield
Patena Patena Haynesfield Evita Argentina Beethoven Chocolate Candy Dunkirk
Theregoesjojo Hello Broadway Pioneerof the Nile Dunkirk Stardom Bound West Side Bernie Siver City













Randy Moss Bill Nack Valerie Grash Gary West Michael Nikolic Dana Byerly Jeremy Plonk
ESPN ESPN Foolish Pleasure FW Star-Telegram Gathering The Wind Green But Game Horseplayer Pro, ESPN
Quality Road Dunkirk Friesan Fire Old Fashioned Old Fashioned Old Fashioned N/A
Old Fashioned The Pamplemousse Old Fashioned Dunkirk Friesan Fire Stardom Bound N/A
Dunkirk Pioneerof the Nile Stardom Bound Quality Road Desert Party Friesan Fire N/A
The Pamplemousse Quality Road Rachel Alexandra Hello Broadway Patena Flying Pegasus N/A
Friesan Fire Friesan Fire Desert Party Friesan Fire Pioneerof the Nile Desert Party N/A
Pioneerof the Nile Old Fashioned Dunkirk Pioneerof the Nile Chocolate Candy Quality Road N/A
Theregoesjojo Giant Oak Chocolate Candy Imperial Council Papa Clem Patena N/A
Desert Party Desert Party Papa Clem Giant Oak Quality Road Theregoesjojo N/A
Beethoven Stardom Bound Hello Broadway Patena Flying Pegasus Imperial Council N/A
Hello Broadway Patena Mr. Hot Stuff Flying Pegasus Dunkirk Nowhere to Hide N/A













Bill Christine John Pricci Vic Zast Jon White Richard Eng Alan Mann Alicia Wincze
Horserace Insider Horserace Insider Horserace Insider HRTV, Santa Anita TV Las Vegas R-J Left At The Gate Lexington H-L
Old Fashioned Old Fashioned Old Fashioned Pioneerof the Nile Patena Pioneerof the Nile Old Fashioned
Desert Party Pioneerof the Nile Pioneerof the Nile Old Fashioned Old Fashioned Friesan Fire Friesan Fire
Pioneerof the Nile Stardom Bound Stardom Bound Stardom Bound Friesan Fire Old Fashioned Pioneerof the Nile
Friesan Fire The Pamplemousse The Pamplemousse Quality Road The Pamplemousse Dunkirk Desert Party
Stardom Bound Quality Road Friesan Fire The Pamplemousse Pioneerof the Nile Papa Clem Stardom Bound
Quality Road Friesan Fire Dunkirk Friesan Fire Quality Road Big Drama The Pamplemousse
Haynesfield Hello Broadway Desert Party Patena Dunkirk Stardom Bound Quality Road
Vineyard Haven Mr. Fantasy Capt. Candyman Can Papa Clem Haynesfield The Pamplemousse Hello Broadway
The Pamplemousse Theregoesjojo Chocolate Candy I Want Revenge Mr. Fantasy Mr. Fantasy Haynesfield
Theregoesjojo Desert Party Quality Road Dunkirk Danger to Society Flying Pegasus Chocolate Candy













Art Wilson Joe Drape Andy Serling Brendan O'Meara Jeff Scott
Jessica Chapel
Lisa Grimm
LA Newspaper Group New York Times NYRA The Saratogian The Saratogian
Railbird
SuperfectaBlog
Haynesfield Old Fashioned Desert Party Friesan Fire Pioneerof the Nile Old Fashioned Pioneerof the Nile
The Pamplemousse Pioneerof the Nile Giant Oak Old Fashioned Friesan Fire Desert Party The Pamplemousse
Old Fashioned Quality Road The Pamplemousse Desert Party Desert Party Friesan Fire Old Fashioned
Pioneerof the Nile The Pamplemousse Imperial Council Quality Road Old Fashioned Pioneerof the Nile Friesan Fire
Dunkirk Theregoesjojo Rachel Alexandra Dunkirk Flat Out Flying Pegasus Stardom Bound
Quality Road Friesan Fire Quality Road Take the Points Dunkirk Regal Ransom Chocolate Candy
Papa Clem Hello Broadway Danger to Society The Pamplemousse General Quarters Papa Clem Patena
Friesan Fire Haynesfield Old Fashioned Pioneerof the Nile Quality Road Dunkirk Quality Road
Desert Party Sumo Dunkirk Nowhere to Hide The Pamplemousse Capt. Candyman Can Hello Broadway
I Want Revenge Dunkirk Hello Broadway Imperial Council Mr. Hot Stuff The Pamplemousse Capt. Candyman Can













Patrick Patten
Peter Denk
Nick Kling
Simon Bray
Todd Schrupp
Tbred Bloggers Alliance
Thoroughbred Times
The Troy Record
TVG
TVG
Friesan Fire Old Fashioned Old Fashioned Old Fashioned Old Fashioned
General Quarters Dunkirk Patena Pioneerof the Nile Stardom Bound
Chocolate Candy Quality Road Dunkirk The Pamplemousse Desert Party
Pioneerof the Nile Desert Party Imperial Council Friesan Fire The Pamplemousse
The Pamplemousse Pioneerof the Nile Friesan Fire Dunkirk Quality Road
Hello Broadway Stardom Bound Hello Broadway I Want Revenge Friesan Fire
Patena Patena Flying Pegasus Hello Broadway Dunkirk
Old Fashioned Friesan Fire Giant Oak Chocolate Candy Affirmatif
Quality Road The Pamplemousse West Side Bernie Quality Road Pioneerof the Nile
Flying Pegasus Mr. Fantasy Beethoven Desert Party I Want Revenge

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