Last weekend was the final opportunity for Derby hopefuls to make their case. As a result, this week's Paulick Derby Index by AmWest Entertainment had two new entries with Square Eddie in a tie for 15th and Advice all alone in the 18th spot. The only other newbie on our list was a vote for Arkansas Derby 3rd place finisher Summer Bird.
Also significant was the tightening between the first and second place contenders I Want Revenge and Quality Road. This narrowing margin is due to Quality Road's quarter crack not being as concerning as once believed.
Ray Paulick's Analysis
1-Pioneerof the Nile. This was written before his first serious workout on the Churchill Downs surface, but I'm sticking with the Empire Maker colt unless and until he shows a complete disdain for dirt in his training up to the Kentucky Derby. Keeping Garrett Gomez in the saddle is a confidence booster because agent Ron Anderson is as sharp as they come.
2-I Want Revenge. Biggest question about Stephen Got Even colt's two New York wins was who he beat. Not sure there was much quality behind him, but he was right there with Pioneerof the Nile in California and showed he likes the dirt. Versatile running style really a plus and jockey Joe Talamo is wise beyond his years.
3- Quality Road. Mystery horse as far as I'm concerned, because of the quarter crack. But based on that last New York workout and the fact the son of Elusive Quality apparently came out of it in good shape I've moved him up a notch over Dunkirk. Will he get the distance?
4-Dunkirk. Could there be a better backup rider to Garrett Gomez than Edgar Prado? No loss there in riding talent. Choice by Gomez and agent Anderson was a tough one, considering they were dealing with two high-powered trainers in Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher and two of the most prominent owners in the game in Ahmed Zayat and the Coolmore operation. Call me old school, but I think the lack of racing experience will go against both Quality Road and Dunkirk.
5-Friesan Fire. Larry Jones seems to have had a pretty well-defined plan for son of A.P. Indy and he's sticking to it. Another one racing against history with his lengthy gap between races. Working solidly at Keeneland before shipping to Churchill Downs for final preparations.
6-Musket Man. Tampa Bay and Illinois Derby winner got vote of confidence from jockey Eibar Coa, but he'll be facing a completely different caliber of horse when the Churchill Downs starting gates open.
7-Papa Clem. Smart Strike seems to keep siring one top runner after another, and Papa Clem is moving in the right direction as the first Saturday in May approaches. Gary Stute may be a Kentucky Derby rookie, but he's no greenhorn, having gotten some big race experience when father Mel had Preakness winner Snow Chief and other top runners during a stellar training career.
8-Chocolate Candy. Interesting that a Santa Anita publicity staff survey of West Coast horsemen found a lot of support for this Candy Ride colt trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. Will have a lot of horses to come around at the top of the stretch when he makes his late run.
9-Advice. So what if his Coolmore Lexington win was on a Polytrack surface that has produced so many unpredictable results? He's an improving colt in good hands who closed like gangbusters to beat a Polytrack-loving Square Eddie.
10-Desert Party. How he trains over the next 10 days will have a lot to say about his chances. It's a very difficult transition to make, coming from Dubai to Kentucky, and will take a top horse to handle it. I just don't think he'll be up to the challenge.
||Fan Vote||Alex Brown||Paul Moran||Billy Reed||John Conte||Bill Finley|
|Paulick Report||Paulick Report||Alex Brown Racing||At The Races||Billy Reed Says||Conte's Picks
|Pioneerof the Nile||I Want Revenge||Quality Road||Quality Road||Pioneerof the Nile||I Want Revenge||I Want Revenge|
|I Want Revenge||Quality Road||I Want Revenge||I Want Revenge||I Want Revenge||Pioneerof the Nile||Friesan Fire|
|Quality Road||Friesan Fire||Desert Party||Pioneerof the Nile||Quality Road||West Side Bernie||Quality Road|
|Dunkirk||Pioneerof the Nile||Musket Man||Rachel Alexandra||Chocolate Candy||Papa Clem||Pioneerof the Nile|
|Friesan Fire||Dunkirk||Friesan Fire||Regal Ransom||Dunkirk||Friesan Fire||Papa Clem|
|Musket Man||Chocolate Candy||Dunkirk||Desert Party||Friesan Fire||Quality Road||General Quarters|
|Papa Clem||General Quarters||Regal Ransom||Chocolate Candy||General Quarters||Regal Ransom||Regal Ransom|
|Chocolate Candy||Papa Clem||Papa Clem||Friesan Fire||Musket Man||Dunkirk||Dunkirk|
|Advice||Desert Party||General Quarters||Papa Clem||Papa Clem||Chocolate Candy||Desert Party|
|Desert Party||Musket Man||Square Eddie||Musket Man||Desert Party||Chocolate Candy|
|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|
|I Want Revenge||I Want Revenge||Friesan Fire||Quality Road||Friesan Fire||Friesan Fire||Pioneerof the Nile|
|Quality Road||Quality Road||Papa Clem||I Want Revenge||Quality Road||Quality Road||Quality Road|
|Dunkirk||Friesan Fire||I Want Revenge||Dunkirk||Pioneerof the Nile||I Want Revenge||Dunkirk|
|Friesan Fire||Pioneerof the Nile||Musket Man||Friesan Fire||Papa Clem||Desert Party||I Want Revenge|
|Desert Party||Dunkirk||Quality Road||Pioneerof the Nile||I Want Revenge||Papa Clem||Friesan Fire|
|Pioneerof the Nile||Chocolate Candy||Dunkirk||Desert Party||Chocolate Candy||Dunkirk||Mr. Hot Stuff|
|Papa Clem||Papa Clem||Mr. Hot Stuff||Chocolate Candy||West Side Bernie||Regal Ransom||Desert Party|
|Musket Man||Musket Man||Chocolate Candy||Musket Man||Musket Man||Musket Man||Papa Clem|
|Chocolate Candy||Desert Party||Regal Ransom||Papa Clem||Desert Party||General Quarters||Chocolate Candy|
|General Quarters||General Quarters||Summer Bird||West Side Bernie||Dunkirk||Chocolate Candy||Hold Me Back|
|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|
|I Want Revenge||Quality Road||Friesan Fire||Pioneerof the Nile||Friesan Fire||Dunkirk||Friesan Fire|
|Quality Road||Pioneerof the Nile||Pioneerof the Nile||I Want Revenge||Pioneerof the Nile||I Want Revenge||Pioneerof the Nile|
|Pioneerof the Nile||I Want Revenge||I Want Revenge||Quality Road||Quality Road||Pioneerof the Nile||I Want Revenge|
|Friesan Fire||Dunkirk||Quality Road||Papa Clem||I Want Revenge||Papa Clem||Quality Road|
|Desert Party||Musket Man||Dunkirk||Chocolate Candy||Dunkirk||Quality Road||Chocolate Candy|
|Dunkirk||Papa Clem||Regal Ransom||Friesan Fire||Papa Clem||General Quarters||Dunkirk|
|Regal Ransom||West Side Bernie||Chocolate Candy||Musket Man||Chocolate Candy||Chocolate Candy||Desert Party|
|Chocolate Candy||Friesan Fire||Desert Party||Desert Party||Hold Me Back||Friesan Fire||Papa Clem|
|Papa Clem||Chocolate Candy||Papa Clem||General Quarters||General Quarters||Win Willy||Musket Man|
|Musket Man||Desert Party||Hold Me Back||Dunkirk||Win Willy||Musket Man||Regal Ransom|
|Art Wilson||Joe Drape||Andy Serling||Jessica Chapel||Brendan O'Meara||Jeff Scott||Lisa Grimm|
|Los Angeles Newspapers||New York Times||NYRA||Railbird||The Saratogian||The Saratogian||SuperfectaBlog|
|I Want Revenge||Musket Man||Dunkirk||Pioneerof the Nile||Friesan Fire||I Want Revenge||I Want Revenge|
|Pioneerof the Nile||Papa Clem||Quality Road||Quality Road||I Want Revenge||Friesan Fire||Friesan Fire|
|Friesan Fire||Friesan Fire||Desert Party||Desert Party||Pioneerof the Nile||Pioneerof the Nile||Chocolate Candy|
|Quality Road||Quality Road||I Want Revenge||I Want Revenge||Quality Road||Desert Party||General Quarters|
|Chocolate Candy||Pioneerof the Nile||Friesan Fire||Friesan Fire||Dunkirk||Quality Road||Papa Clem|
|Papa Clem||Dunkirk||West Side Bernie||Papa Clem||Papa Clem||Papa Clem||Quality Road|
|Dunkirk||General Quarters||Musket Man||Dunkirk||Desert Party||General Quarters||Pioneerof the Nile|
|Musket Man||Desert Party||General Quarters||General Quarters||Chocolate Candy||Mr. Hot Stuff||Regal Ransom|
|Hold Me Back||I Want Revenge||Papa Clem||Regal Ransom||Musket Man||Chocolate Candy||Musket Man|
|Square Eddie||Square Eddie||Regal Ransom||Musket Man||Rachel Alexandra||Hold Me Back||Hold Me Back|
|Patrick Patten||Peter Denk||Nick Kling||Simon Bray||Todd Schrupp|
|Tbred Bloggers Alliance||Thoroughbred Times||The Troy Record||TVG||TVG|
|Friesan Fire||Quality Road||Quality Road||I Want Revenge||Quality Road|
|Pioneerof the Nile||I Want Revenge||Dunkirk||Quality Road||Desert Party|
|Quality Road||Dunkirk||I Want Revenge||Pioneerof the Nile||I Want Revenge|
|I Want Revenge||Pioneerof the Nile||Friesan Fire||Friesan Fire||General Quarters|
|General Quarters||Friesan Fire||Pioneerof the Nile||Chocolate Candy||Dunkirk|
|Papa Clem||Hold Me Back||Desert Party||Papa Clem||Friesan Fire|
|Chocolate Candy||Musket Man||Regal Ransom||Desert Party||Musket Man|
|Square Eddie||General Quarters||Papa Clem||Dunkirk||Hold Me Back|
|Musket Man||Square Eddie||Chocolate Candy||Musket Man||Pioneerof the Nile|
|Dunkirk||Papa Clem||Musket Man||General Quarters||Win Willy|
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.