Tag Archives: The Pamplemousse

FRUIT vs NILE

The Pamplemousse faces Pioneerof The Nile for Santa Anita Derby Dominance on Saturday.  Go Fruit!

The Pamplemousse faces Pioneerof The Nile for Santa Anita Derby Dominance on Saturday. Go Fruit!

 

Santa Anita will host the most anticipated matchup of the spring on Saturday, when The Pamplemousse meets Pioneerof The Nile in the Santa Anita Derby.  Will the front-running Fruit be able to carry his speed all the way to the finish?  Will PNile close in time to hit the wire first?  Or will Chocolate Candy surprise them all?

The Fruit may just be the freak of this year’s 3yo crop.  Sure, Quality Road has put up some big Beyers in the FOY and FL Derby, but he just doesn’t have the style of The Pamplemousse.  Big, grey, cute face marking, high white socks, carousel-horse-high knee action, funny name, and undefeated.  He likes to be on the lead, but he has been known to rate, somewhat.  Sure, he has pedigree questions, but as of today he has already outrun his sire, Kafwain, by winning at 9f, in a stakes, no less.  But there’s just something about him- he may not win the Kentucky Derby, but he’s got the Santa Anita Derby for the taking. 

Pioneerof The Nile looks to slice the Fruit at the Santa Anita Derby.

Pioneerof The Nile looks to slice the Fruit at the Santa Anita Derby.

PNile is a very good colt right now, getting better with each start and trained by a guy who knows how to win the Derby: Bob Baffert.  The son of Empire Maker has stuck out some close finishes in his career, but he has never faced a horse like The Fruit.  It will take every bit of his class and drive to pass The Fruit in the stretch.

Chocolate Candy, and to a lesser extent, Mr. Hot Stuff (seriously, who named this horse? his brother is Colonel John; this name sounds like a Chippendales’ dancer) are the upsetters-in-waiting.  Chocolate Candy has been plugging along in stakes at Golden Gate Fields, winning the El Camino Real and California Derby.  He’s by Candy Ride out of a Slew mare, so distance is not an issue.  His times and figures, while certainly quick, haven’t been as scintillating as The Fruit’s or PNile’s.  Mr. Hot Stuff was 3rd in the Sham behind The Fruit, but fans of the colt hope he gets better as the distances stretch, like his big bro.

At Aqueduct, the action moves out the the main track for the Wood Memorial.  I Want Revenge wants to turn in another devastating victory against Imperial Council.  I think Imperial Council will get the better of Revenge this time.  Revenge’s victory last out was his first run on traditional dirt, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he bounces.

April 4 is Part 1 of the Final Derby Preps.  The major contenders must keep it together the next 2 saturdays to solidify their places in the gate May 2.  Next weekend will be the Bluegrass Stakes and the Arkansas Derby — wow, time flies!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Aqueduct, Derby Prepes, Graded Stakes, Kentucky Derby, Santa Anita

The Infield Derby Top 10

The Pamplemousse is on the loose in the Sham Stakes. Photo from LATimes.

The Pamplemousse is on the loose in the Sham Stakes. Photo from LATimes.

1. Old Fashioned (1)

2. Pioneerof The Nile (2)

3. Friesan Fire (3)

4. The Pamplemousse (6)

5. Haynesfield (4)

6. Quality Road (new)

7. Chocolate Candy (7)

8. Dunkirk (new)

9. Capt. Candyman Can (5)

10. Imperial Council (10)

Off The List: Poltergeist, Hello Broadway

Not much change at the top, but two newcomers to the list in Quality Road and Dunkirk.  QR was touted early but quickly dropped off of most lists after a terrible run in a 6f allowance.  He totally made up for that effort in the Fountain of Youth last weekend.  Dunkirk could be Pletcher’s Derby winner after a startling performance in an allowance that set tongues wagging about the “’09 Big Brown”.  We’ll just have to see if the train-up to the FL Derby works and if this lightly-raced son of Unbridled’s Song can be ready in time for the Big Derby. 

The Big Fruit got the Big Win in the Sham on Saturday.  He set the pace and drew off by daylight once again.  I can’t wait ’till he and PNiles meet up; a classy frontrunner vs a tough closer equals awesomeness.

Leave a comment

Filed under Derby Prepes, Kentucky Derby, lists

INFIELD DERBY LIST 2.0!

1. Old Fashioned (1)

2. Pioneerof The Nile (8)

3. Friesan Fire (new!)

4. Haynesfield (new!)

5. Capt. Candyman Can (new!)

6. The Pamplemousse (new!)

7. Chocolate Candy (new!)

8. Poltergeist (new!)

9. Hello Broadway (new!)

10. Imperial Council (7)

Off The List: Square Eddie (injury), Midshipman & Vineyard Haven (Dubai, could resurface), Beethoven, Breakwater Edison, Well Positioned, Charitable Man (injury)

Lots of changes since the first list Jan. 1.  Old Fashioned remains at the top until he runs next Monday.  Pioneerof The Nile moves up a bunch off of his impressive Bob Lewis effort, and would be #1 if he was a known dirt commodity.  The rest of the list is made up of newcomers.  Friesan Fire has been the strongest 3yo in the South so far, taking the 2 stakes at Fairgrounds and learning how to settle.  Haynesfield is tearing it up at Aqueduct, but distance questions surround him with that sprinter sire.  Capt. Candyman Can looked great winning the Hutcheson.  The Pamplemousse is probably #2 in California, with Chocolate Candy close behind.  Poltergeist is an intriguing allowance winner at Oaklawn looking to prove himself in stakes company.  Hello Broadway is always in the race.  Imperial COuncil is working well and needs to make a start pretty soon; his potential is what is keeping him on the list.

All of the unfortunate list-droppers could make it back in the top 10 with a good effort.  Vineyard Haven makes his 3yo debut in Dubai on Thursday, and if he is still as dominant as he was last year then he’ll be back on the list next week.  Square Eddie is out with sore shins but can rejoin the list if he recovers quickly.  At least four 3yo stakes this weekend means there could be more movementon the list.  Also, ROAD TO THE ROSES is OPEN for ENTRIES!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Churchill Downs, Derby Prepes, Handicapping, Kentucky Derby, lists

THE PAMPLEMOUSSE

WINS the SAN RAFAEL at Santa Anita! 

The Pamplemousse wins the San Rafael wire-to-wire/image from bloodhorse.com

The Pamplemousse wins the San Rafael wire-to-wire/image from bloodhorse.com

Gotta love a horse named after a restaurant named after the French word for grapefruit.  Heh, I just bought a bunch of red grapefruit snack cups; it musta been an omen!

Seriously, though, TheBigFruit got away with the race from the beginning, setting easy fractions on the lead.  He showed his class by putting the squeeze on Square Eddie in the final turn.  Ryehill Dreamer made a move, too, but just couldn’t catch the top two.  The Big Fruit juiced Square Eddie by 3.

Square E needed the race, but he seems to be afflicted with 2nditis.  The Big Fruit is now 2-for-2  in his career, but much bigger challenges await him on the Derby trail. 

In terms of the Derby picture, it’s early, but the way this race played out, it probably won’t make any difference except to fill up posts 15-20.  The Pro-ride surface is a question mark, and there is no way The Big Fruit gets an easy lead like that again. 

IN OTHER RACES: 

CHOCOLATE CANDY won the California Derby today at Golden Gate Fields.  I like this one and hope he continues to progress.  He could be a Derby sleeper but he hasn’t tried dirt yet.

 SILVER CITY won the Dixieland Stakes at Oaklawn on Opening Day.

The next big 3yo preps are the Holy Bull and Hutcheson Stakes on Jan 30-31.

1 Comment

Filed under Derby Prepes, Kentucky Derby, Santa Anita