Houdini Escapes With Top Poll Spot

Rainbow winner jumps up in poll.

Q-Racing Journal

Houdini topped this week's racing poll.

Pollsters made a startling move in this week’s AQHA Racing-Horseplayernow.com National Poll when Houdini literally appeared from nowhere into the No. 1 spot among the older horses. A 6-1 upset winner in Saturday's $1,048,682 Rainbow Derby (G1), Houdini went from a single 10th-place vote a week ago to a near-unanimous No. 1 ranking this week. Among those in his wake at Ruidoso Downs was the poll’s former top-ranked runner, Rock You, who slid three spots to No. 4 this week after a disappointing seventh-place finish in the same race. This Dude Can Fly, who this week is ranked at No. 10, was eighth in the race.

Houdini’s limited season has included three starts to date, including his trial win over champion 2-year-old filly Kates Dynasty, and the finals victory in the Rainbow Derby. He opened his season as runner-up in the Jack Brooks (RG3) at Remington Park in late May. He was well-known after his freshman season, though, as he was second in the Remington Park Oklahoma-Bred Futurity (R) and Texas Classic Futurity (G1), third in the Southwest Juvenile Championship (G1) and a finalist in the All American Futurity (G1).

The turbulence of the poll for 3-year-olds and older wasn't quite as obvious in the 2-year-old poll, where multiple graded finals winner Kiss My Hocks maintained the nation’s No. 1 ranking despite a surprising neck loss in Sunday’s $900,000 Rainbow Futurity (G1). Despite a bumpy beginning, the colt rallied strongly to finish second as the overwhelming favorite. Trendi, the surprise wire-to-wire winner at 44-1 odds, rose all the way to No. 3 among the juvenile rankings.

NATIONAL RANKINGS, 2-YEAR-OLDS

1.         KISS MY HOCKS (106)
2.         HEZA DASHA FIRE (96)
3.         TRENDI (92)
4.         LOVETHEWAYYOULIE (78)
5.         PAINT ME PERRY (47)
6.         OLD GIRL (44)
7.         IM A FANCY PYC (41)
8.         GAME (28)
9.         BV TRAVELIN SOLDIER (19)
10.       BOI GEORGE (17)
 
JM Miracle (11), Gotta Run Miss (6), Eagle On The Fly (6), PYB Place Your Bet (4), Hezadashinbye (4), Count De Monet (3), Oneapolliticalflight (2), Hemps Jumpn Lajolla (1)
 
NATIONAL RANKINGS, 3-YEAR-OLDS & OLDER
 
1.         HOUDINI (100)
2.         BON ACCORD (84)
3.         NELLIE DELANEY (78)
4.         ROCK YOU (77)
5.         FAR NIENTE (56)
6.         VIVA MI CORAZON (55)
7.         LLANO CARTEL (51)
8.         TF FEATURED EFFORT (25)
9.         ONE VALIANT HERO (21)
10.       THIS DUDE CAN FLY (15)
 
Her O Don Won (14), Dash Master Jess (7), Feature Mr Who (6), All Out Arrogant (5), Jody Pops Zoomer (4), Hes Relentless (3), Separatist Firstdown (2)

The 11 voters are:

Ed Burgart (Los Alamitos announcer/handicapper)
Martha Claussen (Q-Racing Ace, writer/handicapper)
Mike Cusortelli (writer/handicapper)
Tom Dawson (Q-Racing Ace, network television producer)
Dale Day (Remington Park announcer/handicapper)
Ben Hudson (TRACK Magazine Owner/Publisher)
Mike Joyce (TVG analyst)
Jeremy Plonk (Night School co-founder/host)
Jerry Shottenkirk (Horseplayernow.com, handicapper/oddsmaker)
Terry Turrell (Horseplayernow.com handicapper)
Ty Wyant (writer, Daily Racing Form and AQHA)

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