Into Mischief's Resilience Wins Spill-Marred Wood Memorial

Resilience | Sarah Andrew

Emily Bushnell and Ric Waldman's Resilience (c, 3, Into Mischief–Meadowsweet, by Smart Strike) punched his ticket to the GI Kentucky Derby for Hall of Famer Bill Mott in an eventful renewal of Saturday's GII Wood Memorial S. at Aqueduct.

Last out Aqueduct maiden winner Society Man (Good Magic), off at boxcar odds of 106-1, was second. Another longshot Protective (Medaglia d'Oro), a maiden of two starts, was third at 38-1.

The race was marred by a spill in the stretch when the Uriah St Lewis owned/trained-longshot Deposition (Constitution) appeared to clip heels while racing in traffic inside the three-sixteenths marker and unseated jockey Dexter Haddock.

Dr. Sarah Hinchliffe, NYRA's Veterinary Department Director, reported that Deposition stood up under his own power and walked onto the equine ambulance and was transported to the Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists clinic for further evaluation. Haddock was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

The rail-drawn Resilience, off as the third choice at odds of 9-2, sat a dream trip beneath John Velazquez in third while racing with first-time blinkers through fractions of :23.45 and :47.49. He revved up three deep approaching the quarter pole, hit the front as they turned for home and kept on rolling down the stretch despite drifting late to win by 2 1/4 lengths.

Resilience, a maiden winner at fourth asking at Gulfstream Park Jan. 1, finished a respectable fourth in a key renewal of the GII Risen Star S. in the Fair Grounds slop Feb. 17. The winner that day 'TDN Rising Star' Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) returned to impressively capture Saturday's GI Blue Grass S. at Keeneland. Risen Star third-place finisher Catching Freedom (Constitution) followed up with a win in the GII Louisiana Derby.

“He ran very well,” Mott said. “[Assistant trainer] Leana [Willaford] did a great job with him. It was a similar trip to what we were hoping for. The blinkers didn't hurt, did they.”

Resilience is campaigned in partnership by Thoroughbred consultant Ric Waldman, who oversaw the stallion career of the legendary Storm Cat, and Emily Bushnell, daughter of longtime owner/breeders Marty and Pam Wygod.

“We weren't confident, but hopeful,” Waldman said. “His race in the Risen Star was better than it appeared and he gave up a lot. Bill [Mott] taking him back to Payson Park and training him for these weeks, he had him just picture perfect for this race.”

Waldman continued, “He broke well and he was in great position as you'd want him to be. And John [Velazquez] just bided his time, stayed covered up, and when he saw an opening, he moved him out and the rest you saw yourself.

“It's our first Derby. I grew up in Louisville and I cut my teeth cutting school and going to Churchill Downs. It means a lot.”

Bushnell added, “We're just so excited. He showed up, and Bill has done such an amazing job with him. Johnny rode him perfectly, and we're just so happy. I feel so lucky to be part of this incredible horse. He has brought my family's breeding program full circle. My father's [Marty Wygod] dedication and love for the Thoroughbred industry has spanned multiple years and Resilience is the product of a broodmare line he has nurtured and it is so exciting to see him succeed at this level.”

Previously unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' and GIII Gotham S. winner Deterministic (Liam's Map), off as the 4-5 favorite, and the two-for-two second-choice Tuscan Sky (Vino Rosso), both disappointed finishing eighth and seventh, respectively.

Pedigree Notes:

Resilience becomes the 71st graded winner for the all-conquering Into Mischief. He was represented by his 21st Grade I winner via Leslie's Rose in Friday's GI Ashland S. at Keeneland. Two-time winner Meadowsweet, a daughter of the Wygod family's MGISW Tranquility Lake (Rahy), is also represented by the 2-year-old colt Capitol Hill (Into Mischief) and an Into Mischief filly of 2024. Tranquility Lake is also the dam of MGISW After Market (Storm Cat) and GISW and GI Breeders' Cup Mile runner-up Courageous Cat (Storm Cat).

Saturday, Aqueduct
WOOD MEMORIAL S. PRESENTED BY RESORTS WORLD CASINO-GII, $750,000, Aqueduct, 4-6, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:50.28, ft.
1–RESILIENCE, 123, c, 3, by Into Mischief
                1st Dam: Meadowsweet, by Smart Strike
                2nd Dam: Tranquility Lake, by Rahy
                3rd Dam: Winters' Love, by Danzig
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. O-Emily Bushnell and Ric Waldman; B-Pam & Martin Wygod (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-John R. Velazquez. $400,000. Lifetime Record: 6-2-1-1, $494,630. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus* Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Society Man, 123, g, 3, Good Magic–You Cheated, by Colonel John. 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($85,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-West Paces Racing LLC, Danny Gargan and GMP Stables LLC; B-SF Bloodstock LLC (KY); T-Danny Gargan. $140,000.
3–Protective, 123, c, 3, Medaglia d'Oro–Grace Hall, by Empire Maker. 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($250,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-Repole Stable; B-Alpha Delta Stables, LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $75,000.
Margins: 2 1/4, 1HF, 3 3/4. Odds: 4.50, 106.75, 38.00.
Also Ran: Lonesome Boy, Uncle Heavy, Elysian Meadows, Tuscan Sky, Deterministic, Evening News, Merit, Gettysburg Address, Deposition. Scratched: El Grande O.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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