Wood Memorial

The TDN Derby Top 20 for April 6

The first Saturday in April's "power trio" of nine-furlong qualifying preps is in the books. We also learned last week that no Japan-based horse will be accepting the "Road to the GI Kentucky Derby" invitation this year, and that none of the qualifying European horses are nominated, meaning they'd have to supplement $200,000 to get in. So at this time it appears that all 20 starting spots will go to American horses. The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" points leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine...

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Sunday Morning Stakes Runner Round-Up

Trainer Brad Cox was plenty pleased with how champion juvenile and 'TDN Rising Star' Essential Quality (Tapit) exited Saturday's hard-fought decision in Keeneland's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. "He looks good this morning and I am happy with the way he came out of the race," Cox said Sunday. "I liked that he got a test yesterday. It was not like he just galloped up to the leader and went on by." Essential Quality will join Cox's string at Churchill Downs after training Monday to prepare for the GI Kentucky...

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Week in Review: Out of Nowhere, Rock Your World Emerges as Serious Derby Threat

When Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}) won the Pasadena S. at Santa Anita Mar. 6, it appeared that he could develop into a quality turf horse, who, like many horses trained by John Sadler, would take a while to fully develop. But Sadler had other ideas. This was going to be his GI Kentucky Derby horse. "He had always trained well on the dirt," Sadler said. "Sometimes you run on turf when you don't think they are training well on dirt. He was training well on dirt, but we...

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Bernardini Longshot Caps Pletcher Exacta in Wood Memorial

Calumet Farm homebred Bourbonic (Bernardini) was well deserving of his 70-1 odds on paper, but came flying late to nail stablemate Dynamic One (Union Rags) on the line in Aqueduct's GII Wood Memorial S. Away well from post three, Bourbonic was unhurried early, trailing the field as fellow 70-1 shot and familiar foe Market Maven (Super Ninety Nine) dictated terms, setting early fractions of :24.88 and :50.18 with Weyburn (Pioneer of the Nile) breathing down his neck and Candy Man Rocket (Candy Ride {Arg}) close behind. Weyburn drew even with...

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Nine in Line for Competitive Wood

Realistic cases can be made for six or seven of the nine 3-year-old males signed on for Saturday's GII Wood Memorial S. as the New York staple GI Kentucky Derby prep returns with a competitive renewal after a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19. Given the narrowest of nods on the morning line is Klaravich Stables' Risk Taking (Medaglia d'Oro). Unable to factor in his first two outings, one sprinting on dirt and one routing on yielding turf, the $240,000 Keeneland September buy sprung to life when returned to dirt over...

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Prevalence Preps for Wood

Godolphin's unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Prevalence (Medaglia d'Oro) recorded his final breeze ahead of Saturday's GII Wood Memorial S. presented by Resorts World Casino, covering a half mile in a best-of-30 :47.60 at Palm Meadows Sunday morning. "He worked here this morning at Palm Meadows and it went very well and he's flying up there [to Aqueductus] on Wednesday," said conditioner Brendan Walsh. "It looks like he's going into the race in good shape. It's another step now, so we'll find out if he can go the two turns as...

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Brooklyn Strong Works for Wood

Mark Schwartz's Brooklyn Strong (Wicked Strong), off since winning the GII Remsen S. last December, tuned up for a start in the Apr. 3 GII Wood Memorial with a five-furlong work in 1:01.13 (3/13) at Parx Saturday. "He went by himself from the pole. Hopefully, we can hit one work a week up to the Wood," said trainer Daniel Velazquez, who wasn't on hand for the drill after being hospitalized with a lacerated liver and torn bicep suffered during a training accident earlier Saturday morning. Velazquez had hoped to start...

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Prevalence on Target for Derby Prep

Godolphin's Prevalence (Medaglia d'Oro), who followed a 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy debut going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Jan. 23 with a one-mile allowance tally in Hallandale last Thursday, could make his next start in a GI Kentucky Derby prep, with the Apr. 3 GII Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland the same day, and the Apr. 10 GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park all in play. "His maiden win told us something, his allowance win told us even more and his next race will decide where...

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Bellamy Road to Old Friends

Bellamy Road (Concerto--Hurry Home Hillary, by Deputed Testamony), a daylight winner of the 2005 GI Wood Memorial S. and favorite in that year's GI Kentucky Derby, has been pensioned to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility based in Kentucky. Owned by the late George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable and trained by Nick Zito, the Florida-bred posted four wins from seven starts and earnings of $811,400. Bellamy Road stood at Dutchess Views Farm in New York since 2016. The 19-year-old previously stood at Kentucky's WinStar Farm and Hurricane Hall. His nine graded...

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NYRA Releases Aqueduct Winter/Spring Schedules With Extended Purse Bumps

The New York Racing Association announced Thursday the schedules for the 2020-21 winter and spring meets at Aqueduct Racetrack. In addition, NYRA announced that the purse increases now in effect across a number of categories at the Belmont Park fall meet will be extended to the fall, winter and spring meets at Aqueduct. Purses for open claiming and maiden claiming races at NYRA are the highest in the country. The open $25,000 claiming category will see a $4,000 increase to $50,000, while the $40,000 maiden-claiming condition will now offer a...

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Max Player Stays Busy

George Hall's Max Player (Honor Code), winner of the Feb. 12 GIII Withers S., worked seven furlongs in 1:27.20 (1/1) at Belmont Park last Wednesday. The sophomore had been expected to make his next start in the Apr. 4 GII Wood Memorial S. before racing was suspended in New York. "He worked really well," said trainer Linda Rice. "We had planned on shooting towards the Wood Memorial and he had been training really nicely into that race." Rice said the recent announcement moving the GI Kentucky Derby to Sept. 5...

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Wood Likely Next for Mischevious Alex

Cash is King and LC Racing's Mischevious Alex (Into Mischief) exited his two-length victory in Saturday's GIII Gotham S. in fine shape and will now target the Apr. 4 GII Wood Memorial. "I think the Wood is the logical spot on the radar," said trainer John Servis. "I'll sit down with Mr. Zacney [Cash is King] and Mr. Bennett [LC Racing] and decide where we're going to go next." Cash is King and LC Racing and Servis also teamed up to win Saturday's Stymie S. with Diamond King (Quality Road)...

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