Las Vegas, NV - Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York will play host to the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes this Saturday, April 4. Some of the best three year olds in the land will be after the winner's share of the $1 million purse and the 100 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby in a month's time when they go 1 1/8 miles on Aqueduct's dirt track.
Seven Derby hopefuls will take part in the Wood Memorial - race 10 on Aqueduct's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 5:30 PM .Let's take a peek into the past performances of all seven entries for this lucrative and important Grade 1 stakes- the first and second place finishers in this race are virtually guarantees a starting spot on May 2.
Daredevil - Todd Pletcher trained grade 1 winner was one of the favorites for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and a serious Triple Crown contender but stumbled to a last of 11 finish in that race. He looked better in his only start since the Breeders' Cup - a second in the Grade 2 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park March 7. His other two career starts were wins - an impressive debut - a 6 1/2 length maiden score at Belmont Park September 13 and a nice 2 1/2 length win over Upstart in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park October 4 with a stellar 107 Beyer Speed Figure. Javier Castellano has been tabbed to ride the 9-5 morning line favorite from gate 6 in this one despite only racing over seven furlongs one time in his career - that being a second in the Swale.
Frosted - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt raced in stakes company for the first time November 29 and finished a respectable second behind Leave the Light On as 9-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct and followed that with another good runner-up finish - behind Upstart in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream January 24. Last time out was a somewhat disappointing fourth after looking tremendous but tiring in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream February 21. Other results include a maiden score in his third start - by an impressive 5 1/2 lengths October 30 after a pair of seconds to begin his career. That makes a win and four second place finishes in six career starts. Frosted will be looking to bounce back from a career worst result Saturday with Joel Rosario in the saddle from gate 4 as the 5-2 second betting choice.
El Kabeir - hard knocking and versatile John Terranova trained colt is the most experienced of all the entries and has looked good lately. Last time out was a good win in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes on this track March 7 against many of his Wood Memorial foes. It followed a second in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes here February 7, a terrific 4 3/4 length win in the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes on this track January 3 with a Beyer Speed Figure of 95 and a nice win in gate-to-wire fashion in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs November 29 - with a 94 Beyer Speed Figure. Before that was a second in the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes November 2, a fourth in the Grade 1, 17 3/4 lengths behind Daredevil in the Champagne Stakes on an undesirable sloppy Belmont Park track in October and an eye-opening 10 length maiden win at Saratoga. He has four wins, two seconds and a third in eight career starts and hasn't been worse than second in his last five starts. Charles Lopez has the return call at an intriguing 3-1 on the morning line favorite from post 5 Saturday.
Tiz Shea D - Bill Mott trainee won his first career start - a maiden score at Parx February 7 and followed that with a very good second in his only other start - behind El Kabeir in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes on this track March 7. He is lightly raced but has been impressive when on the track so far. Manuel Franco rides the somewhat mysterious 8-1 shot from the rail.
Tencendur - OK George Weaver trained colt made his stakes debut February 7 and finished fourth in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes on this track and followed that with a fifth in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes also here March 7. Before that was a maiden score here January 19 in his second career start and a third in his debut. Jose Ortiz has the mount from the outside post 7 ay 12-1 on the morning line.
Lieutenant Colonel - will make just his third career start for trainer Chad Brown off a tenth in his only stakes start - the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes on this track March 7 and a maiden victory at first asking - at Gulfstream Park February 7. Irad Ortiz will be in charge of the 12-1 longshot from post 3.
Toasting Master - likely pacesetter has six career starts for trainer Dale Romans and looked good earlier in his career - two wins and a second place finish. His last three starts have resulted in off-the-board finishes. Last time out was a fourth in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes which followed another fourth in the minor OBS Championship Stakes at Ocala Training Ctr and a sixth in the minor Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park in January. Toasting Master looks to place in stakes company for the first time Saturday with Angel Arroyo in the irons of the longest shot in the field (20-1) - from gate 2.
Race 10 on Aqueduct's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:30 PM.
||Tiz Shea D
||I. Ortiz, Jr.
||J. Terranova, II