2023 Wood Memorial Contenders at Aqueduct

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NYRA Press Release
Updated: April 05, 2023

Wood Memorial Awards 100-40-30-20-10 Qualifying Points for Kentucky Derby

A field of 13 sophomores have entered for their final shot to earn Kentucky Derby qualifying points in Saturday's 98th running of the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct Racetrack. The nine-furlong test is the final local qualifier for the Grade 1, $3 million Kentucky Derby on May 6 at Churchill Downs, awarding 100-40-30-20-10 points to the top-five finishers.

A total of four graded stakes are carded for Saturday's action-packed program, which also includes the Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs in Race 6; the Grade 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap in Race 8 for 4-year-olds and upward at seven furlongs; and the Grade 3, $250,000 Gazelle in Race 3, a 100-40-30-20-10 qualifier for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks for sophomore fillies going nine furlongs. First post on the 11-race card is 12:15 p.m. Eastern.

2023 Wood Memorial Field & Odds

Race 11 at Aqueduct on Saturday, April 8 - Post 6:16 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Dreamlike 7-2 Jose Ortiz
123 Lbs
Todd Pletcher
2 Shadow Dragon 12-1 Eric Cancel
123 Lbs
William Mott
3 Knox 50-1 Jose Gomez
123 Lbs
Saffie Joseph, Jr.
4 General Banker 20-1 Frankie Pennington
123 Lbs
James Ferraro
5 Slip Mahoney 6-1 Dylan Davis
123 Lbs
Brad Cox
6 Clear the Air 15-1 Heman Harkie
123 Lbs
William Walden
7 Arctic Arrogance 6-1 Jose Lezcano
123 Lbs
Linda Rice
8 Lord Miles 30-1 Paco Lopez
123 Lbs
Saffie Joseph, Jr.
9 Crupi 12-1 Kendrick Carmouche
123 Lbs
Todd Pletcher
10 Uncle Jake 20-1 Jevian Toledo
123 Lbs
Brittany Russell
11 Classic Catch 10-1 Trevor McCarthy
123 Lbs
Todd Pletcher
12 Mr. Swagger 30-1 Carlos Olivero
123 Lbs
Juan Avila
13 Hit Show 5-2 Manuel Franco
123 Lbs
Brad Cox

Last year saw an exciting renewal of the Wood Memorial when Mo Donegal - eventual winner of the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes - mowed down next-out Grade 1 Preakness winner Early Voting. This year's edition will be headlined by Gary and Mary West's Hit Show, who will seek to back up a decisive 5 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3 Withers on February 11 at the Big A for trainer Brad Cox.

Hit Show will also strive to give his owners a second Wood Memorial triumph after their pink and black colors saw the Jimmy Bond-trained Buddha score in 2002. The son of Candy Ride earned a career-best 91 Beyer Speed Figure in the nine-furlong Withers, where he settled a close fifth down the backstretch and took command around the three-sixteenths to draw off to an in-hand victory under Manny Franco.

"He's already been up to New York and won a race up there. He proved shipping wasn't a concern and he's familiar with the surroundings going on the road," Cox said. "I think he's a horse that does like a mile and an eighth and beyond. We think he's a two-turn horse. We brought him back to Fair Grounds and trained him. We had our options of where to run next after the Withers - the Louisiana Derby, the Arkansas Derby or the Wood Memorial. Since he's already shown success in New York, we decided that would be the best spot for him."

Hit Show graduated at first asking in October at Keeneland ahead of a troubled fourth in November at Churchill Downs. He defeated winners in January at Oaklawn Park en route to his Withers coup.

A Kentucky homebred, Hit Show is out of the graded stakes-winning Tapit broodmare Actress. His second dam, Milwaukee Appeal, was a dual Grade 1-placed millionaire and 2009 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly in Canada.

Franco will retain the mount from the outermost post 13.

Cox will also be represented by Gold Square's Slip Mahoney, who makes his two-turn debut after finishing a late-rallying second over muddy and sealed going in the Grade 3 Gotham on March 4 at Aqueduct. Although slow from the starting gate in the one-mile test and forced to go nine wide in the stretch, the son of Arrogate hit his best stride late and went from eighth-to-second in the last two points of call to collect 20 qualifying Kentucky Derby points.

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Slip Mahoney, who has made all four of his lifetime starts here, broke his maiden at third asking going a one-turn mile on January 21 after finishing behind eventual graded stakes winners Litigate and Tapit Trice in his first two starts.

"I'm excited to get him around two-turns. I think he's bred for it and, how he's run, I think he'll handle it well," Cox said. "He obviously needs to get better in the Wood than he was in the Gotham. He ran a good race in the Gotham when he was compromised at the start, but this should be a tougher race."

Bred in Kentucky by Hill `n' Dale Equine Holdings and Phillip J. Steinberg, Slip Mahoney is out of the Grade 1-winning A.P. Indy mare Got Lucky and is a direct descendant of influential broodmares Get Lucky, Numbered Account and La Troienne. He was a $150,000 purchase at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Dylan Davis, the pilot in Slip Mahoney's first three starts, will be reunited with the gray colt from post 5.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher currently shares the record for most Wood Memorial victories with the late Hall of Famer Sunny "Jim" Fitzsimmons. He will be in pursuit of a third consecutive and eighth overall Wood Memorial conquest when sending out Whisper Hill Farm's Classic Catch as well as Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable-owned maidens Crupi and Dreamlike.

Classic Catch, a dark bay or brown Classic Empire colt, enters from a two-length victory against winners going nine furlongs on March 2 at Gulfstream Park. A perfect 2-for-2 at the Wood Memorial distance, Classic Catch was a second-out maiden winner going 1 1/8 miles on November 20 at the Big A before finishing third in his sophomore debut at Tampa Bay Downs.

"He looks good. He shipped in [Tuesday] and his energy level is good. His coat looks well and we're right on track," said Pletcher's Belmont-based assistant Byron Hughes.

Classic Catch will be ridden by Trevor McCarthy from post 11.

After watching their reigning Champion 2-Year-Old Colt Forte assert his dominance on the Kentucky Derby trail in last Saturday's Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, owners Mike Repole and Vinnie Viola [St. Elias Stable] will be playing the longshot role in the Wood Memorial with Crupi and Dreamlike.

Named in honor of the late horseman J.J. Crupi - who owned Crupi's New Castle Farm in Ocala, Florida - the equine Crupi has kept quality company through the maiden ranks, finishing behind fellow Wood Memorial aspirants Classic Catch and Slip Mahoney as well as graded stakes winner Instant Coffee and graded stakes placed Disarm. The son of Curlin, who produced previous Wood Memorial winners Vino Rosso [2018] and Irish War Cry [2017], comes into the Wood Memorial off his lone off-the-board result when seventh in the Grade 2 Risen Star on February 18 at Fair Grounds Race Course.

Crupi is out of the Malibu Moon mare Don'tforgetaboutme - a half-sister to graded stakes winners Red Ruby and Mo Tom as well as multiple Grade 1-placed Beautician. Bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farm, Crupi was bought for $275,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Dreamlike, who adds blinkers, has finished second in his pair of career outings, both taking place at Gulfstream Park. Following a debut effort going a one-turn mile on February 11, the son of Gun Runner replicated the same result one calendar month later when stretching out to a two-turn 1 1/16 miles to finish three-quarters of a length behind impressive winner Empirestrikesfast. The effort garnered a 91 Beyer, which is tied for the field-best figure.

A $975,000 acquisition at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Dreamlike is out of the Tapit mare Time to Tap who is a full-sister to 2014 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Untapable.

"They both have talent and either one of them could step up and run a big race on Saturday," Hughes said.

Kendrick Carmouche - who piloted the Pletcher-trained 2021 longshot Wood Memorial winner Bourbonic - will ride Crupi from post 9; while Jose Ortiz pursues his second Wood Memorial victory aboard Dreamlike from post 1.

Trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. will saddle a pair of contenders in maiden winners Lord Miles [post 8, Paco Lopez] and Knox [post 3, Jose Gomez].

A Vegso Racing Stable homebred, Lord Miles was fifth last out in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 11 at Tampa Bay Downs. The effort came two starts after the son of Curlin was a close third in the January 1 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park. Both efforts earned Lord Miles a total of five points on the Kentucky Derby trail heading into Saturday's race. He is currently 56th on the leaderboard.

Joseph, Jr. has started three horses in the Wood - all of them longshots - finishing fourth in 2019 with Math Wizard [64-1], while Skippylongstocking [17-1] and A.P.'s Secret [49-1] ran third and fourth, respectively, in last year's running.

"He's normally a very handy work horse, that's why it's been a bit weird that in his races he's been off the bridle. I think the longer distance will work well for him," Joseph, Jr. said of Lord Miles. "We've tried to put him in the race earlier, but he has different ideas. He's slow early in his races, but in the morning he's not that kind of horse. We just have to let him decide where he wants to sit."

Knox, a Florida homebred for Arindel, seeks his first win since June when he won on debut by 1 1/2 lengths over a sloppy and sealed Gulfstream Park main track. The Brethren bay was third in his lone two-turn effort in the FTBOA Florida Sire In Reality on October 1. He enters the Wood Memorial off a late-closing second in a seven-furlong starter optional claimer at Gulfstream Park.

Last week, Knox's full-brother Clapton captured the Grade 3 Ghostzapper going two turns at Gulfstream Park. Both horses are out of the stakes-winning Afleet Alex mare Alexandra Rylee.

"He's not an overly big horse. He's a compact colt but he's built strong," Joseph, Jr. said. "We've been trying to stretch him out for a while and we're going to take a chance with him. His full-brother won the Grade 3 at Gulfstream last week. Two turns is definitely in his pedigree, so we'll give a chance and see how he gets on."

Trainer Brittany Russell will send up emphatic maiden winner Uncle Jake [post 10, Jevian Toledo]. The son of Uncle Mo, who finished third in the 2011 Wood Memorial and also sired last year's winner Mo Donegal, was a 9 1/2-length winner at second asking on March 10 going a two-turn mile at Laurel Park.

Uncle Jake drilled five furlongs in 59 seconds flat on Friday at Laurel Park.

"He ran really well last time. He got a little lost late, but I think he was out front on his own for some time," Russell said. "I think he wants the ground. He needs racing and he still has some maturing to do mentally. He's a big, lovely horse who's trained really well and had a really good work. If you're going to ask for things to click on the right day, this Saturday would be it."

Uncle Jake is owned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, and Catherine Donovan. He was purchased for $675,000 from the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and is out of the multiple graded stakes winning Harlan's Holiday mare Tasha's Miracle.

Three New York-breds will line up in the starting gate for the Wood Memorial, including Chester and Mary Broman's homebred Arctic Arrogance [post 7, Jose Lezcano], who has never finished worse than second in six lifetime starts for trainer Linda Rice.

Arctic Arrogance, who will race with blinkers off, captured last year's Sleepy Hollow on October 30 at Belmont at the Big A before a string of runner-up placings on the local Kentucky Derby trail in the Grade 2 Remsen on December 3, the Jerome on January 7 and the Grade 3 Withers on February 11. He is currently 37th on the leader board with 16 points.

Arctic Arrogance is a son of 2015 Wood Memorial winner Frosted. A victory would provide a three-generation sequence of Wood Memorial winners as Frosted's sire is 2004 Wood Memorial winner Tapit.

Peachtree Stable's New York-bred Shadow Dragon [post 2, Eric Cancel] will attempt to give Hall of Famer Bill Mott his second Wood Memorial victory after saddling 2019 winner Tacitus. Bred by AJ Suited, the dark bay Army Mule colt enters off a distant fifth in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on March 4 at Gulfstream Park, which came following a close second to stablemate Rocket Can in the Grade 3 Holy Bull one month prior. He is currently 42nd on the leaderboard with 13 points.

Seacoast Thoroughbreds of N.E.'s New York homebred General Banker [post 4, Frankie Pennington] has been knocking on the door in the last three local Kentucky Derby prep races and will take a swing at the Wood Memorial for trainer Jimmy Ferraro. Third in each of the Jerome, Withers and Gotham, the son of Central Banker has 26 points and is currently 24th on the leaderboard. He enters as the most seasoned horse in the field with a record of 1-3-3 through 11 lifetime starts.

Completing the field are Victoria's Ranch's Mr. Swagger [post 12, Carlos Olivero] - a first out maiden winner at Parx Racing, who finished a distant sixth in the last-out Gotham; and Turfway Park maiden winner and Gotham fifth-place finisher Clear the Air [post 6, Heman Harkie], who is cross-entered in Saturday's Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland where he is expected to run.

First run in 1925, the prestigious prep race for the Kentucky Derby has had 11 winners go on to capture the `Run for the Roses'. The event honors the late Eugene D. Wood, a New York state politician who was responsible for the establishment of the now defunct Jamaica Racetrack, where the Wood Memorial was originally run. Since its inception, the Wood has been captured by over 20 eventual American classic winners, including Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox [1930], Count Fleet [1943], Assault [1946] and Seattle Slew [1977]. Other prominent American classic winners to have previously won the Wood Memorial include Twenty Grand [1931], Johnstown [1939], Hill Prince [1950], Native Dancer [1953], Nashua [1955], Bold Ruler [1957], Quadrangle [1964], Damascus [1967], Foolish Pleasure [1975], Bold Forbes [1976], Easy Goer [1989] and Empire Maker [2003].

Pre-Draw News

Linda Rice leans Arctic Arrogance towards 2023 Wood Memorial

March 31 - Trainer Linda Rice reported that she will likely enter Chester and Mary Broman's New York homebred Arctic Arrogance in the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial on April 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack. The nine-furlong test is the final local Kentucky Derby qualifier, awarding a total of 100-40-30-20-10 points to the top five finishers.

Arctic Arrogance, by Frosted, was also under consideration for the seven-furlong Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore on the same day, but Rice said the Wood is the most likely landing spot in order to keep any Kentucky Derby aspirations alive. Arctic Arrogance is currently 33rd on the leaderboard with 16 points, which were accrued with a string of three local second-place finishes in the Grade 2 Remsen on December 3, the Jerome on January 7 and the Grade 3 Withers on February 11.

"We're leaning towards the Wood, actually," Rice said. "If you don't run in the Wood, you can't keep the door open for the Derby. Mr. Broman and I spoke about it [Thursday] and we would like to keep the door open. He's trained well going into this race, so we'll give it a shot in the Wood."

Never worse than second in six lifetime starts, Arctic Arrogance was a 4 1/2-length winner of the Sleepy Hollow on October 30 at Belmont at the Big A. He is out of the unraced Uncle Mo mare Modest Maven, who also produced stakes-placed Overstep. His third dam, multiple stakes-winner Big Dreams, produced dual Champion Sprinter and Hall of Famer Housebuster.

2023 Wood Memorial (G2) Probables [offering 100-40-30-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points] Probable: Arctic Arrogance (Linda Rice), Classic Catch (Todd Pletcher), Clear the Air (William Walden), Crupi (Pletcher), Dreamlike (Pletcher), General Banker (James Ferraro), Hit Show (Brad Cox), Lord Miles (Saffie Joseph, Jr.), Mr. Swagger (Juan Carlos Avila), Shadow Dragon (Bill Mott), Slip Mahoney (Cox)

Mr. Swagger confirmed for G2 Wood Memorial

March 29 - Mr. Swagger, a troubled sixth last out in the Grade 3 Gotham over a muddy and sealed main track on March 4, will return to Aqueduct on April 8 for the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino. The Wood Memorial offers 100-40-30-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers.

The Juan Carlos Avila trainee, a sophomore son of Maclean's Music, is owned by Victoria's Ranch - the racing operation of retired professional baseball player Victor Martinez, a five-time MLB All-Star.

Mr. Swagger worked six furlongs in 1:19.47 Saturday over a deep Parx main track.

"He's perfect. He went easy and strong and finished up very nice. We are ready for the Wood Memorial and I think he's ready for a nice race," Avila said.

The $225,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase has made both of his career starts at the Big A with Carlos Olivero up. He graduated on debut in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint on January 28 by three-quarters of a length over Register, who exited that event to earn a 93 Beyer in a narrow nose maiden score.

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Mr. Swagger, who added blinkers when exiting post 3 in the Gotham, was bumped at the break and prompted the pace from fourth position at the half-mile call, but failed to fire after saving ground through the turn.

"In the Gotham, I said to Carlos that I want to see Mr. Swagger be last place, but he was much closer," Avila said. "Hopefully, this time he can stay back."

Avila said Mr. Swagger will keep the blinkers on for the Wood Memorial.

Out of the Thunder Gulch mare Tee Off, Mr. Swagger is a half-brother to multiple graded-stakes winning turf router Five Iron.

In addition to Mr. Swagger, the probable field for the Wood Memorial includes Classic Catch (Todd Pletcher), Clear the Air (William Walden), Crupi (Pletcher), Dreamlike (Pletcher), Hit Show (Brad Cox), Lord Miles (Saffie Joseph, Jr.), Shadow Dragon (Bill Mott) and Slip Mahoney (Cox). Possible starters include Arctic Arrogance (Linda Rice), I Don't Get It (Doug O'Neill), Raise Cain (Ben Colebrook), and Transect (Paulo Lobo).

Clear the Air likely to return for G2 Wood Memorial

Trainer Will Walden is leaning toward a return to New York with Cypress Creek Equine's Clear the Air for the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on April 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack. The nine-furlong event is the final local Kentucky Derby qualifier, offering the top-five finishers points based off a 100-40-30-20-10 allotment.

Clear the Air earned five points following a troubled fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Gotham on March 4 at the Big A and is currently 56th on the leaderboard. Breaking from the inside in the full field of 14, Clear the Air maintained rail-skimming position from seventh over the muddy and sealed going before going four wide in upper stretch and checking around the three-sixteenths pole. He continued to find more down the lane and finished 10 3/4 lengths in arrears of the victorious Raise Cain.

"It wasn't really what we drew up on paper going into it. I know when you get a bunch of horses running around in the slop, it almost never goes according to plan," Walden said. "Raise Cain got some momentum. He went inside and we went outside. The hole we were going for closed at the three sixteenths. When you get fully stopped on a big horse, it can be hard to re-rally. But he started picking off horses and started to get going. But by that time, it was too late in the game. If he doesn't get stopped, I think he ends up second or third."

Prior to the Gotham, Clear the Air endured another troubled trip when fourth in a one-mile optional-claimer on February 11 at Turfway Park - his lone two-turn start. A close third early on, Clear the Air was shuffled back around the far turn but made a valiant effort to finish 3 3/4-lengths back of the victorious Wadsworth, who finished fourth in Saturday's Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks.

Fifth on debut last summer at Ellis Park, he returned to racing action with vigor, breaking his maiden sprinting six furlongs on January 6 at Turfway Park.

Walden said he was encouraged by the two-turn effort.

"It's a question we want to answer. He's a big, long stretchy horse and he's very efficient. The way he breezes and gallops out, he looks like a two-turn horse," Walden said. "He also did run two turns at Turfway going a mile. That was again a horrible trip. He never got out of cover until well inside the sixteenth pole. But the two turns that day never seemed to be an issue. He looked loaded the whole time."

Bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm, Clear the Air is the third progeny out of the More Than Ready mare Marsali. Clear the Air's third dam is 1997 Champion Older Mare Hidden Lake. He was purchased for $95,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Walden pointed out that Clear the Air is a late foal with room to blossom.

"He won't officially be a 3-year-old until May 5. I've felt all along that this horse has all the talent in the world," Walden said. "I believe he has graded stake type of potential. I don't know exactly when the lightbulb will fully go off. He's still big and green, but if things go right for him, he can put it together. It wouldn't shock me if he went up there and ran really big."

Lord Miles targets 2023 Wood Memorial G2

March 26 - Trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. boasts a stellar 7-3-0-2 record in graded stakes at the Big A, including wins by Mischevious Alex in the 2021 Grade 1 Carter Handicap, Drain the Clock in the 2021 Grade 3 Bay Shore and Officiating in last year's Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap.

He will look to add to his local success when he sends out Vegso Racing Stable's Kentucky homebred Lord Miles in the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on April 8. The Barbados native could also send Run Cory Run or Knox for the final local Kentucky Derby prep which offers 100-40-30-20-10 qualifying points to the top-five finishers.

In addition, he will send Grade 1-winner White Abarrio up to New York from his Gulfstream Park base for the Grade 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap, a seven-furlong sprint for older horses on the same card.

Joseph, Jr. has started three horses in the Wood - all of them longshots - finishing fourth in 2019 with Math Wizard [64-1], while Skippylongstocking[17-1] and A.P.'s Secret [49-1] ran third and fourth, respectively, in last year's tilt that featured a photo finish between two eventual Classic winners in the victorious Mo Donegal [Belmont Stakes] and Early Voting [Preakness].

Joseph, Jr. said he has no fear of being a longshot in sophomore stakes.

"With 3-year-olds, you never know when they're going to step up," Joseph, Jr. said. "The Wood has been a productive race for us. We haven't won it, but those horses ran well and that gave us confidence to try different races with them off of that."

Lord Miles, by Curlin and out of the Majestic Warrior mare Lady Esme, made his first three starts at Gulfstream Park. He graduated on debut in a six-furlong sprint in November before a rallying third in the one-mile Mucho Macho Man in which he was defeated just three-quarters of a length.

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"He trained very good for his debut, but he was very green that day. He broke good and then dropped back and that's been a problem we've had with him. But he still won that day going away," Joseph, Jr. said. "In the Mucho Macho Man, at an extended distance, he should have been able to sit more handy, but it was a similar thing. He broke good and dropped back - at the quarter pole he was last and then he came running and just got beat."

Joseph, Jr. attempted to address the lack-of-focus issue by adding blinkers to Lord Miles' repertoire for the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Holy Bull in February, but the bay colt broke poorly and never factored. Last out, with blinkers off in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby on March 11, Lord Miles again posted an in-and-out performance, when sitting as close as fourth early on before dropping back to eighth and eventually finishing fifth.

"He put on blinkers in the Holy Bull and I was very disappointed. He didn't run up to par that day," Joseph, Jr. said. "He came back in the Tampa Bay Derby and ran sneaky good again, but he's inconsistent in his races and how he travels. At the quarter-pole last time, it looked like he was completely done and then he came back on and ran fifth."

Joseph, Jr. said he is hopeful stretching out to nine furlongs will benefit Lord Miles.

"I think the distance will be good for him, but we just need to teach him to be more handy throughout the races," Joseph, Jr. said. "It just seems like he's always struggling on-and-off the bridle. We're hoping he can put it together. In the morning, he's very handy, it's just in his races he's been doing this. If he can run a complete race, he has the ability."

Transect under consideration for G2 Wood Memorial

March 26 - OXO Equine's Transect, who finished tenth in the Grade 3 Gotham here March 4, could return for the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on April 8 at Aqueduct. The nine-furlong test for sophomores offers 100-40-30-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers.

Trained by Paulo Lobo, the Gun Runner colt failed to handle a muddy and sealed main track in the Gotham, finishing a distant 10th-of-14 in the one-turn mile that saw the victorious Raise Cain garner 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.

"He did not like the muddy track three weeks ago in New York," Lobo said.

Transect breezed back a bullet half-mile in 48 flat on March 18 over the dirt surface at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, Kentucky, and is scheduled to breeze again this week.

Lobo said the added ground in the Wood Memorial would benefit the Gun Runner colt, who is out of the A.P. Indy mare Divine Escapade - a half-sister to Grade 1-winner Mi Sueno.

"The way that he works and gallops out, I think it will help him," Lobo said.

Transect, a $300,000 purchase from the 2020 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, entered the Gotham from a pair of wins sprinting 6 1/2-furlongs over Tapeta at Turfway Park, including a debut score from off-the-pace on January 20 ahead of a frontrunning effort on February 10.

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