How to bet the 2019 Wood Memorial Stakes

Profile Picture: Dick Powell

April 5th, 2019

The $750,000 Wood Memorial (G2) will be run on Saturday as Race 10 at Aqueduct going 1 1/8 miles on the dirt. The Wood Memorial has fallen out of favor for trainers who used to ship in here so it is dominated by horses from New York, Florida and Laurel. TAX (#1) (9-2) was claimed for $50,000 by Danny Gargan at Keeneland last October. He was already gelded at that point, so it was not a big risk that Claiborne Farm exposed him. Gargan immediately added Lasix and Tax was a good second in the Remsen Stakes (G2). Back at the same nine-furlong distance, he won the Withers Stakes (G3) but needs to get away cleanly here from post 1. Very few three-year-olds this year can brag about two triple-digit BRIS Speed ratings going two turns, but he can. TACITUS (#2) (5-2) showed some speed before weakening going 1 1/16 miles in very fast time at Belmont Park first time out. He came back to break his maiden at Aqueduct going a one-turn mile when he settled better. Four months later, Bill Mott added Lasix for his two-turn debut and he won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) from post 10. He picks up six pounds off that win and the well-bred son of Tapit out of a multiple Grade 1 winner and champion draws inside and gets Jose Ortiz back aboard. HOFFA’S UNION (#3) (6-1) broke his maiden by 15 lengths first time out going two turns at Laurel around five weeks ago. He has been sold since then and now is with trainer Mark Casse. His new owners recently nominated him for the Triple Crown so that, plus entering him here, are major votes of confidence. He has plenty of dirt stamina in his pedigree and showed high cruising speed in his debut. HAIKAL (#4) (7-2) is a very consistent colt from Kiaran McLaughlin who has improved in each of his four career starts. He won a seven-furlong stakes race two starts back then rallied from way back to win the Gotham Stakes (G3) going a one-turn mile. This is his two-turn debut and his BRIS Late Pace figures should have him making up ground late. FINAL JEOPARDY (#5) (8-1) romped in his career debut by 5 1/4 lengths going six furlongs then rallied for third as the beaten favorite after a rough start in the Limehouse Stakes. He came back and won going a one-turn mile in decent time and stretches out to two turns for John Servis, who wins 34 percent first start after a win. Aqueduct’s leading rider Manny Franco picks up the ride. OVERDELIVER (#6) (20-1) won easily as the even-money favorite going six furlongs then was no match for Win Win Win next out in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Lightly-raced Todd Pletcher trainee stretches out in distance for the first time with a suspect pedigree. NOT THAT BRADY (#7) (20-1) did nothing in his first two career starts then woke up with three straight strong efforts against state-breds. He just missed in the Withers Stakes (G3) behind Tax but did nothing in the Gotham Stakes (G3) last out. GRUMPS LITTLE TOTS (#8) (30-1) added blinkers second time out and was a good second as the odds-on favorite. He missed by a nose next out in a dirt sprint but woke up going a one-turn mile for the first time when he won by 6 1/2-widening lengths. MATH WIZARD (#9) (30-1) has run three monstrous races in a row despite being claimed all three times by different trainers. He shows up here for Saffie Joseph Jr. and could be dangerous if sent to the lead by Eric Cancel. OUTSHINE (#10) (6-1) only ran twice last year at two then returned off a seven-month layoff with a sharp win going seven furlongs in his first start with blinkers. He came back in the Tampa Bay Derby in an ambitious move by Todd Pletcher and was a good second while racing wide. He looks like he has awesome talent and needs to break alertly from post 10 with Johnny Velazquez. JOEVIA (#11) (30-1) broke his maiden first time out going five furlongs on a sloppy track at Monmouth Park last July then he came back and looked like a winner until being run down by Haikal in the Winkfield going seven furlongs. He was no match for a runaway winner at Laurel Park last out in the Private Terms Stakes and has to overcome a poor draw in here. ANALYSIS The good news is that our top choice Outshine is 6-1 on the morning line, so we can match them up from there. WAGER Win #10 Exacta #1, #2, #3 with #10 Trifecta Part Wheel #2 and #10 with #1, #2, #3, #4, #7, #9, #10 with #1, #2, #3, #4, #7, #9, #10 PHOTO: Haikal and jockey Rajiv Maragh win the Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct on March 9, 2019 (c) Adam Coglianese Photography