Recent trends in the Wood Memorial
Although it has not produced the winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1) in nearly two decades, the $750,000 Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct generally adds to the Derby discussion, and Saturday's renewal should be no different. Here are several things to know about the 1 1/8-mile Wood since 2010.
Todd Pletcher has dominated
Of the 11 runnings of the Wood Memorial since 2010 (the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the pandemic), Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher has won six. Although short-priced winners like Eskendereya, Gemologist, and Verrazano are remembered most, Pletcher also saddled the biggest upset in race history last year when Bourbonic rallied to win at odds of 72-1.
Dynamic One, second to Bourbonic at 15-1, produced an all-Pletcher exacta of $453 for every $1 bet.
Local preps have not been productive
All but two of the last 11 winners of the Wood Memorial turned in their final preps in Florida, and only one of those two made their last appearance at the Big A. That was Toby's Corner (2011), who rebounded from a third-place finish in the Gotham (G3) on the old inner track to win the Wood at odds of 8-1 over the Pletcher-trained 1-10 favorite Uncle Mo.
Speed has not carried
The slower nature of the Aqueduct surface in early April has made the Wood Memorial a virtual poison for speed. Since 2010, not a single edition of the Wood has been won in wire-to-wire fashion. Of the 11 horses to have led after a quarter-mile, only post-time favorites Uncle Mo and Battalion Runner (2017) managed to hit the board.