Wood Memorial Next for Empire Maker
Updated: Sunday, March 16, 2003 4:03 PM
Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2003 3:50 PM
After thinking things over Saturday night, trainer Bobby Frankel said he's decided to send Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Empire Maker to New York's Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) after all.
The trainer had said following the race at Gulfstream Park that he was considering training the son of Unbridled for seven weeks before the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 3 rather than risk racing him.
Aqueduct Park's Wood is on April 12.
"I thought it over and I decided we mapped out a schedule before this race and I don't want to deviate from it," Frankel said.
"If he's too fresh for the Kentucky Derby he may not run well in the rest of the Triple Crown series," he said. "I like having the four weeks in between each race – it's kind of a rhythm thing that seems to work for him."
Needles in 1956 was the last horse to successfully march directly from Gulfstream to Churchill without a race in between.
Midas Eyes, who won the Swales Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream for Frankel, is being considered for the $150,000 Derby Trial (gr. III), which is at one mile at Churchill Downs on April 26.
Frankel's other leading 3-year-old, Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Peace Rules, is expected to run in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland at 1 1/8 miles on April 12.
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