Woodlander Keeps Owners On Top in Fort Marcy
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 4/29/2007 6:04:24 PM
Last Updated: 5/2/2007 8:35:51 PM

Woodlander, with Alan Garcia up, captures the Fort Marcy Stakes, Sunday at Aqueduct.
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Photo: Coglianese Photos
(from Aqueduct report)
Woodlander put the final touch on a successful Aqueduct season for leading owner Winning Move Stable Sunday when the 5-year-old edged Golden Commander by a neck in capturing the $114,100 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) {VIDEO} on the grass at 1 1/16 miles.

A race earlier, 11-10 choice Accountforthegold gave Winning Move Stable and partner Harold Lemer a 6 1/4-length win in the $69,850 Kings Point Handicap for New York-breds at nine furlongs on the main track. Funny Cide finished third.

Gary Contessa trains both victors for Winning Move Stable, who finished the meet with 12 wins in 56 starts.

Woodlander, a bay Forestry   colt owned in part by Martin J. Minnella, had not raced since a sixth-place finish in the Knickerbocker (gr. IIIT) at Aqueduct last November. Purchased from Darley Stable, he had worked well for the Fort Marcy, but was ignored at odds of 12-1.

Woodlander wasted little time getting into a ground-saving position under jockey Alan Garcia while staying close to Baron Von Tap’s pace of :23.71; :48.79; 1:13.92 and 1:38.55 on good footing with the rail down. Angling three wide coming off the final turn, he came strong in the lane and held off Golden Commander and Edgar Prado to win in 1:44.88.
           
“I wasn’t sure if we would be running this horse in a high-level claiming race or a graded stakes race,” said Contessa, who finished second in the Aqueduct trainer standings to Richard Dutrow Jr., 16-13. “We bought him because we liked his form. Darley doesn’t want to keep anything that is not a grade one or grade two winner. He was sound, he won a grade three last year. That’s quite a horse for Contessa. In our barn, he’s top-notch. In their barn, he’s back-burner.”

Woodlander also benefited from a smart ride by Garcia.

“I had a good trip,” said Garcia, who came up a victory shy of tying Ramon Dominguez as the meet’s leading rider with 24 victories. “When he had clear running at the top of the stretch, he just took off.”

Woodlander, whose last graded stakes win came in Belmont Park's Lexington (gr. IIIT) in July 2005, improved his career mark to 5-2-2 in 17 starts. Sunday's winning purse of $68,460 increased his earnings to $276,714.

Sent off tied as the longest shot in the seven-horse field, Woodlander paid $27.20, $10.60 and $5.60. Golden Commander returned $5.40 and $3.40. The British-bred Grand Couturier, the 19-10 choice, was three-quarters of a length farther back in third, paying $2.90 to show with Javier Castellano aboard.

Cosmic Kris, Pa Pa Da, Baron Von Tap and Ecclesiastic trailed.

Broadway Producer was scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)


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