John C. Oxley's Monarchos will break from post two as the 4-5 favorite for the Wood Memorial (gr. II), to be contested April 14 over 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct.
A field of six was entered for Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial, with the 4-5 morning line favorite Monarchos drawing post 2. California invader Congaree, listed at 8-5, will break from post 5. Richly Blended, wire-to-wire winner of the Gotham Stakes, drew post 6, and is expected once again to set the pace under jockey Rick Wilson. The remainder of the field is made up of It's So Simple, from the Nick Zito stable; Voodoo, third in the Gotham; and Paging, third in the Tampa Bay Derby.
Top trainers from New York to Kentucky to Arkansas are gearing up for this weekend's three big Kentucky Derby preps, after which we should have a good idea who will provide the main challenges to Santa Anita Derby winner Point Given. On the foreign front, the two Godolphin invaders, Street Cry and Express Tour, arrived safe and sound at Churchill Downs today at approximately 1 p.m. after clearing quarantine at Keeneland.
For a million-dollar purse, and with no clear-cut favorite, it's no surprise that 13 horses passed the entry box for Saturday's grade I Florida Derby. The likely choices will be Songandaprayer, Monarchos, and Outofthebox. The only real surprises in the field are California invader Trailthefox, last year's Arlington-Washington Futurity winner who was supposed to stay in sprint races, and the Nick Zito-trained It's So Simple, an impressive allowance winner at the meet whom Zito called "the best kept secret on the backstretch."
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