With an eye on returning to New York for the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) April 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack, M M G Stables' dual grade 3 winner El Areeb breezed March 23 at his Laurel Park base for trainer Cal Lynch.
Add the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park to the list of Triple Crown preps being considered for M M G Stables' impressive 3-year-old El Areeb, a winner of his last four races including back-to-back graded stakes.
The Wood Memorial (G2), which was downgraded from its prior grade 1 status for 2017, had its purse lowered to $750,000 this year but remains the highlight of the spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Harry Bederian, Harout Kamberian, and Hagop Nakkashian's Watch This Cat had raced on turf, synthetic, and a fast dirt track, but it was in slop that she secured her first stakes win.
- By Steve Haskin
There have been many, myself included, who were shocked by the Graded Stakes committee's decision to downgrade two of the most historic Kentucky Derby preps, the Wood Memorial and Blue Grass Stakes, from grade I to grade II.
While the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack will be downgraded from grade I to grade II races next season, don’t expect an immediate impact on horsemen’s Triple Crown plans or field quality.
In a dramatic reshaping of graded status of 2017 Triple Crown prep races, the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association has downgraded the Toyota Blue Grass and the Wood Memorial from grade I to grade II.
While only a small number of maidens have won the Derby (gr. I), and Trojan Nation would be the first in 80 years if he pulled it off, Gryder has faith in him and the confidence the colt gained in the Wood.
Dan Tordjman and friends bet a Pick Four that included the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). Learn how to organize your notes, when you should pick favorites, and how to put together a ticket with a group. Watch Video
Repole Stable's Outwork, winner of Saturday's Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 9, returned from his efforts in fine fettle and likely will be one of two representatives trainer Todd Pletcher's barn for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Repole Stable's Outwork needed every ounce of energy he had left April 9 to win the $1 million Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack over longshot Trojan Nation.
In addition, it will also air the Equine Forum, its weekly talk show, on Saturday and provide live coverage of the Commonwealth, Shakertown, and Madison from Keeneland in its three-hour broadcast.
NBCSN will present an April 9 telecast of the key classic preps with coverage of the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) from Aqueduct, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) from Keeneland, and the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Shadwell Stable's homebred Bernardini colt could step up in a big way in the April 9 Wood Memorial (gr. I), New York's final stepping-stone to the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
With Uncle Mo taking the Kentucky Derby trail by storm this year, it's only natural for Mike Repole to want a piece of the action. read blog
Tale of S'avall's last bid to make the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is through New York.
Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Shagaf and Jerome Stakes (gr. III) winner Flexibility will both start in the $1 million Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 9 Aqueduct Racetrack, trainer Chad Brown said April 2.
A little added competition seemed to do the trick for Mor Spirit Feb. 28 at Santa Anita Park in his first timed workout since jockey Gary Stevens had to abort a drill Feb. 23.
Gary Stevens said he didn't know grade I winner Mor Spirit was wearing earplugs when he jumped in to work him on the fly Feb. 23. After failing to get a response on the turn, he eased the Bob Baffert trained-runner.
With Nyquist already making plans to head east for the Florida Derby (gr. I), Mor Spirit is more likely to stay home in Southern California for his Triple Crown preps.
This week we take a closer look at Mor Spirit, winner of the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. III) on Feb. 6 at Santa Anita Park.
Michael Lund Peterson's Mor Spirit continued to work toward his 3-year-old debut Jan. 23 at Santa Anita Park with a six-furlong workout under regular jockey Gary Stevens.
A 2-year-old Florida-bred daughter of High Cotton topped the Barretts January mixed sale, selling for $55,000. The sale, held at Del Mar Jan. 20, had an average of $8,239, down 2.9% from the 2015 average of $8,487.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert added another Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) victory to his record Dec. 19, sending out winner Mor Spirit and runner-up Toews On Ice.
Rontos Racing Stable's Social Inclusion has been retired, according to owner Ron Sanchez. Stud plans are pending for the Pioneerof the Nile colt, who was graded stakes-placed on three occasions in 2014.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Awesome Act||Jeremy Noseda||
|Eskendereya||Todd A. Pletcher||
|Jackson Bend||Stanley I. Gold||
|Most Happy Fella||Richard E. Schosberg||
|Schoolyard Dreams||David Jacobson||
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