Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Awesome Act went an “easy” half-mile in :50.43 the morning of March 20 as he continued preparations for the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 3.
With exercise rider George Windsor in the irons, the English import went out on Belmont Park’s training track shortly after the second renovation break in his first timed move since taking the Gotham March 6.
“It was nice and easy,” said Wayne Tanner, assistant to trainer Jeremy Noseda. “He’s taken to it here like a duck to water.”
Tanner said the son of Awesome Again, owned by Susan Roy and Vinery Stables, would have a more serious breeze next week, most likely the morning of March 25. Noseda is scheduled to fly in for the work.
In his first start on dirt, and first start since finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November, Awesome Act rallied strongly through the stretch to win the Gotham impressively, covering the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.85.
Nominations close today for the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial, New York’s final major stepping stone toward the Triple Crown.
In addition to Awesome Act, likely candidates for the Wood include Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Eskendereya and runner-up Jackson Bend, as well as Yawanna Twist, who was second in the Gotham. March 20 at Aqueduct, Yawanna Twist worked a half-mile in :50.38.