Value a Plus in the Wood

By Dick Dowey

Our choice to win the Grade I Wood Memorial is VALUE PLUS. This strapping, gray colt is versatile, fast and has the breeding to get the 1 1/8 mile distance. In last year's Wood, Funny Cide and Empire Maker were prominent throughout the race. We believe that early prominence will dominate this year's running as well.

Although VALUE PLUS couldn't sustain through the stretch in the Grade I Florida Derby, also run at 1 1/8 mile, it was his first try around two turns in five months and only his second overall. He's been working up a storm and should be ready to give a top effort here.

MASTER DAVID also has experience at the Wood's distance off his win in the Sham Stakes back in February. The biggest knock on him is the time off since then, but trainer Bobby Frankel is well-known for his ability to get them ready off a layoff. He showed in the Sham that he can run well toward the front of the pace, and he'll have to do that if he doesn't want to lose touch with the first choice.

Since adding Lasix, SINISTER G has come alive, winning the Grade II Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park in his last outing and running second by a nose in his prior start. Although Smarty Jones beat him by over 12 lengths in the Count Fleet Stakes in January, he is a different horse now, and he is back at Aqueduct, where he already has two starts under his belt on the main track and six overall.

SWINGFORTHEFENCES has also shown the willingness to mix it up early and the grit to stay on for a piece of the pie. He was third by 1 1/4 lengths to Limehouse, our choice to win the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, in the Grade III Tampa Bay Derby. He bounced back off that effort with a nice work 13 days later and appears fit and ready to go. He also happens to have broken his maiden over the Aqueduct main track.

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