Richly Blended has won all three of his starts, by an average margin of nine lengths. In the Wood, he is expected to set the pace, tracked by Ommadon and Congaree. The key right now is whether Balto Star, another confirmed brilliant front-runner, will compete here or in Kentucky, either in the Blue Grass or Lexington Stakes.
Richly Blended, undefeated winner of the Gotham Stakes, served notice Thursday that he's going to be a dangerous opponent in the Wood Memorial if allowed to get loose early. The son of Rizzi worked 6 furlongs in a sizzling 1:10 2/5, galloping out 7 panels in 1:23, closing his last quarter in :23 3/5.With exercise rider Tony Grogan aboard, Richly Blended set fractions of :23, :35, :46 4/5 and :58 2/5, before coming home his final eighth in :12 flat. "It was a little quicker than we wanted," trainer Ben Perkins Jr. said. "I was hoping for something more like 1:12, but he needed a good workout. He hasn't done a whole lot since his last race. I plan on working him one more time before the Wood; probably an easy half-mile next Wednesday or Thursday.In addition to Richly Blended, who will be ridden by Rick Wilson, there are four confirmed starters for the $750,000 Wood. They are Monarchos (Jorge Chavez), Congaree (Victor Espinoza), Ommadon (Aaron Gryder), and It's So Simple (no rider). Possible starters are Balto Star, Voodoo, and Mongoose.