Winner Vino Rosso breaks from the far outside post 9 in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack

Winner Vino Rosso breaks from the far outside post 9 in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack

Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher

Wood Victor Vino Rosso Poised for Kentucky Derby

Aqueduct win capped-off banner day for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Vino Rosso will carry momentum into the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) following his breakthrough victory April 7 in the $1 million Wood Memorial Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack.

"He had been training well all winter, and it was exciting to see him run the race we thought he could run," said trainer Todd Pletcher after the Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable colt's three-length score.

Pletcher hasn't decided where Vino Rosso will train in the lead-up to the Kentucky Derby, but he's considering taking the Curlin  colt back to Palm Beach Downs, where he has trained since November.

"We'll make a final decision tomorrow," said Pletcher, who added that Vino Rosso will have two breezes before the Derby.

The Wood Memorial capped a big day for Pletcher, who also won the Carter Handicap (G1) with St. Elias Stable's Army Mule and the Bay Shore Stakes (G3) with National Flag, owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, and SF Racing. Pletcher said both winners were in good condition Sunday.

Pletcher intends to have Army Mule stretch out to a mile June 9 in the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day.

"I had the chance to talk to Mr. (Vinnie) Viola, and it seems like the Met Mile will be the most likely target," Pletcher said.

With National Flag, Pletcher plans to focus on one-turn races.

"One race we'll consider is the (May 5) Pat Day Mile (Presented by LG&E and KU, G3) at Churchill Downs," he said.

Blue Heaven Farm homebred Virginia Key, who finished third in the Gazelle Stakes (G2) in her stakes debut, could be headed to the May 9 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico Race Course, Pletcher said.

Godolphin Racing's Enticed emerged from his runner-up finish in the Wood Memorial no worse for wear and will continue to target the Kentucky Derby, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. The Medaglia d'Oro  colt is scheduled to ship Tuesday to Palm Meadows in Boynton Beach, Fla.

"We'll train there and point for the Derby," McLaughlin said. "We're doubtful that we'll even work him at Churchill because he won there last fall, and we already know that he likes the track."

McLaughlin said Gazelle runner-up Sara Street came out of her race in good shape, but "we don't know what we're going to do with her for her next race."

My Miss Lilly is on target for the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) following her half-length win in the Gazelle.

"She came out of the race great," trainer Mark Hennig said.