Keyed Entry, who was beaten just a neck in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct three weeks ago, could be the slight favorite among the nine entered today for Saturday's Wood Memorial (gr. I) at the same track.
The nine-furlong race, with a total purse of $750,000 will be shown on ABC as part of a telecast beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT). Aqueduct's Bay Shore (gr. III) will also be shown. Instead of 10 races, Aqueduct will run an 11-race card that will begin with a first race post of 1 p.m. The last race will go to post at 6:11 p.m.
Two horses expected for the Wood, Showing Up and Like Now, were not entered. Showing Up, who is two-for-two, has a bruised foot. "It must have happened in his work down in Florida," said Robin Smullen, assistant to trainer Barclay Tagg, who discovered the injury Wednesday afternoon. "We'll try to make next weekend."
Next weekend's premier stakes for 3-year-olds are the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) at Keeneland and the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn.
Gotham longshot winner Like Now spiked a fever, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The trainer will now saddle Jazil instead. "We were really looking to run Like Now back because he was doing so well at Aqueduct and liked it over there," McLaughlin said from his barn at Belmont Park. "We don't know what we're going to do now. We'll just play it day by day."
McLaughlin said he and his crew first noticed the temperature Tuesday evening. The setback could seriously hamper Like Now's chances of making the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) presented by Yum! Brands. McLaughlin mentioned the Blue Grass, Lexington, and Withers as possible next starts. If McLaughlin thinks it would be too difficult to make the Derby with Like Now, he could opt to point the gelding to the Preakness.
From the powerful stable of trainer Todd Pletcher, Keyed Entry has won three of his four lifetime starts. The son of Honour and Glory
won his only race at two, a maiden contest at Monmouth last July. He then returned to the races at Gulfstream in January, clearing an allowance condition before winning the Hutcheson (gr. II) in his first stakes start over First Samurai, who runs April 15 in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
In the Gotham under Edgar Prado, Keyed Entry was in second the entire running of the 1 1/16-mile race, just getting edged at the wire by Like Now.
Prado will again have the mount on Keyed Entry, who is owned by Starlight Stables, Paul Saylor, and Donald Lucarelli.
The other two who figure to get most of the support at the windows also have plenty of early speed, which could turn the Wood into what many handicappers would call a jockey's race.
Deputy Glitters has run his best near the front end for trainer Tom Albertrani, who for years has had a string of runners in New York for Godolphin but returns now on his own with a serious Triple Crown contender.
By Deputy Commander
, Deputy Glitters is a homebred for Joe LaCombe. Tampa Bay is becoming a much more popular place for Triple Crown aspirants and Deputy Glitters ran second in that track's Sam Davis Stakes before winning the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) in his last start.
Jose Lezcano, who was aboard in both starts in Florida, will be back aboard Deputy Glitters.
Trainer Bob Baffert ships Bob and John away from his Santa Anita base for a start in the Wood. The son of Seeking the Gold
has won three of eight starts and won the Sham Stakes (gr. III) before most recently finishing third in the San Felipe (gr. II) behind A. P. Warrior and Point Determined.
A Stonerside Stable homebred, Bob and John will be ridden for the first time by Garrett Gomez.
All starters carry 123 pounds, three less than they will carry in the May 6 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) presented by Yum! Brands.
The field, in post order, with jockey assignment:
1--Jazil, Fernando Jara
2--Platinum Couple, Jose Santos
3--Keyed Entry, Edgar Prado
4--Deputy Glitters, Jose Lezcano
5--Niagara Causeway, Isaias Enriquez
6--Greeley's Legacy, Eibar Coa
7--Bob and John, Garrett Gomez
8--Marco's Tale, Norberto Arroyo Jr.
9--Scanlon's Song, Ramon Dominguez