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Isabelle de Tomaso's Irish War Cry has settled back into his Fair Hill base in good condition following his victory in the $750,000 Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Irish War Cry put doubts to rest April 8 in the $750,000 Wood Memorial Presented by NYRA Bets (G2), clearing Battalion Runner by open lengths to rebound from his lackluster performance last out.
Consider this your weekly guide to the best stakes in North America. This week we have massive stakes cards at Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park built around three top Triple Crown preps.
What is already a successful comeback by any definition could take a storybook twist when jockey Rajiv Maragh pilots grade 2 winner Irish War Cry in Saturday's Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2).
- By Dave Litfin
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region, Kentucky
Horse players will need three sets of eyes to keep track of this week's action, as Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park all run 170-point qualifiers to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
Trainer Graham Motion views the April 8 Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack as Irish War Cry's opportunity to convince him his presence in the first leg of the Triple Crown is necessary.
In preparation for their next start in the Wood Memorial (G2) April 8, Todd Pletcher trainees Battalion Runner and Bonus Points both worked April 2.
Isabelle de Tomaso's homebred grade 2 winner Irish War Cry, back on familiar ground at the Fair Hill Training Center in Fair Hill, Md., continued preparations for his next start with a six-furlong breeze over the main track April 2.
M M G Stables' Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) hopeful El Areeb will miss his scheduled start in the Wood Memorial (G2) as well as the Derby because of a bone chip in his right front knee, trainer Cal Lynch said March 30.
The Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (G2) winner returned to the work tab March 25 after running seventh in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), putting in five furlongs in 1:01.10 at Palm Meadows Training Center.
With an eye on returning to New York for the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) April 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack, M M G Stables' dual grade 3 winner El Areeb breezed March 23 at his Laurel Park base for trainer Cal Lynch.
Last year, we undertook a review of the prospects of stallions with first 2-year-olds of 2016. The series focused on pedigree and biomechanical values as well as on our impressions of how their offspring performed at the juvenile sales.
Add the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park to the list of Triple Crown preps being considered for M M G Stables' impressive 3-year-old El Areeb, a winner of his last four races including back-to-back graded stakes.
The Wood Memorial (G2), which was downgraded from its prior grade 1 status for 2017, had its purse lowered to $750,000 this year but remains the highlight of the spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Darby Dan Farm's freshman sire Dialed In held onto the title of leading North American first-crop sire, which he claimed after moving past Lane End's Union Rags in late November.
- By Steve Haskin
There have been many, myself included, who were shocked by the Graded Stakes committee's decision to downgrade two of the most historic Kentucky Derby preps, the Wood Memorial and Blue Grass Stakes, from grade I to grade II.
While the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack will be downgraded from grade I to grade II races next season, don’t expect an immediate impact on horsemen’s Triple Crown plans or field quality.
In a dramatic reshaping of graded status of 2017 Triple Crown prep races, the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association has downgraded the Toyota Blue Grass and the Wood Memorial from grade I to grade II.
Stud fees for Medaglia d'Oro and Bernardini unchanged at $150,000 and $100,000, respectively.
Topped by an Orb colt from the family of champion Songbird, the second session of Fasig-Tipton’s October yearling sale Oct. 25 saw solid across-the-board trade, with downturns in average and median prices.
Led by a $150,000 Street Cry mare, Fasig-Tipton kicked off the mixed auction season Oct. 17 with figures on nearly even terms with the 2015 edition of the Saratoga fall sale at the Humphrey S. Finney Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
China Horse Club and WinStar Farm's Theory parlayed his success from a standout debut win at Saratoga Race Course into the graded stakes ranks Oct. 15 with another impressive score in the $200,000 Futurity Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park.
Gainesway Stable's Cherry Lodge and WinStar Farm's Spirituality were well supported in their respective stakes debuts following impressive maiden victories, but failed to reach the winner's circle in their second starts.
Only five passed the entry box for Belmont Park’s $200,000 Futurity Stakes (gr. III), with impressive first-out maiden winner Theory figuring to be the one to beat.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Alpha||Kiaran P. McLaughlin||
|Casual Trick||Nicholas P. Zito||
|Gemologist||Todd A. Pletcher||
|My Adonis||David Jacobson||
|Street Life||Chad C. Brown||
|Teeth of the Dog||Michael R. Matz||
|The Lumber Guy||Michael E. Hushion||
|Tiger Walk||Ignacio Correas, IV||
Upcoming Stakes Entries
|Swiftly Sired Fillies S.||IND|
|Sagamore Sired S.||IND|
|Prairie Rose S.||PRM|
|Chariot Chaser H.||NP|
|Wild Rose H.||NP|