Review of Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 6  

As part of the final prep races for the 2019 Kentucky Derby, the Wood Memorial awards qualifying points for the 2019 Kentucky Derby to the top four finishers on a 100-40-20-10 scale. 

Tacitus and Haikal have already secured enough points to start in the Derby.

Race 10. Wood Memorial,(GII). For three-year-old at 1 1/8 miles on dirt. Purse $750,000.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Tax Junior Alvarado Danny Gargan 9/2
2 Tacitus Jose L. Ortiz William Mott 5/2
3 Hoffa’s Union Dylan Davis Mark Casse 6/1
4 Haikal Rajiv Maragh Kiaran McLaughlin 7/2
5 Final Jeopardy Manuel Franco Jason Servis 8/1
6 Overdeliver Kendrick Carmouche Todd Pletcher 20/1
7 Not That Brady Reylu Gutierrez Rudy Rodriguez 20/1
8 Grumps Little Tots Jose Lezcano Jason Servis 30/1
9 Math Wizard Eric Cancel Saffie Joseph, Jr. 30/1
10 Outshine John R. Velazquez Todd Pletcher 6/1
11 Joevia Nik Juarez Gregory Sacco 30/1

Tax has a record for four starts of 2-1-1 with earnings of $186,300. He was claimed out of his maiden victory at Keeneland in October for $50,000. His next start, he ran third in the Remsen (GII) in December. In the Withers (GIII), he stumbled leaving the gate and was able to out the leaders to record a victory. He currently has 12 Derby points. He likes to stalk the pace setters. He should settle on the rail until the quarter pole. He should pass the pace setters down the lane. He should finish in the top two and earn enough Derby points to secure a Derby spot.

Tacitus has a record for three starts of 2-0-0 with earnings of $253,000. He broke his maiden at Aqueduct going a mile in November. He had a layup of almost four-months between starts, before winning the Tampa Bay Derby (GII). He likes to rally late and will be running at the leaders down the lane. He currently has 50 Derby points, which should be enough points to secure a Derby spot. He will be running late and should finish in the top three.

Hoffa’s Union has started once. He was a 15 1/2-length winner in his debut at Laurel Park in February. He has been working in Florida since his maiden voyage. He will be forwardly placed and set modest fractions. He might need another race before he is a solid contender against this competition. He could finish in top five.

Haikal has four race record of 3-1-0 with earnings of $298,900. He has  deep closing style that has been successful in all four starts at Aqueduct. This will be his first try at the distance and around two turns. He has raced at Aqueduct which gives him a slight advantage. He currently has 50 Derby points, which should be enough points to secure a Derby spot. He will be running late and should finish on the board.

Final Jeopardy won his last race a one-turn mile allowance race at Gulfstream. He too will try to stalk the pace setters for a try to out run the field the last quarter mile. He currently has 0 Derby points. He will be running late and should finish in the top six.

Overdeliver should be forwardly placed and setting the pace setters. He set the pace in his debut victory at Gulfstream in December and then bobbled at the break and finished second in the Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs. He currently has 0 Derby points. He should follow the pace group, pass them going into the final turn, and finish in the top five.

Not That Brady had a rough day at the track during his Gotham (GIII) race, in which he was basically eased after looking difficult to handle before the race. He ran second in 1 1/8 Withers after setting the pace. He likes to burn up the track and set very fast fractions. He should be one of the pace setters and ensure a very fast pace. He currently has 0 Derby points. He needs to compete against lower level competition in shorter races to be competitive. He should not be a factor at the wire.

Grumps Little Tots broke his after four tries to break his maiden in a one-turn mile in February. He currently has 0 Derby points. He needs to compete against lower level competition to be competitive. He should not be a factor at the wire.

Math Wizard was claimed three races in a row, twice for $16,000, and again on Jan. 31 for $25,000 by his current connections. His last start came on March 15 at Gulfstream, where he rallied for second in a starter allowance going a mile. He currently has 0 Derby points. Appears he is hoping to receive an afternoon workout check. He needs to compete against lower level competition to be competitive. He should not be a factor at the wire.

Outshine won his in May at Belmont Park, then followed by finishing a disappointing fifth in the Tremont. He returned from an eight-month layoff with an allowance victory at Gulfstream Park in February. He currently has 20 Derby points. He likes to stalk the leaders from mid-pack. He will wait till the field turns for home to start his kick. He could finish in the top six.

Joevia broke his maiden during the summer at Monmouth Park and then did not race again until February, when he was beaten by just a neck in the Jimmy Winkfield. A month later, he ran second in the Private Terms at Laurel while going two turns and staying just behind the early pace. He currently has 0 Derby points. He is been improving in each race and could find a spot on the board.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • Tax
  • Haikal
  • Tacitus

 

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