Who Delivers The Wood ?

The Grade 2, $750,000 dollar Wood Memorial is Saturday at Aqueduct.

The 1 1/8-mile race attracted a field of thirteen 3-year-olds who will compete for the 100-40-30-20-10 points that go to the top five eligible finishers.

Here is a look at that field.

1. DREAMLIKE [ML 7-2] Trainer: Todd Pletcher. Jockey: Jose Ortiz. Was a $975,000 yearling purchase who did not make his first start until February at Gulfstream when he was 2nd going a mile. Last month, he was 2nd again going an additional half-furlong as the odds-on favorite in a field of six with another stalking trip. Blinkers go on for the first time. 

2. SHADOW DRAGON [ML 12-1] Trainer: Bill Mott. Jockey: Eric Cancel. Won his first start at Aqueduct in October against state-breds with a big closing move. Next, he was 6th in a New York-bred Stakes and then went to Florida. He surprised the Holy Bull (G3) field at 34-1 to finish 2nd beaten by less than a length. Tougher competition in the Fountain of Youth (G2) produced a 5th-place finish. 

3. KNOX [ML 50-1] Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr. Jockey: Jose Gomez. Was a debut Winner at Gulfstream Park last June against a field of seven at 5-1. He then tried a pair of Florida Stallion series Stakes and finished 4th and then 3rd. KNOX has two starts this year with a 2nd in an Allowance going seven furlongs.

4. GENERAL BANKER [ML 20-1] Trainer: James Ferraro. Jockey: Frankie Pennington. Made his first seven starts against New York-breds, breaking his Maiden in the seventh start by more than eight lengths in a New York Stallion Series Stakes race. He then moved onto the Kentucky Derby qualifying races at Aqueduct and finished 3rd three times, twice at a mile and once at nine furlongs. 

5. SLIP MAHONEY [ML 6-1] Trainer: Brad Cox. Jockey: Dylan Davis. Has made all four starts at Aqueduct and improved in every start. He broke his Maiden in his third start with a front-end effort going a mile. SLIP MAHONEY became a buzz horse for his rally from far back in the Gotham (G3) following a slow start to finish 2nd after going eight wide around the turn and ending up nine-wide for the stretch run. 

6. CLEAR THE AIR [ML 15-1] Trainer: William Walden. Jockey: Sheldon Russell. On Thursday his trainer said CLEAR THE AIR will scratch from the Wood Memorial and run instead in the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland on Saturday.

7. ARTIC ARROGANCE [ML 6-1] Trainer: Linda Rice. Jockey: Jose Lezcano. This New York-bred hit the board in all but one of his career starts, with the first three against state-breds and the last three being 2nd-place finishes in open-company Stakes at Aqueduct with fields of seven. Each time, he pressed the pace or was on the lead in races ranging from six furlongs, up to the Wood Memorial distance. This Grade 2 will have the biggest field that he has ever faced, but there is not a lot of early speed here. Blinkers come off after trying them last out.

8. LORD MILES [ML 30-1] Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr. Jockey: Paco Lopez. Broke his Maiden at first asking at Gulfstream in November with an almost six-length Victory from a stalking position. Joseph then moved him to Stakes races in Florida, where he ran 3rd in the Mucho Macho Man and last month was 5th in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3). 

9. CRUPI [ML 12-1] Trainer: Todd Pletcher. Jockey: Kendrick Carmouche. Still a Maiden after six starts, CRUPI has finished behind horses who have been prominent on the Derby trail, including DISARM, INSTANT COFFEE and SLIP MAHONEY. His last start was in February in the Risen Star (G2), where he finished 7th after a slow start put him far back in last in that field of 14. He made two starts at Aqueduct, including one in January when he finished a head behind SLIP MAHONEY. Distance is not a concern for this well-bred son of CURLIN

10. UNCLE JAKE [ML 20-1] Trainer: Brittany Russell. Jockey: Jevian Toledo. Broke his Maiden in his second start last month by more than nine lengths with a front-end effort as an odds-on favorite at Laurel Park when he stretched out to a mile against a field of six. 

11. CLASSIC CATCH [ML 10-1] Trainer: Todd Pletcher. Jockey: Trevor McCarthy. Made his first two starts at Aqueduct in the fall, breaking his Maiden in his second race by more than two lengths when he stretched out to nine furlongs. He then went to Florida with Pletcher and made two starts in Allowances, with a 3rd at Tampa Bay Downs and then a Win at Gulfstream Park by two lengths after a stalking trip going the same distance at the Wood. His last two starts were with Lasix, but he did run well without the medication as a 2-year-old. 

12. MR. SWAGGER [ML 30-1] Trainer: Juan Carlos Avila. Jockey: Carlos Olivero. Based out of Parx, but has made both starts at Aqueduct where he was a debut Winner at the end of January in a field of seven. He stepped up to the Derby trail in the Gotham (G3) and finished 6th after a bumpy trip put him toward the back of a big field.  Toss.

13. HIT SHOW [ML 5-2] Trainer: Brad Cox. Jockey: Manny Franco. Dominated the Withers (G3) at the Big A, which was run at 1 1/8 miles. Was the favorite in all four starts, which were run at four tracks and produced three Wins after stalking trips. HIT SHOW has been off for two months as connections targeted the Wood for his next start, as he showed an affinity for the NYC track.

The Wood Memorial is slated as the final race on a card of eleven with a scheduled Post Time of 6:15.

Best of luck with all your plays on Saturday.

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