Wood Memorial Picks


The last horse to win both the Wood Memorial Picks (G1) and the Kentucky Derby (G1) was Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000. This year, 10 three-year-olds enter the starting gate trying to end that trend. Here’s an in-depth look at the field:

Wood Memorial Picks#1 KID CRUZ, claimed off trainer Bill Mott for $50,000 last November, won his last race at Laurel by four lengths against easier after closing from the clouds.

#2 WICKED STRONG ran well last year as a two-year-old, finishing a close third to HONOR CODE and CAIRO PRINCE in the Remsen (G2), but has failed to fire in his two 2014 starts. Big improvement needed.

#3 NOBLE MOON won the Jerome (G2) nicely in his last start. Expect to see this guy setting the pace, although the anticipated big crowd joining him up front doesn’t favor his running style.

#4 HARPOON, a $500,000 son of Tapit, lost to both #8 SAMRAAT and #10 UNCLE SIGH in the Gotham (G3) last time out. Looking elsewhere.

#5 LOS BORRACHOS just broke his maiden and now takes a major step up to face Grade 1 competition. Lot to ask of a horse.

#6 KRISTO is a California invader who tried running from off the pace over a speed-favoring track in the San Felipe (G2) but could only manage a third place finish to CALIFORNIA CHROME. Expect him to be closer to the pace today.

#7 SCHIVARELLI is two-for-two over the inner dirt surface at Aqueduct and now switches to the main track. Three straight bullet workouts suggest trainer Eddie Kenneally has him on the muscle.

#8 SAMRAAT is an impressive five-for-five in his career and has beaten #10 UNCLE SIGH twice. Dangerous.

#9 EFFINEX is a New York-bred who sports improving Beyer Speed Figures but it doesn’t look like he has the class to beat these.

#10 UNCLE SIGH is a consistent son of Indian Charlie who has never finished worse than second in four lifetime starts.

#11 SOCIAL INCLUSION posted an eye popping 111 Beyer speed figure when beating HONOR CODE by 10 lengths at Gulfstream. However, horses drawn in post 11 on the main track at Aqueduct are just 5-for-78 since 1991.


1. #11 SOCIAL INCLUSION – Needs Kentucky Derby (G1) points.
2. #8 SAMRAAT – Undefeated.
3. #10 UNCLE SIGH – Barely lost to Samraat in last two starts.

LONG SHOT VALUE PLAY: #7 SCHIVERALI – Bullet works indicate he’s ready to go for top rider Javier Castellano.

Although post position may be his worse enemy, SOCIAL INCLUSION has a lot of talent and I believe he is simply the quickest horse in the field. My $50 will be spent on SOCIAL INCLUSION to win, hoping he can break well, cross over to save ground, and use his high cruising speed to take this field gate to wire.

BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)

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