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Posted by on 4/8/2014 10:29:47 PM

Wicked Strong was wickedly good on Saturday as he powered home to win the Wood Memorial and online sports betting site players need to pay attention to this improving equine star.

The race was realistically run. Formerly unbeaten pacesetter Schivarelli was dismissed on the tote in the mile and an eighth fixture but he opened up a short lead after running the quarter in :23.79.

Social Inclusion , who burst into the sophomore spotlight when he beat Honor Code but 10 lengths, picked up the baton at the half-mile and had the lead at the top of the lane after running a mile in 1:36.39. The legit pace started to take a toll at this point and Samraat was poised to pounce but he was inhaled.

Wicked Strong was 2 lengths off the lead with a furlong to go but he quickened rapidly and drew off by 3 and a half lengths in 1:49.31.

That final time holds up very well. It was the fastest Wood since Bellamy Road freaked in the race in 2005 when he went 1:47.16.

And in 2009 I Want Revenge won the Wood in 1:49.46 and he went on to win the Kentucky Derby. Wicked Strong earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure.

James Jerkens trains Wicked Strong, and he has been around the block and back. His father Allen is a Hall of Fame trainer and James has had some nice horses over the years. He has won a number of Grade 1s including twice saddling Breeders??? Cup winners and he noticed that the outside was a good spot to be in the early races on Saturday.

He has had to be patient with Wicked Strong but he always had confidence in the colt, Jerkens: ???He???s a nice colt; he???s got good wind, he???s good and strong and he???s got a bit of a streak in him, which is good. He???s a tough horse to handle. He doesn???t cheat on the track. He???s all business when he gets out there. When I saw him laying 5 lengths off the lead, just galloping, I really felt we had a big shot. He was really comfortable laying relatively close behind a fast pace.???

Wicked Strong showed talent last year running a good third in the Remsen and he was just dead short in his return in January. The show horse in that race Intense Holiday took the Grade 2 Risen Star next out and then was a well-beaten 2nd in Vicar???s in Trouble???s Louisiana Derby.

Wicked Strong had raced just 2 weeks ago when he passed tired horses in an entry-level allowance effort but that race came back strong as the winner, Constitution, took the Florida Derby on March 29 with a 99 Beyer.

As far as the pedigree is concerned, his sire Hard Spun carried speed long successfully, won a Grade 1 and earned over $2.6 million.

His dam only won once but it was a turf route and the lone sibling had a similar career, also just winning one route in her career.

Things are heating on the Derby Fever trail and the best is yet to come.

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