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Knock On Wood

Posted by on 4/1/2014 9:58:57 PM

The Wood Memorial has not been very potent in the recent years as astute online sports betting site players are aware but that could change this season so let’s see who’s likely to show up Saturday at Aqueduct.

The Wood has not produced a top 3 Kentucky Derby finisher since 2003 but a total of 11 winners of the Wood have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby and some of those were stars.

Classy performers like Gallant Man, Count Fleet, Seattle Slew Bold Forbes, Fusaichi Pegasus, Congaree and I Want Revenge did the Wood/Ky. Derby tango.

The most famous loser of the Wood was the great Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown in 1973.

Social Inclusion is very intriguing in this race. He broke his maiden toying with rivals last season and then just put in a smasher beating Honor Code in his other start when winning by 10 with a ridiculous 111 Beyer Speed Figure.

His final time of 1:40 4/5 set the track record that was set a month earlier by Devil’s Cave. But maybe even more impressive was his winning margin of 10 lengths. Honor Code got the place and was over 17 lengths in front of the third finisher, who also was 17 ahead of the next rival.

As far as the pedigree is concerned, Social Inclusion has a right to perform as the distances widen. His sire won Grade 1 races routing and was second in Mine That Bird’s Kentucky Derby in 2009.

His Grade 2 placed dam was sprint only but his lone sibling to race Saint Midas won routing.

Uncle Sigh looms and interesting prospect in the Wood. His trainer, Gary Contessa, was pleased after the runner had and easy gallop last week. Contessa: “He’s handled everything really well; he could care less. He’s cool, calm and collected. He’s got the right mental frame for all of this. Whether we make it to the show or not, if he does, mentally, he is on par. He’ll look at 150,000 people and say ‘Eh, whatever.’”

Samraat can only try to improve on perfection today. He passed a big test two back winning in open company for the first time and then proved it was no fluke taking the Gotham with a career best 96 Beyer. His trainer Richard Violette made a solid decision to take him to Florida train early in the season at the peaceful facility at Palm Meadows.

Kristo will be flying in from California for this race. He has never run a bad race and has been in the money in Graded company twice since graduating.

After graduating in his first start routing by over 6 lengths with an 84 Beyer, he was sent along on the lead in the Grade 3 Sham, after being a bit nervous in the paddock, but could not hold off Midnight Hawk. His sire Distorted Humor is known as a sprinter but did win routing. His stakes winning dam was sprint only but was Grade 3 placed a mile. John Sadler thought enough of this runner to ship 3,000 miles and that speaks volumes.

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