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2024 Wood Memorial and Bay Shore Stakes

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Resilience after winning the Wood Memorial.

Carter Handicap, Gazelle Stakes, and Distaff Handicap

Date: 04/06/2024

The major New York prep race for the Triple Crown is the $750,000 Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) presented by Resorts World Casino, contested at 1 1/8 miles, one complete circuit of the Aqueduct main track, worth 100 points to the winner as part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. Conditions were typical for early April at the Long Island oval near Kennedy Airport, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 50's, and the main track rated fast. After El Grande O was late scratched by the veterinarian, 12 of the originally drawn field of 13 faced the starter with Gotham Stakes (G3) winner Deterministic sent off as the 9-10 favorite. In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Tuscan Sky off his maiden win at second asking, and 9-2 third choice Resilience, 4th in the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds last out.
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Down the stretch in the Wood Memorial

Jockey Eric Cancel sent 53-1 Evening News to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.45, 47.49, and 1:12.31 while pressed by 80-1 Lonesome Boy and stalked by Resilience. Turning for home, Evening News tired allowing Resilience to take over the lead through 1 mile in 1:37.35. Kept to task by John Velazquez, Resilience drew off late to win by 2 1/4 lengths over late-running 107-1 Society Man in 1:50.28. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to deep closing 38-1 Protective third while favorite Deterministic was 4th early but railed to rally checking in 8th beaten 17 3/4 lengths. 157-1 longest shot Deposition was midpack 5th into the stretch but appeared to clip heels and fell at the 3/16 pole unseating jockey Dexter Haddock. Haddock was uninjured and Deposition stood up under his own power and walked onto the van under his own power to be taken back to the barn for further evaluation.

Photos courtesy Nancy Rokos
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Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place  Show
 1   Resilience         Velazquez    11.00    6.30  4.60
11   Society Man        Rivera               54.00 27.80
 5   Protective         Carmouche                  13.20

Winning Time:  1:50.28 

$1 Exacta 1-11              371.00
$1 Trifecta 1-11-5        4,292.50
$1 Superfecta 1-11-5-3   67,765.50
Results Chart

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Resilience in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bill Mott said, "He ran very well. Leana [Willaford, assistant] did a great job with him. It was a similar trip to what we were hoping for. The blinkers didn't hurt, did they?"

Right: The trophy presentation for the Wood Memorial. Winning co-owner Ric Waldman said, "We weren't confident, but hopeful. His race in the Risen Star was better than it appeared and he gave up a lot. Bill [Mott] taking him back to Payson Park and training him for these weeks, he had him just picture perfect for this race. He broke well and he was in great position as you'd want him to be. And John [Velazquez] just bided his time, stayed covered up, and when he saw an opening, he moved him out and the rest you saw yourself. It's our first Derby. I grew up in Louisville and I cut my teeth cutting school and going to Churchill Downs. It means a lot."

horse racinghorse racing Left: Resilience walks over before the race. Winning co-owner Emily Bushnell said, "I feel so lucky to be part of this incredible horse. He has brought my family's breeding program full circle. My father's [Marty Wygod] dedication and love for the thoroughbred industry has spanned multiple years and Resilience is the product of a broodmare line he has nurtured and it is so exciting to see him succeed at this level."

Right: Resilience returns after the race. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "We broke really well, which was what we wanted to do. He got a little bit aggressive, more than I wanted to in the first part. Then I put him out and he kind of relaxed better on the outside of horses. The reason we put blinkers on is because he's kind of hesitant in passing the horses. So I kind of engaged him a little bit early to see if he'd pass horses and he passed them. Then I was like 'Oh man I might've broken a little too soon.' Then he just kept me busy down the lane."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher Society Man walks over before the race. Trainer Danny Gargan said, "We've always liked him, and I don't run many maidens [winners] in stakes race, but we've always thought he was a talented gelding. We're all over the moon. What a race he ran. I was super proud of him, and I thought for a minute he was going to get there. He's learning and getting better, and obviously we're going to look at the Derby with him. 50 [points] gets you in usually. We couldn't be more excited. His mother won going a mile and an eighth and he's getting better, so I'm excited to have two for the Derby [Dornoch], both by Good Magic."

Right: Third place finisher Protective returns after the race. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche said, "First start in blinkers, I didn't want to do too much with him. They had a lot of speed in the race. I just sit on him and save him as much as I can. I had a perfect trip got through every spot I wanted, it's just the other horses had more experience to kick on. He ran a pretty good race for a maiden."

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The horses break from the gate for the Wood Memorial.

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The $150,000 Bay Shore Stakes featured a field of ten 3-year-olds sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Proprietary Trade was sent off as the 2-1 favorite off his maiden win at second asking. In to challenge him included 9-4 second choice Maximum Meridius, 4th in the Gotham (G3), and 5-1 third choice Eliminate, 9th in the Gotham.

28-1 Shea D World and 8-1 Classic Joke dueled for the lead out of the chute through fractions of 22.78 and 46.36 while stalked by Maximus Meridius. On the far turn the pacesetters tired badly allowing Maximus Meridius to open up a 4 length lead midstretch through 3/4 in 1:11.37. 15-1 Reasoned Analysis, 9th early under Eric Cancel, came out 7 wide into the lane and rallied to win going away by 3 1/4 lengths in 1:24.35. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to late-running Eliminate third, while favorite Proprietary Trade checked in 7th beaten 8 lengths.

Results Chart

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Reasoned Analysis in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "[Reasoned Analysis] ran super. My assistant, Dan Stupp, deserves a lot of credit. He was telling me how well this horse was training up there. It was a last minute entry when it looked like there was going to be a lot of pace in the race. We threw him in there to complement the other one and it worked out. Eric Cancel was patient and timed it just right to start his run. I'm really impressed with the horse, my team up in New York and Eric, who is 2-for-2 on this horse. Eric has a high-percentage with us and is riding really well."

Right: Reasoned Analysis returns after the race. Winning jockey Eric Cancel said, "I just wanted to leave my horse very comfortable. I knew what I had underneath me. I've been working him. I was just patient with him. I just wanted to get a clean trip, and I did. It worked out well. They left it up to me. I just wanted to keep him comfortable. The spot that I had was golden, so everything worked out well."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher Maximus Meridius returns after the race. Jockey Mychel Sanchez said, "I think he ran great. He's still getting himself together. I feel like he's still learning although he'd run four times. He ran great. [Reasoned Analysis] came out of nowhere. He really ran an impressive race. The track looks like it's playing off a bit today pretty much every single race so I think he ran his race. It's always great [to place in a stakes race].This is the place you want to be so hopefully we'll be here full time one day."

Right: Third place finisher Eliminate in the post parade. The Todd Pletcher trainee improved his record to 1 win, 0 seconds, and 3 thirds om 6 starts, earning $92,000 for owners Spendthrift Farm and Repole Stable.

On to the Carter Handicap, Gazelle Stakes, and Distaff Handicap also on the card.

Past winners of the Wood Memorial
Past winners of the Bay Shore Stakes

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