by NYRA Press Office
Grade 2, $1 million Wood Memorial favorite Enticed enjoyed an easy first morning at Belmont Park, jogging one mile and galloping another around the training track late Thursday morning.
Installed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s feature stakes, Godolphin Racing’s homebred Medaglia d’Oro colt arrived in New York from South Florida late Wednesday evening and hit the track around 10 a.m. Thursday.
“It seems like he’s settled in well,” said Joe Lee, assistant trainer to Kiaran McLaughlin. “His temperature is good and he looks to be in good spirits. He seems great.
“The plan this morning was to just go nice and easy,” he added. “He just got in last night so we don’t want to do too much with him and he seemed to cooperate as well. He was nice and kind and relaxed.”
Thursday was Enticed’s first time training at Belmont since winning the Grade 3 Gotham by 2 ¾ lengths on March 10 and punching his ticket to the Kentucky Derby.
Fellow Wood Memorial entrants Restoring Hope, for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, and Vino Rosso, for trainer Todd Pletcher, also arrived Wednesday evening at Belmont Park.
The Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack is the final stop on the New York Road to the Kentucky Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs. With 170 total qualifying points up for grabs, the Wood is worth 100 qualifying points to the winner, 40 points to second, 20 to third and 10 to fourth.
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Decker looks for first graded stakes win as Old Time Revival, Fellowship settle in
Kenneth Decker’s contingent for Wood Memorial Day shipped in well on Wednesday and looks to be in good order heading into Saturday, the trainer said by phone Thursday morning.
Decker said Old Time Revival, entered in the Grade 2, $1 million Wood Memorial, and Fellowship, for the Grade 1, $400,000 Carter, both arrived in New York on Wednesday and are stabled at Aqueduct. Both had been training at Laurel Park.
“They made the trip real good and shipped in well,” Decker said.
Decker, who saddled his first winner in 1996, will be looking for his first career graded stakes win after posting three second-place finishes since 2017. Last year, Awesome Banner was the runner-up in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap and the Grade 3 Smile Sprint. In the current campaign, Old Time Revival ran a hard-charging second to Enticed in the Grade 3 Gotham on March 10 and Fellowship ran second in the Grade 3 General George.
Old Time Revival drew post 4 in the nine-horse Wood Memorial and is listed as 6-1 on the morning line for the 94th running of the Wood.
“This one’s a little different. It’s special this time of the year going out there and having the opportunity to run in the first Saturday in May at Churchill,” Decker said.
“In the Gotham, it was the first time he left Laurel, and he handled the trip really good and settled in well. He was relaxed and taking it all in, and he seemed to really like the racetrack. I think the four-spot is a really good position for him and a good spot to be in for him. His forte is to be on the front. We’ll look to maybe get a little softer trip early. But his preference is usually on the lead.”
Fellowship drew post 10 of 11 in the Carter. Listed at 20-1, the Florida-bred Awesome of Course colt will have the services of jockey Jeremy Rose, who will also ride Old Time Revival later in the day.
“I think it’s a good spot for him, he’s more of a one-turn horse and it’s an opportunity for him to keep his face clean early,” Decker said. “It should work out a good trip.”
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Romans trainee King Zachary ‘ready to go’ for Wood Memorial
Trainer Dale Romans said Thursday that King Zachary is “ready to go,” for his start in Saturday’s 94th running of the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The 3-year-old son of Curlin took to the track Thursday morning to stretch his legs and get familiar with the Aqueduct soil after arriving in New York on Wednesday. The Wood will be the fourth start, and first graded stakes try, for the Kentucky-bred after he romped home to a 7 ¾-length maiden-breaking victory at Gulfstream on March 18.
“It’s a solid race,” Romans said. “There’s a good bunch in there, and he’ll have to step his game up on Saturday, but everything is in good shape, and we’re ready to go.”
King Zachary made his debut at Churchill Downs on November 10, and flattened to third, then returned as 3 year-old with another solid third place finish after he was taken up sharply at the break, but closed well through the stretch at Gulfstream to fall 1 ½ lengths short at the wire.
Owner Thomas F. Conway named King Zachary after a friend’s son, Zachary Thompson, a 16-year-old who suffered a hypoxia-related injury at birth, and Zachary Boone, one of Conway’s eight grandchildren.
Romans will be at Keeneland on Saturday where he will saddle both Tiz Mischief and Free Drop Billy in the the $1 million, Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes.
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Tickets available for “Dinner and Derby” with Anthony Stabile at King Umberto
On Wednesday, May 2 at the famous King Umberto Restaurant, racing fans can celebrate the Kentucky Derby with great food, lively conversation, and an expert panel of handicappers at “Dinner and Derby,” presented by NYRA Bets.
Hosted by Anthony Stabile of Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) and NYRA TV, the “Dinner and Derby” panel will feature some of the best handicappers around, including two-time Group 1 Golden Shaheen-winning trainer Chad Summers, SNY TV and CBS Sports Radio personality Marc Malusis, Daily Racing Form handicappers Mike Beer and Steve Grabowski, and handicapper Anthony Affrunti.
Tickets are $80 per person and include a four-course dinner, past performances and free merchandise. Reservations are required and space is limited. Part of the proceeds from the night will go to Old Friends thoroughbred retirement farms.
King Umberto is located near Belmont Park at 1343 Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont, New York. For reservations or more information, please contact [email protected]
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What’s Happening Wood Memorial Day, Saturday, April 7
Gates and post time:
T-shirt giveaway and food trucks:
Belmont Stakes Racing Festival tickets available on site:
Woodford Reserve Wood Sour sampling:
Wood Memorial Handicapping Challenge:
NYRA Bets promotions: