Aqueduct Racetrack Notes 4.05.18
by NYRA Press Office
- G2 Wood Memorial fave Enticed takes a spin around Belmont training track
- Decker looks for first graded stakes win as Old Time Revival, Fellowship settle in
- Romans trainee King Zachary ‘ready to go’ for Wood Memorial
- Tickets available for “Dinner and Derby” with Anthony Stabile at King Umberto
- What’s happening Wood Memorial Day, Saturday, April 7
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:
- Doors will open early at 10:30 a.m. First post for the 11-race Wood Memorial Day card is 1 p.m. Post time for the 94th running of the Grade 2, $1 million Wood Memorial is 5:55. Admission is free to the first two floors and $3 to the third floor.
T-shirt giveaway and food trucks:
- Fans will have the chance to pick up a commemorative Wood Memorial short sleeve t-shirt with the on-track purchase of a program, while supplies last. The final giveaway of Aqueduct's 2018 spring meet will take place on the first floor of the grandstand adjacent to the Silks Bar. The t-shirt will feature this year's Wood Memorial logo on the front, and past winners of Aqueduct's most prestigious race on the back.
- Food trucks from the New York City metropolitan area will set up shop on the track apron, offering a variety of fares for the afternoon.
Belmont Stakes Racing Festival tickets available on site:
- Tickets for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will be available on site at Aqueduct Racetrack on Wood Memorial Day, Saturday, April 7. Guests can purchase their tickets with no fees at designated stations on the first floor at the top of the escalator and outside of the Equestris dining room on the third floor. General admission for Belmont Stakes Day is $15 through April 30. Reserved seating is available beginning at $55.
- Ticketholders are automatically entered into the Belmont Stakes $150,000 Sweepstakes, which will provide one lucky fan with the chance of a lifetime - to earn $150,000 by picking the winner of the 150th Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 9. Fans can earn up to 12 entries into this sweepstakes with purchase of Belmont Stakes tickets.
Woodford Reserve Wood Sour sampling:
- Woodford Reserve is the official bourbon of the Wood Memorial and guests with dining reservations in Equestris can partake in a sampling of this year’s official cocktail, the Woodford Reserve Wood Sour. A Woodford Reserve bartender will be on hand for the sampling from 1-3 p.m. Participants must be 21 or older and must stay on track. One sample per guest.
Wood Memorial Handicapping Challenge:
- The Wood Memorial Challenge, the premier live-money handicapping tournament at the Big A, offers horseplayers the chance to compete for more than $25,000 in total prizes. In addition to cash prizes, horseplayers will compete for one seat, including entry fees, to the 2018 Belmont Stakes Challenge in June and two seats to the 2019 National Handicapping Championship held in Las Vegas.
- Eligible NYRA Bets members can score even bigger with a 10 percent winner's bonus during Wood Memorial Challenge. Contestants for the Wood Memorial Challenge are required to pre-register online and pay all entry fees by Thursday, April 5 at 5:00 p.m. ET at nyra.com/challenge.
NYRA Bets promotions:
- The NYRA Bets Late Pick 5, available exclusively to NYRA Bets members across the country and to bettors in New York, wagering on track or through a simulcast facility, returns daily beginning Wood Memorial Day. Saturday’s NYRA Bets Late Pick 5 kicks off with Race 7, the Grade 3, $150,000 Excelsior and continues with the Grade 1, $400,000 Carter Handicap (Race 8), the Grade 3, $250,000 Bay Shore (Race 9), the Grade 2, $1 million Wood Memorial (Race 10). It concludes with the day’s nightcap in Race 11, a $25,000 claiming contest at 1 1/16 miles on the outer turf.
- NYRA Bets members can also drum up their Kentucky Derby wagering arsenals with the Derby "Bankroll Builder." Members who make a $50 win wager on any horse in the Wood can earn an additional $25 - win or lose - to wager on the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 5 at Churchill Downs. The Bankroll Builder series will continue on Saturday, April 14 with the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.