Aqueduct Wood Memorial Offers Kentucky Derby Berth

Chris Adams

New York has not been the circuit to prep Kentucky Derby winners on. However, this year the runners from the final prep at Aqueduct have a legitimate shot.

As of the writing of this article official program numbers and morning line odds have not been assigned. Please consult Equibase.com on race day before placing any wagers for program numbers.

Wood Memorial Analysis

Last year it was Kendrick Carmouche and a late charging Bourbonic at 72-1 to win the Wood Memorial from Aqueduct. The race was an exciting photo finish but failed to have any significant impact on the final order finish in the Kentucky Derby.

Video courtesy of the New York Racing Association

This was par for the course as the Wood Memorial hasn’t produced a Derby winner since Fusaichi Pegasus did it back in 2000. However, this year runners from the some of the earlier New York preps have suggested that the race could stack up well against its counter part around the country.

Aqueduct Race 8

Post: 4:45 PM ET; Purse: $750,000 Wood Memorial S. Presented by Resorts World Casino, 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 8

Morello wins the Gotham easily over the Aqueduct main track
Morello geared down at Aqueduct. Image courtesy of America’s Best Racing
  • MORELLO is my top pick. If you read Kentucky Derby 2022 Contenders: Epicenter Leads the Field earlier this week. You know that I am high on this horse. This one has the speed figures to get the job done here. An impressive victory in this spot and this one has a reasonable shot to be my top pick heading into the Kentucky Derby.
  • EARLY VOTING is well bred and lightly races. I think this one could end up being the best of the bunch at the end of the career, but I’m not sure that progression will be complete in time for Churchill.
  • BARESE will be ridden by Dylan Davis who had a monster of a winter. He will have to show that he can produce the same results now that the colony is getting stronger.
  • MO DONEGAL is one of three for Todd Pletcher in the race. He goes with Rosario here and if the pace gets hot and falls apart like last year, this one should be able to save ground and seal the deal.

Selections: MORELLO (Best Bet)-EARLY VOTING-BARESE- MO DONEGAL

Saturday Full Card Analysis

Aqueduct Race 1

Post: 12:50 PM ET; Purse: $80,000 Maiden Special Weight, 6 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 14

  • CUPIDS GIRL is in with a great chance based on the horse's record at the distance & pace numbers.
  • FULL COUNT FELICIA is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed. This one is well bred for the turf.
  • WHISKEY LULLABY goes out for the team of Linda Rice and Jose Lezcano.
  • BRISKY FROLIC merits consideration in this spot given edges in stamina & record at the distance.

Selections: CUPIDS GIRL-FULL COUNT FELICIA-WHISKEY LULLABY-BRISKY FROLIC

Aqueduct Race 2

Post: 1:25 PM ET; Purse: $82,000 Allowance, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 7

  • TIMED OUT is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed & power rating.
  • MONSHUN could get a perfect pace scenario today.
  • MIDTOWN ROSE comes into the race signaling a big performance in the near future.
  • LANFRANKOPHILE will likely have the stamina to outlast these in the final jumps of the race.

Selections: TIMED OUT-MONSHUN-MIDTOWN ROSE-LANFRANKOPHILE

Aqueduct Race 3

Post: 1:58 PM ET; Purse: $80,000 Maiden Special Weight, 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 16

  • DEVIL'S OUTLAW is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today's distance and surface conditions.
  • BAY STREET MONEY is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed. The blood lines say this one is a runner.
  • HIGHER QUALITY comes into the race signaling a big performance in the near future.
  • COGNITIVE BIAS is trained by Chad Brown who’s runners seem to come alive when New York turf season rolls around.

Selections: DEVIL'S OUTLAW-BAY STREET MONEY-HIGHER QUALITY-COGNITIVE BIAS

Aqueduct Race 4

Post: 2:29 PM ET; Purse: $82,000 Allowance, 1 1/16 Miles on Turf; Entries: 10

  • TIMELESS JOURNEY merits consideration in this spot given edges in speed & stamina.
  • GIGGLE FACTORY has plenty of early speed to be involved early. Sometimes these types get left on the front end in New York turf racing and can be especially dangerous.
  • HONEY MONEY is worth a look here given edges in class & record at the distance.
  • ENTWINE will likely have the stamina to outlast these in the final jumps of the race.

Selections: TIMELESS JOURNEY-GIGGLE FACTORY-HONEY MONEY-ENTWINE

Aqueduct Race 5

Post: 3:05 PM ET; Purse: $150,000 Distaff H., 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 6

  • SEARCH RESULTS looks tough to beat here given the edge in a number of key categories including speed & power rating.
  • GLASS CEILING should be competitive, but it feels like the whole field is a cut below the top pick.
  • EASY TO BLESS is a major player based on speed figures.
  • KEPT WAITING should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done.

Selections: SEARCH RESULTS-GLASS CEILING-EASY TO BLESS-KEPT WAITING

Aqueduct Race 6

Post: 3:37 PM ET; Purse: $44,000 Claiming, 1 Mile on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • YANKEE DIVISION has a great shot in the race given the speed & power rating.
  • GOODLUCKCHUCK is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today's distance and surface conditions.
  • KUMAR is worth a look here given edges in connections & pace numbers.
  • LOST IN ROME is in with a great chance based on the horse's stamina & race flow.

Selections: YANKEE DIVISION-GOODLUCKCHUCK-KUMAR-LOST IN ROME

Aqueduct Race 7

Post: 4:11 PM ET; Purse: $100,000 Danger's Hour S., 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 9

  • VALUE PROPOSITION should be competitive based on the overall power rating which has it tops in the group.
  • CITY MAN is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including stamina & pace numbers.
  • PRICE TALK makes some sense here based on the horse's speed & record at the distance.
  • SOUTHERN DISTRICT is yet another Chad on the turf. While the top pick looks like his better option in this race, “the other Chad” runner can be a sneaky angle.

Selections: VALUE PROPOSITION-CITY MAN-PRICE TALK-SOUTHERN DISTRICT

Aqueduct Race 8

Post: 4:45 PM ET; Purse: $750,000 Wood Memorial S. Presented by Resorts World Casino, 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • Wood Memorial Stakes analysis provided above.

Selections: MORELLO-EARLY VOTING-BARESE-MO DONEGAL

Aqueduct Race 9

Post: 5:21 PM ET; Purse: $300,000 Carter H., 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • SPEAKER'S CORNER looks formidable here given the edge in a number of key categories including speed & pace numbers.
  • MIND CONTROL merits consideration in this spot given edges in stamina & class.
  • GREEN LIGHT GO should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done.
  • REINVESTMENT RISK makes some sense in the gimmicks.

Selections: SPEAKER'S CORNER-MIND CONTROL-GREEN LIGHT GO-REINVESTMENT RISK

Aqueduct Race 10

Post: 5:55 PM ET; Purse: $250,000 Gazelle S., 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • CLASSY EDITION is in with a great chance based on the horse's class & form.
  • VENTI VALENTINE merits consideration in this spot given edges in speed & stamina.
  • MORNING MATCHA is in with a great chance based on the horse's connections & pace numbers.
  • SHOTGUN HOTTIE is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today's distance and surface conditions.

Selections: CLASSY EDITION-VENTI VALENTINE-MORNING MATCHA-SHOTGUN HOTTIE

Aqueduct Race 11

Post: 6:29 PM ET; Purse: $200,000 Bay Shore S., 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 10

  • DEAN'S LIST is worth a look here given edges in class & power rating.
  • OUTKISSED looks competitive on figures but I’m a bit leery of the fact that they were earned at Laurel.
  • HIGHLY RESPECTED is worth a look here given edges in connections & form.
  • WIT started the career with 2 impressive wins. Since then then he’s come up short in two straight grade 1 races. This is an easier field, but this horse always breaks so slow. While the stretch drive is fun to watch, its not a great place to have your money, especially if there are early indications that speed is holding.

Selections: DEAN'S LIST-OUTKISSED-HIGHLY RESPECTED-WIT

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