WOOD MEMORIAL BETTING

One of the five major Grade 1 prep races for the Kentucky Derby, the Wood Memorial Stakes (usually shortened to just 'Wood Memorial') is held in early April at the Aqueduct Park race track in the Ozone Park area of Queens, New York. It is a Grade 1 race for three year olds run over a distance of 1 1/8 mile for a purse of $1 million. The Wood Memorial was first run in 1925 and is named for Eugene Wood, a New York state politician and racing enthusiast who was the founder of the now defunct Jamaica Racetrack which hosted the event until 1960. It is the oldest of the current Kentucky Derby prep races.

THE ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY

The Kentucky Derby prep races have taken on added significance in the past couple of years due to a new qualification format based on a points system. Points are earned in designated prep races with the top races—including the Wood Memorial—awarding 100 points to the winner and all but guaranteeing them a spot in the big race. The other major Kentucky Derby prep races are the Santa Anita Derby, the Florida Derby, the Blue Grass Stakes and the Arkansas Derby. Historically, the Wood Memorial has produced a good many Kentucky Derby winners. Eleven horses have won the Wood Memorial and gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. In recent years, however, the Wood Memorial winners have not fared as well. It's been over a decade since a Wood Memorial winner went on to win the Kentucky Derby (Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000) and 10 years since a Wood Memorial entrant won the race (Funny Cide in 2004). Only 14 of the last 21 Wood Memorial winners (67%) have gone on to start in the Kentucky Derby. This is markedly lower than the other four major Derby prep races who have placed 80% or more of their winners in the Kentucky Derby during the past 21 yeas.

WOOD MEMORIAL BETTING NEWS

Trojan Nation Will Run In Kentucky Derby&h=223&w=348&zc=1

Added on April 26, 2016 , in Wood Memorial Betting

Trojan Nation Will Run In Kentucky Derby

He may be winless in six starts but on Tuesday the connections of Trojan Nation confirmed that Wood Memorial runner up Trojan Nation

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10.04.2016 , by Jim

Outwork Punches Derby Ticket For Todd Pletcher

On a busy day in the horse racing world it was easy to forget about the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. For whatever reason, it didn’t

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23.03.2016 , by Jim

Missing Pennsylvania Horseman Group Executive Found Dead

The strange story we reported

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21.03.2016 , by Jim

Embattled Pennsylvania HBPA Treasurer Missing

No matter how long a fan follows horse racing there’s always something that he’s never seen before. Good or bad–it’s

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BETTING THE WOOD MEMORIAL

Betting the Wood Memorial presents the same handicapping challenges as the other top Kentucky Derby prep races. Working in the player's favor is its significance—it's a rich, important race which means that there won't be many completely overmatched horses in the field. The problem in handicapping Wood Memorial bets is the fact that most of the entries don't have much formal racing experience which is now the case with all of the major Kentucky Derby prep races. Given the trend toward racing horses less in their two year old campaign and in the early part of their three year old career that makes races like the Wood Memorial the first serious test for many entries. The majority will be experienced on the track at Aqueduct which negates any type of 'home track advantage'.

DON'T DISMISS THE UNDERDOGS

While you have to be careful about making broad generalizations of this sort, the Wood Memorial has historically produced quite a few upsets and unexpected results. One of the biggest surprises in the history of the Wood Memorial involves a horse that didn't win—that was Secretariat in 1973. 'Big Red' finished third behind stablemate stablemate Angel Light and his arch rival Sham. He stepped up his game from that point, winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont to complete horse racing's Triple Crown and is now considered on a short list of the greatest horses in racing history. The 2014 Wood Memorial also produced a surprise result as 9-1 choice Wicked Strong ran past the two favorites in the race (Social Inclusion 8-5, Samraat 2-1). Some horse racing experts have theories about the poor performance of Wood Memorial winners in recent Kentucky Derby outings suggesting that the overall quality of race horses produced in New York is on the decline. At the same time, prep races in other states (particularly Arkansas with the Arkansas Derby) have grown in stature. Assuming there's some validity to this it underscores the wisdom of looking for underdogs when looking to bet the Wood Memorial. In theory an overall decline in the quality of horses coming out of New York would suggest a greater level of parity throughout fields which would produce more 'false favorites' and in turn more viable underdogs worthy of consideration.