Happy Wood Memorial Day! 

Today we get our first big race day of the year in New York with four graded stakes headlined by the Carter Handicap and the Wood Memorial. It’s a nice full field of thirteen in the Wood. 

Trivia question: Who is the Carter Handicap named for? 

Race 4 – The Carter Handicap  – Grade II 

Seven Furlongs on the Dirt for Four Year Olds and Upward 

  1. Castle Chaos: Was very good two back in the Fred Hooper where he was wide the whole way and just missed (97 Beyer). Tired in the slop last out in the Stymie. Inside draw should help to establish a position. Picks up a piece.  
  2. Whittington Park: Five year old colt enters here off his first stakes win in the State Bred Haynesfield (99 Beyer) where he came from off the pace to run down the leader who looked the winner at the eighth pole.  Turns back to seven panels. Not today.
  3. Post Time: Winner of three in a row and seven of eight in his career was impressive last out in the General George at Laurel where he won going away after having to alter his path in the stretch (103 Beyer).  Mid-pack type is four for five at seven furlongs. Those two triple digit Beyers will attract a lot of money – but he will have to do it against tougher company. Underlay.  
  4. Super Chow: Last out in the Tom Fool he broke well and got to the lead early on and held off the closers (90 Beyer).  Two back he wired the field in the Toboggan and drew off in the stretch (95 Beyer). Has hit the board in eight straight races. Should have an uncontested lead and when he gets a clear lead he gets very brave and is tough to run down. Come and catch me. The Pick.
  5. Petulante: Winner of the Salvatore Mile last summer (95 Beyer) was on the shelf until last month where he showed good determination in the Stymie to finish a close third (93 Beyer) in his first effort in the Rick Dutrow barn. An improvement is reasonable to expect. Should stalk the pace from the outside. Using.

Picks 4-1-5-3 

Race 11 – The Wood Memorial – Grade II 

One Mile and One Furlong on the Dirt for Three Year Olds 

  1. Resilience: Mott trained Into Mischief colt broke his maiden going two turns at Gulfstream Park and then tried stakes company in the Risen Star where he loomed at the eighth pole but was passed by two closers (80 Beyer).  Should be well positioned from this post. Johnny V stays aboard. Contender.
  2. El Grande O: This New York bred has second place finishes in the Jerome and Withers along with a third in the Gotham. Today, he completes starts in the quartet of Aqueduct three year Derby prep stakes races. Looked the winner at the eighth pole in both the Withers and Gotham and led in the stretch in the Jerome but couldn’t finish off any of those races. He likes to be up front and will keep running to the wire. Hits the board, again.
  3. Lonesome Boy: Parx shipper likes to be up on the pace and enters here off a win in the City of Brotherly Love going a mile and seventy yards in the slop (78 Beyer). All three wins are over an off track. Will need to improve to contend here.
  4. Deterministic: Nice win in the Gotham in just his second career start (93 Beyer) for the  Clement barn. That win was off a two hundred day layoff and he ran down El Grande O who looked the winner mid-stretch. Goes nine furlongs today and tries two turns for the first time. Player.
  5. Protective: Pletcher trained maiden ran well off an eight month layoff at Tampa (67 Beyer) where he was DQed from third to fourth. Blinkers go ON. Lasix comes OFF. Water is too deep.
  6. Evening News: Has been running on the poly at Turfway Park with some success. Those last three races were with Lasix which comes OFF today and he has to do it on the dirt. Passing.
  7. Merit: Saffie Joesph trainee ships in from South Florida where he has hit the board in all three career starts. Last time he battled Conquest Warrior but was out run in the stretch (76 Beyer).  Tries stakes company for the first time. Lasix comes OFF. Know him early.
  8. Elysian Meadows: Finished fourth in the Sam F. Davis at Tampa (69 Beyer) after a wide trip. That effort followed two straight wins against NY breds to begin his career for Bill Mott. Needs to be much faster.
  9. Tuscan Sky: Two for two for Pletcher with both wins coming on wet tracks. Only defeated two foes in his most recent effort in the slop at Fair Grounds, but he posted a big time 95 Beyer. Tactical runner who can stalk the pace and come running in the lane. Lasix comes OFF. Bullet work at Palm Beach Downs last weekend. All systems go. The Pick.
  10. Gettysburg Address: First start for the Dallas Stewart barn who enters here off a distant third on the synthetic at Turfway Park. Blinkers go ON and Lasix comes OFF. Rating hasn’t work great for him so look for him to be sent from the gate. Exotics possibility.
  11. Society Man: Broke his maiden last out for Danny Gargan going the flat mile over this track. Lasix comes OFF. That maiden win followed a no-show in the Withers where he was wide and had no impact on the race. Passing.
  12. Deposition: Longshot runner for Uriah St. Lewis enters here off a dull Gotham performance (69 Beyer). Was more competitive in the nine furlong Withers picking up the pieces late to finish fourth (80 Beyer).  Underneath in exotics.
  13. Uncle Heavy: Won the Withers with a wide trip from the eight hole (84 Beyer) where once he changed leads he hit a new gear and ran down El Grande O to win by a nose. That win was his first try against open stakes company after two Penn. bred stakes at Parx. Tough outside post, but if he can work a trip he is competitive. The far outside post draw is a lot to overcome.

Picks 9-2-4-1 

Trivia Answer: First run in 1895, the Carter is named for Brooklyn contractor and tugboat captain, William Carter, who put up most of the purse money and provided the trophy.