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Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes Picks & Odds

Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes Picks & Odds: The Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes takes place Saturday, April 5, 2014 at Aqueduct Race Course in Queens New York. The GI $1 million race for three-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles is the 10th race of the day with a 5:40 PM EDT post time. Eleven colts take center stage at Aqueduct including 2-1 morning line favorite Social Inclusion, who is the talk of the town right now with his Beyer Speed score, Samraat, who is on a five-time winning streak, and Uncle Sigh, who is just trying to catch Samraat. SEE UPDATED RESULTS

Social Inclusion Horse

Social Inclusion, pictured above with jockey Luis Contreras, has the highest Beyer Speed Score out of any three-year-old out there. Is he fast enough to beat Samraat and Uncle Sigh?
Photo: Beth Arkin, Coglianese Photos

While visiting Gulfstream Park’s apron last weekend for the Florida Derby, fans young and old had something to say about Social Inclusion. I heard whispers and stories of how the clockers are extremely impressed with Social Inclusion after morning workouts and rumors of how they already know he will magically win the Kentucky Derby or perhaps even the Triple Crown. The lightly raced Manuel Azpurua trained colt has only raced twice, but has also won twice. The colt also has the highest Beyer Speed Score of any three-year-old out there. So the Social Inclusion hype is somewhat justified even though some of us are skeptical. I must admit the people giving me this inside “info” on Social Inclusion didn’t pick a winner the entire day at Gulfstream Park. Social Inclusion will break from the far outside with regular rider Luis Contreras in the 2014 Wood Memorial Stakes.

New York’s 7-2 Samraat is on a true winning streak winning five of five races including the Withers Stakes and Gotham Stakes. Four of the dark bay colt’s wins have been on the Aqueduct track, so Samraat is definitely comfortable with his surroundings. Owned by My Meadowview Farm, Samraat with break from post position #8 with jockey Jose Ortiz for trainer Richard Violette, Jr. in the 2014 Wood Memorial Stakes.

Uncle Sigh is another New York colt that is comfy on the Aqueduct track. At 5-1, Uncle Sigh teams up with jockey Corey Nakatani for the 2014 Wood Memorial Stakes. Corey Nakatani fought for the finish in the Gotham Stakes inevitably finishing 2nd behind Samraat. Experts suggest Uncle Sigh will put Samraat in his place this Saturday due to the rivals post positions. Uncle Sigh is trained by Gary Contessa and owned by Wounded Warrior Stables and Anthony Robertson. Uncle Sigh is actually named after “Uncle Si”, the funny character on Duck Dynasty. Another fun fact about Uncle Sigh is trainer Gary Contessa recently reported that if Uncle Sigh was a person he would be just like the country singer Toby Keith because he is “so sweet, but tough!”

In regards to Uncle Sigh going up against the new kid on the block Social Inclusion Gary Contessa reported to the NYRA, “If Social Inclusion wins, hands-down, he’ll be the favorite, and if you beat him, then you’re going to be one of the favorites. The whole Derby picture is so cloudy right now, and I think the Wood is going to produce the Derby favorite if he does it impressively, or if it’s Social Inclusion or Samraat. All eyes will be on the Wood this year.”

The 2014 Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes will award 100 points on the Kentucky Derby leader board for the first place finisher, 40 to 2nd place, 20 to 3rd place, and 10 to the fourth place finisher. So far, Samraat currently holds the most points with 60, followed by Uncle Sigh with 24, Kristo has 14 points, Noble Moon has 10, and Wicked Strong currently has 2 points.

Trixie’s Pixies: I agree with the experts that the three contenders featured above make for a darn good trifecta bet. I’m no expert but personally I’d like to see Samraat continue on his winning streak all the way through the Triple Crown just for the fun of it. I’m interested to see how Social Inclusion will perform on Saturday but not putting too much into him at this point especially because he’s only worked at Gulfstream Park in an entirely different climate than Aqueduct. The forecast calls for rain on Saturday, which to me signifies a greater chance of an upset in the Wood Memorial. I do have a soft spot for Noble Moon who hasn’t raced since January where he won the Jerome Stakes. Another plus for Noble Moon teams up with jockey Irad Oriz, Jr. who I like. I’ll probably put most of my shoe shopping money on this 12-1 long shot but haven’t completely ruled out Kristo either to at least come in the money.

Lady and The Track would like to wish all of the contenders of the 2014 Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes the best of luck. Good Luck! Safe Run!

Wood Memorial 2014 Post Positions & Odds
1 Kid Cruz 20/1 Franco/Rice SCRATCHED
2 Wicked Strong 15/1 Maragh/Jerkens
3 Noble Moon 12/1 Ortiz, Jr./Gyarmati
4 Harpoon 8/1 Velazquez/Pletcher
5 Los Borrachos 30/1 Velasquez/Mott
6 Kristo 6/1 Garcia/Sadler
7 Schivarelli 15/1 Castellano/Kenneally
8 Samraat 7/2 Ortiz/Violette, Jr.
9 Effinex 50/1 Montanez/Smith
10 Uncle Sigh 5/1 Nakatani/Contessa
11 Social Inclusion 2/1 Contreras/Azpurua

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