Wicked Strong Wins Wood Memorial and Secures Kentucky Derby Spot
Wicked Strong wins the 2014 Wood Memorial and Secures a Spot in the Kentucky Derby: Wicked Strong took home the win at the Grade 1 2014 Wood Memorial Stakes on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at Aqueduct and also takes home a spot at the gate at the 2014 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs with 100 qualifying points.
The Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes $1 million purse win proved to be a surprise and an upset. Social Inclusion, one of the favorites going into the race, just couldn’t beat out Wicked Strong. Social Inclusion had a poor start out of the gate and had to sprint and push past Schivarelli in the first half of the race where he was hoping to secure the lead, but unfortunately, Social Inclusion could not keep up the pace and ran out of steam, just as Wicked Strong picked up the pace and pushed hard to run past the leaders and take the win. Wicked Strong was able to push through the middle of the main track and come out on top. Samraat came in second, making this the first defeat in his career as he was previously undefeated in five starts, and Social Inclusion came in at third place.
Wicked Strong is a three-year-old colt and is trained by James Jerkins and was ridden by jockey Rajiv Maragh in the Wood Memorial. He is owned by Centennial Farms.
Jockey Maragh said “He fell into a nice groove early and he finished up really strong…He’s really maturing at the right time now, and I don’t think we’re at the bottom of him yet.”
Trainer Jerkens is excited to see what happens at the Derby with Wicked Strong, saying, “I’d love to get another crack at it, that’s for sure…He looks like a horse where distance shouldn’t bother him.”
Wicked Strong wasn’t considered a main contender for the Kentucky Derby, but after the 3 ½ length win at the Wood Memorial, he certainly will be one to watch.
Wood Memorial Stakes 2014 Results and Payouts
2 Wicked Strong and Rajiv Maragh $20.40 to Win/$7.60 to Place/$4.20 to Show
8 Samraat and Jose L. Ortiz $4.90 to Place/$3.00 to Show
11 Social Inclusion and Luis Contreras $2.70 to Show
Also ran: 7 – Schivarelli , 10 – Uncle Sigh , 3 – Noble Moon , 6 – Kristo , 9 – Effinex , 4 – Harpoon , 5 – Los Borrachos
Scratched horses: Kid Cruz (Trainer)
2014 Wood Memorial Stakes Replay