Wood Memorial Stakes 2021 Entries: Nine horses set for the Big A

The Road to the Kentucky Derby has one final stop up at Aqueduct Racetrack this weekend
The Road to the Kentucky Derby has one final stop up at Aqueduct Racetrack this weekend

A lot of the big Kentucky Derby Contenders running on Saturday are at Keeneland for the Blue Grass or over in California for the Santa Anita Derby. Yet despite this we have an interesting field of nine entered into the Wood Memorial up at Aqueduct with several three-year-olds I fully expect to see in the Starting Gate at Churchill Downs.

The Entries and Post Positions following the draw this lunchtime are below along with an overview from our editor...

Wood Memorial 2021 Entries & Post Positions
  • Post Position
  • Horse
  • Morning Line Odds

Post Position

  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9.

Horse

  • Brooklyn Strong
  • Crowded Trade
  • Bourbonic
  • Risk Taking
  • Dynamic One
  • Prevalence
  • Candy Man Rocket
  • Weyburn
  • Market Maven

Morning Line Odds

  • 6-1
  • 4-1
  • 30-1
  • 5-2
  • 12-1
  • 3-1
  • 12-1
  • 9-2
  • 30-1

Gotham winner Weyburn has been an intriguing horse ever since that win a month ago. Beating that field wasn’t much to write-home about as it were but the further it gets in our rear-view mirror - the better it looks. He ranks towards the bottom of all three of our Top Ten lists for the Derby and Sean wrote this about him this week:

‘I didn’t think much of the G3 Gotham ahead of time, but the race came back legitimately fast and Weyburn was dead-game in victory. What’s more is that his guy looks like he’ll run all day, and I’m not even sure he was fully cranked for the Gotham since it was his first start of the year for the patient Jimmy Jerkens.

Maybe he’s just a better horse than we thought. A win on Saturday would at least put him in the middle of the pack for the Derby. He'll break from PP #8 and is a 9-2 shot on the opening pool price.

Brendan Walsh sends out Prevalence for his Stakes Race debut following a late scratch from the Grade III Fountain of Youth due to a cough. The Medaglia d’Oro colt is likely to go off as either the favorite or at worst second-favorite in his one and only attempt to qualify for the Derby. Two wins from two at Gulfstream Park was enough to have him close as the fifth choice in the final edition of the Kentucky Derby Futures Pool - a 21/1 choice. He's the 3-1 second favorite on the Morning line.

The other potential choice for the favorite spot in the pool is Chad Brown’s Risk Taking. The winner of the Grade III Withers last time out with a 89 Beyer is another Medaglia d’Oro colt who should have every chance on Saturday. I’m luke warm on him as a true Derby prospect but we’ll find out a lot more come the weekend. He does indeed open as the 2-1 favorite.

Two more winners of Derby Prep Races up in New York were expected to be in the field looking to grab enough of those all-important qualifying points to secure their spot in the 2021 Run for the Roses. Brooklyn Strong won the Remsen back in December and hasn’t been seen since due to being sick. It is going to be real tough to shake off the rust to be at the forefront of this race but you can’t ignore him. He has the inside post position.

Capo Kane though was scratched late about 90 minutes before entries were announced with a minor ankle issue. He won the Jerome on New Year’s Day but hasn’t done too much since. Of the previous Aqueduct Prep Race winners in the field - the son of Street Sense would've been a pass on using on your ticket anyway.

Candy Man Rocket might be the most fascinating horse in the field who could cause a surprise at long odds. Stretching out down in the Sam F. Davis to win was worthy of note. Sadly so was an 11th place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby. I really don’t know what to expect but at this point I’d say he wasn’t my outsider pick of choice.

That spot goes to Todd Pletcher’s Dynamic One whose record looks pretty ordinary but a deeper-dive indicates that he might just be getting better and developing nicely. It took him four attempts to break his Maiden but among the horses to beat him in those races were Greatest Honour and Weyburn. Not one to put at the top of the ticket but there is something about him that feels like it wouldn’t be a great surprise if he was involved in the final furlong or two.

Bourbonic, Crowded Trade and Market Maven round out the nine-horse field. Crowded Trade will garner some interest but the 4-1 M/L price seems awfully short.

Our turf-man is covering this race in-depth throughout the week with his horse-by-horse analysis followed by his preview and Picks for the race this Friday

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