AQU Race #5 (4/4/2020) 14:50
The Wood Memorial – Grade II (P8) [KYD]
1 1/8 Mile Dirt Stake Purse $750.000 Open 3 Year Olds.
It was said to me by a leading stable that the only way a wide gate can win at HRP is if the pace of the race is such that the AI makes it possible. Well today the pace of the race was dictated by a rather interesting AI decision that had no more rational explanation than why someone would want to eat a bat on a stick.
Flying to the front in very fast fractions the wide gate speed push seemed to have shat itself once again giving those that sat off the pace, in particular, those other wide draws, their best and probably only chance of prevailing.
Here is how this rather strange race panned out:
1st Charleys Latte Estero Farms Tunon M
This lightly raced son of Pinnacle West had a rotten draw to deal with but thanks to the fast early pace was able to cope in admirable fashion. Winning pretty much as he pleased with a clear wide run it made me think of Pretty Ferro’s KYD which was much the same where that horse had a similar run down the outside to win for the same trainer. So the king of the wide draws did it again and i rather think that if he is drawn 20 in the KYD we may just see the same thing happen.
2nd Mystery Fractious Hernandez J
A rather aptly named son of a rather aptly named terrible racehorse this one again avoided the worst of the early pace to fly home for second. I really don’t know where to put him in the Derby picture on form but he had worked a 1.36 and 3 prior to this race and going on his last two efforts will eat up the ten furlongs in the KYD. A lively outsider, just maybe.
3rd Sars Aer Stables Lopez P
He was closest of the first three to the pace and also stuck in the melay while the wide horses enjoyed a clear run so this effort maybe a lot better than it looks. I though when he got clear he may show more of a turn of foot so i am not as impressed as some but at the end of the day this was a sound Derby trial and wouldn’t have hurt his chances in the big dance.
4th Scafati Fractious Flores O
The undoing for this one was trying to stalk a sprinting pace in a nine furlong marathon. He stuck on well enough for fourth and with only six races under his belt is entitled to be still improving. He has an uphill struggle to make the field and his time may have run out.