The field is set for the $1 million Haskell, where Nyquist will be trying to re-stake his claim as the top three-year-old in the country.
Eleven to Battle in Wood Memorial
It’s not often you’ll see a horse go from a second-start allowance win right into a major Kentucky Derby prep, but that’s exactly what will happen Saturday afternoon at Aqueduct, when Social Inclusion faces 10 others in the $1 million Grade I Wood Memorial. Although unraced at two, Social Inclusion made a big splash in his two races this year at Gulfstream, breaking his maiden first time out by more than seven lengths, and then following that up with a 10-length allowance score over Derby hopeful Honor Code, breaking the Gulfstream track record for 1 1/6 miles in the process.
Top contenders have met before
As the 2-1 morning line favorite, Social Inclusion will take on the formidable duo of Samraat (7-2) and Uncle Sigh (5-1), who have staged a couple epic battles in New York this spring. Samraat is undefeated in five starts, including successive wins in the Grade III Withers and the Grade III Gotham. In both cases he came from just off the pace to make the lead at the top of the stretch, and then battled with Uncle Sigh to the wire, finishing a neck in front of that one in both races. For his part, Uncle Sigh sports a record of one win and three second-place finishes in four starts.
California invader looking to steal it
Other contenders in the field include Kristo (6-1), who ships in from California after a runner-up finish two starts back in the Grade II Sham Stakes, and most recently a third-place finish in the Grade III San Felipe. The Virginia-bred Noble Moon is also in the field and could get on the ticket at 12-1, coming into the Wood off a win in the Grade II Jerome. As part of the Kentucky Derby challenge series to determine the starters for the May 3 Derby, the Wood is worth 100 points to the winner.
On Sunday at Monmouth Park, the featured race is the $300,000 United Nations Stakes. Scheduled to be run at a mile and three-eighths on the turf, the Grade 1 event has drawn a field of ten colts and geldings.
On Sunday at Monmouth Park, the featured race is the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes, a key prep race for the Haskell Invitational (G1). The Grade 3 event will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth and has drawn a field of seven three-year-olds.