Wood Memorial 2016 Preview

Cold weather and possible rain could be in play for this year’s Wood Memorial participants.  The Gotham 2nd and 3rd place finishers enter along with the Jerome winner along with two shippers from Southern California.

2016 Wood Memorial Field

Shagaf enters with a 3 for 3 record and earned a hard-fought victory int he Gotham Stakes against a horse who rode a rail bias the entire way around the track.  Brilliant in his debut Shagaf pulled away by 6 lengths taking command going into the turn which shows he has the speed if needed.  Won the Allowance race at Gulfstream off of 4 workouts.  This is his 4th lifetime start and major improvement is expected in this spot.

Adventist seems to be “1 race behind” he dominated a Maiden Special Weight race at Aqueduct in December.  In the Withers he broke slow and raced wide and bumped horses with Flexibility in the stretch.  Ran widest of all in the Gotham.  Training well.  Could improve.  Has talent but facing several others in the same speed zone.

Trojan Nation ships in from the West Coast and is still a maiden but has entered route races his entire career and has faced Cupid and French Getaway in key maiden races.  Son of Street Cry out of the Summer Squall mare has potential.

Tale of S’avall on paper did little running in the Tampa Bay Derby.  Watching the race shows a nice move to pass horses at the rail just before the stretch run.  Hammered at the windows in maiden win. Showed speed and pressed fast fraction in the Champagne.  Expecting a big effort and not impossible on the win end.

Flexibility is a solid horse and has been freshened since rating in the Withers with extremely slow fractions.  Has the speed to take the lead, but may sit 3rd in this spot behind Matt King Coal and Outwork.

Matt King Coal is a fast front running horses who owns a speed advantage and pace advantage.  Won the allowance comeback with just 3 works. Huge 7 furlong move last week on the work tab.  Classy, front-running horse who will take a lot of beating on the front end and pressing the pace.  What you going to do when Matt King Coal runs wild on you?

Dalmore chased slow fractions but rallied wide down the lane in a small field.  Has some talent, but shipping and facing other speed and pressure puts him at a disadvantage. Interesting but faces other horses who are faster in this spot.  Son of Colonel John should like the spot.

Outwork has one race at a distance losing to Destin in a track record performance.  Looks to be winging on the front end but will face pace pressure with Matt King Coal and Flexibility.  Need to lead type has to go longer but should be tough if able to shake Matt King Coal.  This is a gritty horse, but the two sprints and only 1 route are worrisome.  May improve but also may regress with 2nd route.

The Choice:

Matt King Coal is the top choice in the spot.  Looks like the speed.  Tale of S Avall is also worth a shot and Shagaf may be the most talented horse in the race.