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Wood Memorial Betting – Uncle Sigh Gets The Upper Hand Over Samraat

Posted by on 4/2/2014 9:22:47 PM

The Grade-1 Wood Memorial is one of the more important races on the Kentucky Derby prep trail. Eleven winners of the Wood have gone on to win the Derby, and it has a purse of $1,000,000 for a race that is 1 1/8 miles long and run on dirt at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

This race will come down to a pair of horses that have already gone toe-to-toe twice, and Samraat has come out on top both times. This time, Uncle Sigh will end up in the winner’s circle.

What: Horse Betting
When: Saturday, April 5th, post time TBA
Where: Aqueduct Racetrack, Queens, NY
Pick: Uncle Sigh

Effinex broke his maiden in his second try, then won an allowance race last month to earn a chance at the Wood Memorial. Now, Effinex has to handle going 1 1/8 miles, as well as a step up in competition as this New York-based thoroughbred looks to put on a show for the home-state crowd.

Harpoon looked solid in a second-place run in the Grade-3 Sam F. Davis Stakes in February, but a fifth-place run in the Grade-3 Gotham Stakes a month later may have scared some bettors off. He’ll have an excellent trainer in his corner in Todd Pletcher, who has won three of the last four at the Wood Memorial.

Kid Cruz won the non-graded Private Terms in March, and it was run over 1 1/8 miles, so that is promising. But now Kid Cruz has to raise his game in what has the potential to be a very good field, and the seventh-place run in his debut maiden race shouldn’t be an issue as it was on turf.

Kristo has never finished lower than third in five starts, and he followed a second in the Grade-3 Sham Stakes in January with a third in the Grade-2 San Felipe in March. This horse has been brought along easily, and this will be the big test for Kristo, who has never run more than 1 1/16 miles.

Los Borrachos finally broke his maiden in his fourth attempt, but if there is something to take from his resume, it is that Los Borrachos improved each time he stepped onto the track, so that is encouraging. But does he have enough to run with the best horses in the field? It might be too much to ask of this colt.

Noble Moon has a pair of wins in three starts, breaking his maiden in his first try last September, and he won the Grade-2 Jerome Stakes in early January. However, that was his last race, and Noble Moon has never run more than a mile. The speed seems to be there for Noble Moon, but we haven’t seen enough of him to know how he’ll fare on Saturday.

Samraat, on the other hand, comes into this race with a perfect record, winning all five of his starts. That should make him the favorite going into Saturday, and he has beaten Uncle Sigh in a pair of Grade-3 races, the Withers Stakes in February and then the Gotham in March. He has never run more than 1 1/16 miles, but a win would probably put Samraat en route to the Kentucky Derby.

Schivarelli has two wins in two starts, breaking his maiden in January and then winning an allowance race in February. However, asking Schivarelli to keep this streak going in a race like the Wood may be overwhelming and a top-three finish would be an excellent result for this colt.

The aforementioned Uncle Sigh probably has to beat Samraat to book his place in the Kentucky Derby, and he has three second-place results in four starts, along with a victory in a maiden race on his second try. He has also never run more than 1 1/16 miles, and this is definitely a bigger race for Uncle Sigh than it is for his rival.

Wicked Strong broke his maiden on his second try, then he followed a third in the Grade-2 Remsen in November with a ninth in the Grade-2 Holy Bull in January and a disappointing fourth in an allowance race in February. The Remsen could be telling as it had a good field and was run over 1 1/8 miles, but which Wicked Strong will show up on Saturday?

How It Will Play Out

Uncle Sigh gets the nod this time and makes the race for the Kentucky Derby that much more interesting by ending Samraat’s perfect run.

Wood Memorial Betting Pick: Uncle Sigh

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