There are at least three speed horses in the 93rd running of the Wood Memorial-G2 on Saturday at Aqueduct and we're hoping they'll set the race up for our top two picks at a nice price.
Morning-line favorite Battalion Runner is one of the speed horses, and while he did show the ability to press and pounce in his last, we're going to try and beat him with either Mo Town or Cloud Computing.
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The race sets up with Holy Bull Stakes-G2 winner Irish War Cry gunning for the early lead after failing to show much when unable to make the front end in the Fountain of Youth-G2 in his last start on March 4. He didn't look like the same horse without the lead in the Fountain of Youth, so he'll have to go early in the Wood Memorial if he hopes to have a chance. He might however, have company.
Battalion Runner can force the issue if he wants to, as could Glennrichment and even True Timber and Stretch's Stone if they felt like it. If either of Irish War Cry or Battalion Runner opens up early and sets a slow pace they could wire the field on what has been a speed favoring surface. The more likely scenario is Battalion Runner and Irish War Cry pressuring each other up front.
Assuming a pressured pace, we'll take a shot on the two horses that should sit just back of the pacesetters and who could also improve in this race.
Mo Town makes his second start off the layoff after fading late in the Risen Star Stakes-G2 going 1 1/16-miles at Fair Grounds on February 25. The Risen Star was Mo Town's first start since winning the Remsen Stakes-G2 going the Wood Memorial distance of 1 1/8-miles at Aqueduct way back on November 26, 2016 and he should move forward off that race. At 6-1 on the morning line he's the angle play with top jock Javier Castellano aboard.
The second horse that deserves a shot at the Wood Memorial title is Cloud Computing, who finished a good second in the Gotham Stakes-G3 on March 4 going 1 1/16-miles in only his second lifetime start. Listed at 5/2 on the morning line, Cloud Computing chased a fast pace while stretching out and moving up in class in the Gotham and justifiably tired late in the drive to finish second beaten 3 1/2-lengths to perfect-trip winner J Boys Echo, who rallied from back and outside to win. Cloud Computing also gets a positive rider switch to Irad Ortiz for the Wood Memorial.
We'll take a shot at price with Mo Town to win and take him on top of Cloud Computing in the exacta. We'll also reverse the exacta for half the amount.†
And while we will play a few small saver exactas using Mo Town and Cloud Computing over and under Battalion Runner and Irish War Cry, what we're really looking for is a big exacta.
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