Saturday's Grade 1 Wood Memorial features a clash of Alpha, winner of the Gotham and the Count Fleet at Aqueduct this winter/spring, and Gemologist, the undefeated son of Tiznow, who desperately needs significant graded stakes earnings to ensure a spot in the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Additionally, the son of a former Kentucky Derby winner, Street Life, will look to punch his ticket to Louisville for the first Saturday in May. The Wood Memorial is scheduled to go to post at 5:15pm Eastern/2:15pm Pacific, and will be televised on NBC.
Let's take a look at the field for the Wood Memorial.1-Alpha: What I Like: Back-to-back BRIS speed figs of 100 merit consideration, if only because only two horses in this field (the 3 and the 8) have ever run better than that number. Trainer McLaughlin scores at 17 percent in graded stakes, 25 percent with a winner last out, and 28 percent after a freshening. Colt comes in off six works, and each of the last three has been sharp. Dominguez hits at an amazing 62 percent fo McLauglin. Tops in late pace and earnings per start. What Worries Me: No starts on the track or at the distance, and it is kind of a mantra of mine to against short-odds horses doing something for the first time. This horse is doing two different things for the first time.