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Gemologist confirmed for Wood Memorial
WinStar Farm's undefeated Gemologist is headed to Aqueduct for next month's Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial, trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed by phone Wednesday morning.
Timing was a factor in the decision to run in the April 7 Wood after the son of Tiznow cruised to a seven-length allowance win in his 2012 debut at Gulfstream Park last Friday.
"I thought it was a terrific comeback race, just what we hoped for, and he came out of it in excellent shape," Pletcher said of the one-mile event. "We felt that 22 days between the allowance and the Wood and then four weeks to the Kentucky Derby was preferable to waiting until April 14 and running in the (Grade 1) Arkansas Derby or the (Grade 1) Blue Grass."
Gemologist debuted a winner at Turfway Park last September and closed out his juvenile campaign with a pair of victories at Churchill Downs -- an optional claimer in October followed by the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on November 26.
Pletcher said he expects to work Gemologist once before the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial before sending him to New York on an April 4 flight. That move is scheduled for April 1 at Palm Meadows.
As of Wednesday, NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes listed the following horses as probable for the Wood: Grade 3 Gotham hero and juvenile champion Hansen; recent stakes winners The Lumber Guy and Street Life; and Grade 3 Withers-placed Tiger Walk, most recently fourth in the Gotham.
Byrnes added that Grade 1 Hopeful winner Currency Swap, second to Gemologist in last week's Gulfstream allowance, was also under consideration for the race, along with stakes scorer and Gotham runner-up My Adonis, and Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby winner Prospective.