Racing News

Social Inclusion, Samraat ready for Wood Memorial

  • Social Inclusion (Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Social Inclusion, who was credited with a four-furlong breeze in :49 1/5 on Saturday over Gulfstream Park's fast dirt, will work twice more in Florida before he ships to New York for the Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial on Saturday, April 5, owner Ronald Sanchez said via telephone on Sunday.

The Wood Memorial is New York's premier Triple Crown prep race and is worth 100 points to the winner in Churchill Downs' "Road to the Kentucky Derby" points system.

"It was an easy gallop, three furlongs in :36 flat and galloped out four furlongs in :49 and one," said Sanchez of Social Inclusion's Saturday workout. "It was a maintenance breeze, and he was spectacular and full of energy. The rider told me he didn't ask him to run."

Sanchez said Social Inclusion is scheduled to make his next breeze on Wednesday and then again on Saturday before he ships to New York on Sunday, either by van or by plane. He'll complete his training at Aqueduct after he arrives in New York.

"He'll have two more breezes," Sanchez explained. "The way (Manuel Azpurua) trains is totally different, but it works for us."

Social Inclusion is unbeaten and untested in two starts at Gulfstream, having broken his maiden by 7 1/2 lengths going six furlongs on February 22 and successfully stretching out to defeat Honor Code by 10 lengths in an allowance on March 12. His winning time of 1:40.97 in the allowance established a Gulfstream track record for 1 1/16 miles.

Originally, Social Inclusion's connections were planning on running in the Wood Memorial and then possibly competing in the Preakness, but now they have their sights set on the Kentucky Derby.

"We've changed our initial plan," Sanchez stated. "We think he'll like (Aqueduct's track) and get some points so we can go to the Derby."

Also working Saturday for the Wood Memorial was unbeaten multiple Grade 3 star Samraat, who breezed one mile in 1:45 on the fast dirt at Palm Meadows.

"It was just what we wanted," trainer Richard Violette Jr. said by telephone. "He'll have his next breeze on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and then there's a plane to New York on Tuesday."

Samraat, who is unbeaten in five starts, went a mile in his final breezes prior to his wins in Aqueduct's Withers on February 1 and Gotham on March 1, both of which are Grade 3 contests.

"It works for him, and there's been no reason to change," Violette noted.

Samraat, a homebred owned by Leonard Riggio's My Meadowview Farm, narrowly defeated Uncle Sigh in his past two starts, beating his New York-bred rival by one length in the Withers and by a quarter-length in the Gotham.

Uncle Sigh is scheduled to breeze for the Wood on Tuesday, according to Gary Contessa's assistant trainer, Marcelo Arenas. The Indian Charlie colt broke his maiden at Aqueduct on December 27 by 14 1/2 lengths while going a mile-and-70-yards.

In other Wood Memorial news:

Tonalist, second in an entry-level optional claimer on February 22 at Gulfstream, remains under consideration for the Wood Memorial, trainer Christophe Clement said by telephone on Sunday.

"(The Wood is) one of the options," Clement stated. "We're keeping him eligible. He's a very nice horse, and he's never run a bad race."

Clement said Tonalist will breeze on Wednesday or Thursday at Payson Park before he and owner Robert Evans make their final decision on Tonalist's next start. Clement said the other options include the $250,000 Calder Derby, also on April 5, or an allowance race.

Later Sunday afternoon, the Clement stable tweeted that Tonalist was "currently on track for the Wood Memorial."

Tonalist was second by 3 1/4 lengths to Constitution, a gate-to-wire winner, in the February 22 optional claimer. In his two other starts, Tonalist was fourth in his November unveiling at Aqueduct before he broke his maiden by four lengths in January at Gulfstream.

California Chrome Cruises to Victory in 140th Kentucky Derby before Crowd of 164,906

Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's favored California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, took command at the head of the stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Commanding Curve to win the 140th running of the $2,202,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I). A sun-splashed crowd of 164,906, the second-largest attendance in Kentucky Derby history, watched California Chrome give jockey Victor Espinoza a second Derby victory to go with his triumph on War Emblem in 2002.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

Derby Week Concludes with Memorable Kentucky Derby 140 as California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit brisnet.com for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos

GET TO KNOW THE KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER CALIFORNIA CHROME (PRE-RACE BIO)

California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.