Racing News

Social Inclusion arrives at Aqueduct; Kristo due in Tuesday

  • Social Inclusion in his stall at Aqueduct (Courtesy of owner Ron Sanchez via Twitter)

Unbeaten Social Inclusion arrived at Aqueduct at approximately 3 a.m. (EDT) on Monday after departing Gulfstream Park by van on Sunday, according to a tweet from owner Ron Sanchez.

Social Inclusion, who is trained by Manuel Azpurua, settled in barn 4 at Aqueduct and is expected to gallop up to Saturday's Grade 1 Wood Memorial, which will be his first start away from Gulfstream and third overall. He won a six-furlong maiden race by 7 1/2 lengths on February 22 and a 1 1/16-mile open allowance race by 10 lengths on March 12, defeating Honor Code in the latter while setting a track record of 1:40.97.

Kristo, most recently third in the San Felipe, 13 1/2 lengths behind winner California Chrome, is scheduled to arrive at Aqueduct Tuesday for the Wood Memorial, his first start outside California. Trainer John Sadler said the bay son of Distorted Humor worked well at Santa Anita on Sunday, covering six furlongs in a bullet 1:12 2/5.

"In his last race, we changed his running style and took him back a speed-favoring track and that probably was a mistake," said Sadler of Kristo, who is 1-3-1 from five career starts. "He ran much better in the Sham before that (second to Midnight Hawk) and we think he deserves one more chance."

Kristo is looking to emulate the Wood success of California invaders such as I Want Revenge (2009), Bob and John (2006), Congaree (2001) and Fusaichi Pegasus (2000).

Accompanying Kristo on the flight will be Grade 3 Bay Shore hopeful Kobe's Back, who won the San Vincente by 5 1/4 lengths but then was seventh of eight after being rank early in the  Rebel at Oaklawn Park. The California-based Sadler's last graded stakes win in New York was the 1993 Bay Shore with Three Peat.

Uncle Sigh, runner up to fellow New York-bred Samraat in the Withers and Gotham, will "hopefully" have his final tune up for the Wood over the Belmont Park training track Tuesday morning, according to trainer Gary Contessa. 

"Ideally, I would like to breeze him an easy half-mile tomorrow," Contessa said. "We'll have to see what it's like. If not tomorrow, then we'll do it on Wednesday."

Corey Nakatani, who was aboard for Uncle Sigh's neck defeat in the Gotham, will return aboard Uncle Sigh for the 1 1/8-mile Wood, Contessa confirmed.

First race post time for Saturday's 12-race card will be 1 p.m., with the Wood scheduled as the 10TH race with an approximate post time of 5:40 p.m. Gates open at 11 a.m., and guests will be able to pick up a TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial baseball cap with the purchase of a full Post Parade program or a coupon, while supplies last.

Also Saturday, NYRA is offering a $500,000 Guaranteed All-Graded Stakes Pick 4 beginning with the 8TH race and comprising the Grade 2 Gazelle, the Bay Shore, the Wood and the Grade 1 Carter Handicap.

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.

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