Wicked Strong proved he was wickedly good as he over took unbeaten Social Inclusion to win the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct yesterday. After running in 6th place, jockey Rajiv Maragh pulled him to the middle of the track, quickly picking up ground so that by the time they hit the 1/8th pole they were in third, and by the 1/6th pole he drew away to win by 3-1/2 lengths.
“He ran a phenomenal race. We were hoping here would be speed to run at, and we got it,” exclaimed owner Donald Little Jr., of Ispwich, MA, who had originally wanted to call his colt “Boston Strong,” but the name was already taken. In any case, Little announced that he will donate 1% of the $600,000 purse to the families of victims of last year’s Boston Marathon.
Wicked Strong, who went off at 9-1 paid $20.40, finishing the 9-furlong race in 1:49.31. It was just his 2ne win in 2 starts.
He really responded when I asked him and he did everything perfectly,” stated Maragh. The horse is trained by Jimmy Jerkens.
In the meantime 8-5 favorite Social Inclusion failed to fire after being challenged in a head to head duel for the first time.
“I had so much horse before the quarter pole, but when I tried to open up he just kind of ran flat,” stated his jockey Luis Contreras, who had to settle for show after Samraat beat him by a nose for place.
With the Kentucky Derby less than a month away, however, it still looks like it could be anyone’s game, including California Chrome, who’s 5-1/4 win in the Santa Anita Derby makes him a strong favorite for the Run For the Roses.