The $750,000 Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct is one of the major prep races for the Kentucky Derby, contested at 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Eight 3-year-olds (representing 7 betting interests) went to post on an overcast Saturday afternoon on Long Island. As expected, Gotham Stakes winner I Want Revenge was sent off as the 1-2 favorite, now running for new co-owners IEAH Stables. In to challenge the son of Stephen Got Even included 5-2 second choice Imperial Council, who was second in the Gotham, and the George and Lori Hall-owned entry of Atomic Rain and West Side Bernie, coupled in the betting as the 10-1 third choice.
I Want Revenge broke poorly and found himself at the back of the field for the first half mile, while Lord Justice was sent to the early lead to set slow early fractions of 24.50, 48.13, and 1:12.32 while as many as 1 1/2 lengths in front of Atomic Rain and Imperial Council. Turning for home, Just a Coincidence, who sat midpack early, put in a bid for the lead on the outside and got to the front with a furlong remaining, getting the mile in 1:37.33. I Want Revenge moved up on the turn to 5th but found himself behind a wall of horses at the 1/4 pole. However, at the 3/16 pole jockey Joe Talamo found a hole and immediately took advantage, as I Want Revenge quickly accelerated past four horses in the final furlong to get the win by 1 1/2 lengths over West Side Bernie in a time of 1:49.49 over the fast track. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Just a Coincidence third. Imperial Council was fractious in the paddock, reared up several times, and fell on his side, which must have contributed to his fifth place showing.
Results chart from DRF
Also on the card were the Carter and Excelsior Handicaps