WinStar Farm’s Gemologist kept his perfect record intact on Saturday winning the 88th running of the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) at Aqueduct.
The son of Tiznow charged to the front at the head of the lane under Javier Castellano. Alpha made a serious run at him in the stretch, but Gemologist rebroke nearing the wire to win by a neck in game fashion. He covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.96.
“It looked like he got the trip we wanted,” trainer Todd Pletcher told NYRA Press. “Javier said he waited a little bit when he made the lead, and that he was proud of him for finding more when Alpha loomed up on him. Not only Gemologist, I thought Alpha ran a terrific race as well, overcoming a bit of traffic trouble on the first turn.”
“So far, it would be hard to be unhappy with anything he’s done so far his whole career,” Pletcher added. “It was great to see. It looked like he had a little something left after the wire, so I think from a conditioning standpoint, with a good mile race and a good 1 1/8-mile race under our belt, hopefully we can have a good month of training leading up to it.
“When he came back, he wasn’t blowing like an exhausted horse. I think his fitness level is pretty good. I think he can [get better]. He’s still waiting a little bit. Javier said he was still looking around a little bit. He’s still learning.”
Elliott Walden of WinStar was impressed with his charge.
“That’s a great win, he’s a great horse.,” Elliott Walden told NYRA Press.”This stamps him as a Derby prospect, which we’re excited about. We needed the earnings today. More importantly, it puts him in our stallion barn, and that’s what we look for is horses that we can bring home eventually. Winning a Grade 1 like the Wood Memorial, it’s one the best races to win as a three-year old so it’s great that way as well.”