WinStar Farm’s undefeated Gemologist is headed to Aqueduct for next month’s $1 million Wood Memorial (G1), trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed by phone to NYRA officials on Wednesday morning.
Also targeting the Wood are: Hansen, Street Life, The Lumber Guy, Tiger Walk and possibly Currency Swap, second behind Gemologist at Gulfstream last time out, My Adonis, second in the Gotham, and Prospective, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby, according to Andrew Byrnes, NYRA’s stakes coordinator.
Timing was a factor in the decision to run in the April 7 Wood after the son of Tiznow cruised to a seven-length allowance win in his 2012 debut at Gulfstream Park last Friday.
“I thought it was a terrific comeback race, just what we hoped for, and he came out of it in excellent shape,” Pletcher said of the one-mile event. “We felt that 22 days between the allowance and the Wood and then four weeks to the Kentucky Derby was preferable to waiting until April 14 and running in the Arkansas Derby or the Blue Grass.”
Gemologist won his career debut at Turfway Park last September and closed out his juvenile campaign with a pair of victories at Churchill Downs: an allowance optional claimer in October followed by the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on Nov. 26.
Pletcher said he expects to work Gemologist once before the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial – Sunday, April 1 at Palm Meadows – before sending him to New York on an April 4 flight.
For more on Gemologist, click here.
NYRA Press contributed to this report.