The first of the three 100 Derby Point races of the day will take place at Aqueduct Racetrack. The Wood Memorial hasn't produced elite level horses in quite some time, but this crop of three-year olds in the Empire State could prove to be an exception to the rule.
You can find horse racing odds at BookMaker.eu at the online racebook.
1: Shagaf 2/1
2: Adventist 10/1
3: Trojan Nation 30/1
4: Tale of S'avaal 20/1
5: Flexibility 8/1
6: Matt King Coal 3/1
7: Dalmore 12/1
8: Outwork 5/2
The fact that there are only eight horses in this field and none are really anywhere near odds-on favorites are proof of just how strong this field really is. Shagaf, Adventist, Flexibility and Outwork are all on their way to the Kentucky Derby field, but all of them need at least fourth place finishes here in order to ensure their place in the field of 20 at the Run for the Roses.
Shagaf and Outwork are the two favorites of this field, but interesting enough, one pony who hasn't even run in a graded stakes race in his career, Matt King Coal, is the third favorite at 3 to 1.
FAVORITE TO FOLLOW
Any time you see the combination of trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez together, you know you've got a great horse at the bottom of it all. In this case, Outwork is the horse to watch from that standpoint. Yes, he's only rated as the fourth best horse of these eight in the field according to Prime Power, and yes, he's only run three races in his career, but there's still a lot to like.
Outwork was second best in the Tampa Bay Derby, and he would've won the race if he didn't get nipped at the wire. Even still, Outwork was – ahem – outworked going into the last furlong, but he dug back and darn near won the race anyway.
Add in the fact that Outwork just zipped through five furlongs in 1:00 flat in training, and that's proof that he can win the Wood Memorial.
UNDERDOG TO WATCH
The price here on Flexibility is fantastic at 8 to 1. He won the Jerome Stakes and was second best at both the Remsen Stakes and the Nashua Stakes. Yes, Flexibility finished fourth at the Withers, but the fact that he was an odds-on favorite that day is encouraging.
The reason Flexibility is such a dog in this one is because he hasn't raced since January and has a suspect jockey in Manuel Franco.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
We haven't even spoken about Shagaf yet. He's going to break from the inside post, and he's still undefeated, albeit just in three races. Shagaf though, is a horse we think is overvalued. He hasn't run in anything better than the Gotham Stakes, and we aren't sure he's capable of making this distance.
None of these horses are overly thrilling to us, especially the big favorites. That's why we're going to recommend Flexibility, who is the No. 1 horse according to Prime Power of these eight.
We're always a little afraid of these horses that have long layoffs, but we trust that trainer Chad Brown knows what he's doing here and isn't just putting a lame horse not ready for this 1 1/8 mile mini-marathon into the field for the sake of hoping he qualifies for the Derby.
A price of 8 to 1 is just too good to pass on.
Horse Racing Odds: Flexibility (8/1)
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