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Apr 03, 2009

I Want Revenge headlines Wood Memorial

By: SPORTS NETWORK


 

Ozone Park, NY (Sports Network) - Gotham Stakes winner I Want Revenge is the consensus favorite for Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. The colt will take on seven challengers in the 1 1/8 mile Kentucky Derby prep.

I Want Revenge will start from the inside post in the eight-horse field with regular rider Joe Talamo again in the saddle. The colt will run in the colors of IEAH Stable which earlier this week bought a half-interest from David Lanzman.

The Wood will be the colt's second start on real dirt following his first six races on synthetic tracks in California. Trained by Jeff Mullins, I Want Revenge has two wins in seven career starts for $366,000.

"We thought all along the dirt might move him up," said Mullins of I Want Revenge, who returned to Hollywood Park to train for the Wood.

Heading into the Gotham Stakes the colt was coming in off a third-place finish in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita to Pioneerof the Nile. He closed 2008 by finishing second to Pioneerof the Nile in the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park.

Gotham Stakes runner-up Imperial Council has drawn post six for the Wood with Edgar Prado back to ride. Prado was on the colt his first three starts with Rajiv Maragh riding in the Gotham.

"I think, experience-wise, he got a lot more out of the race than if he had been up close," said trainer Shug McGaughey of Imperial Council. "He put in a long, sustained run, which was something he hadn't had to do before. The Gotham wasn't a 'win or else' kind of race."

Owned by Sequoia Racing, Imperial Council has two wins and two seconds in his four starts for $115,800.

Dogwood Stable's Lime Rickey will make his first start on dirt after being exclusively a turf runner. The bay colt will be ridden by Javier Castellano from the outside post on Saturday.

"We don't know how he will take to dirt in a race," said Dogwood President Cot Campbell. "But now is the time to find out, and the mile and an eighth Wood Memorial is a spot that will test him pretty keenly."

In his nine starts on grass, Lime Rickey has one win with four second-place finishes. At Gulfstream Park this year he has been second in the Dania Beach, Hallandale Beach and last time out in the Palm Beach Stakes.

"If Jupiter aligns with Mars in a precise manner we could get to the Derby this year," Campbell explained. "Lime Rickey is a solid grass specialist, but he has a dirt pedigree and is a game colt, and if he moves up big time he might get to Churchill Downs."

Trained by Frank Alexander, Lime Rickey has $131,107 earnings.

Here the complete field in post position order for the Wood Memorial: I Want Revenge, Joe Talamo; Lord Justice, C.C. Lopez; Cellar Dweller, Rosie Napravnik; Atomic Rain, Joe Bravo; West Side Bernie, Stewart Elliott; Imperial Council, Edgar Prado; Just a Coincidence, John Velazquez and Lime Rickey, Javier Castellano.

Atomic Rain and West Side Bernie are coupled as an entry.

All starters will carry 123 pounds in the 85th running of the Wood. Post-time is scheduled for 5:20 p.m. (et).

Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000 was the last Wood Memorial winner to capture the Kentucky Derby.



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