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Apr 18, 2014

Wood Memorial winner has work at Belmont Park


Belmont, NY ( - Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong had a workout Thursday morning at Belmont Park. The colt is trained by Jimmy Jerkens for owner Centennial Farms.

Ridden by Kelvin Pahal, Wicked Strong covered a half-mile in 49.62 seconds over the Belmont Park training track. The Kentucky Derby prospect galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.84.

"He did most of his work on the turns, which is what I wanted; I thought it would keep him from working too fast," said Jerkens. "He eased up a little bit in the stretch and then picked it before the wire. It was just what I was looking for."

Wicked Strong, sent off at 9-1, posted a 3 1/2-length victory over Samraat to win the Wood on April 5 at Aqueduct. The victory was worth 100 points in the Kentucky Derby points system for a spot in the 20-horse Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs on May 3.

"He's a little bit on the light side, but I don't see him any lighter after running that hard and that tough a race," said Jerkens. "I didn't think he lost a pound and I'm really happy about that.

"He's never been on a plane, and he's been up and down to Florida twice (on a van). I'm not sure if he'll go the day after he works, or two days after. We'll have to see."

Wicked Strong, named to honor the people of Boston after last year's Boston Marathon bombing, recorded his first stakes win with the Wood and has banked $714,610 with two wins in six career starts.

The 3-year-old was fourth in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 22. He began 2014 in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream on Jan. 25 by finishing ninth to Cairo Prince.

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