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Apr 03, 2015

Daredevil and Frosted rated top two for Wood Memorial


Ozone Park, NY ( - Daredevil, winner of last year's Champagne Stakes, is the 9-5 morning line favorite versus six rivals for Saturday's $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.

The 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial is part of the Kentucky Derby points system that determines the 20-horse field for the Run for the Roses on May 2. The winning 3-year-old receives 100 points.

Daredevil, trained by Todd Pletcher, will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post 6 for the fourth straight time. Castellano has been aboard Daredevil the last three starts after Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez rode in the colt's debut.

Owned by WinStar Farm, Daredevil won first time out last September at Belmont Park and three weeks later on Oct. 4 won the Champagne over highly regarded Upstart.

The chestnut colt, however, finished last of 11 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. In his only start this season, Daredevil was second in the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 7. The 3-year-old has earned $384,600 with two wins in four starts.

"He's very similar to what I saw last year. Whenever I watch him, I think he can do just about anything," said Byron Hughes, assistant to Pletcher.

Getting the nod as the 5-2 second program pick is trainer Kiaran McLaughlin's Frosted. Owned by Godolphin Racing. Frosted will leave from post 4 with Joel Rosario riding the gray colt for the first time.

Frosted has just one win in six career starts but has finished second four times, including runner-up performances in last November's Remsen Stakes and his 2015 opener in Gulfstream Park's Holy Bull. The colt was fourth, after surrendering the lead, in Gulfstream's Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 21.

"We're scratching our heads trying to figure it out," McLaughlin said the day after the Fountain of Youth. "It looked like he was going to win easy and he pulled himself up soon after making the lead."

Frosted has banked $246,800.

El Kabeir, trained by John Terranova, is the 3-1 third choice for the Wood and will start from post 5 with C. C. Lopez again in the saddle. Owned by Zayat Stables, the gray colt comes into Saturday with earnings of $678,892 and wins in half of his eight starts.

El Kabeir won the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 7 by 2 3/4 lengths as the 13-10 favorite. That victory came four weeks after finishing second in the Withers at Aqueduct to Far From Over as the 1-2 favorite. Far From Over, however, has a broken leg bone and is off the Kentucky Derby trail. El Kabeir began the year by winning the Jerome at Aqueduct on Jan. 3 as the 7-5 top pick.

"We want to see him continue to hold his form and go forward, and we'll see how he handles the added distance," said Terranova. "All along we've been taking it one race at a time and not getting too far ahead of ourselves, so we're gearing up for an exciting race. We have a lot of confidence in him; he's seasoned, versatile, and all of that bodes well for him. However the race unfolds, we'll be able to adapt."

Here is the field for the Wood Memorial in post position order: Tiz Shea D, Manny Franco, 8-1; Toasting Master, Angel Arroyo, 20-1; Lieutenant Colonel, Irad Ortiz Jr., 15-1; Frosted, Joel Rosario, 5-2; El Kabeir, C. C. Lopez, 3-1; Daredevil, Javier Castellano, 9-5 and Tencendur, Jose Ortiz, 12-1.

NBC Sports Network will provide live coverage of the Wood Memorial from 5-7 p.m. ET as part of NBC Triple Crown Prep Day, which includes the Blue Grass Stakes and Santa Anita Derby. Post time for the Wood is approximately 5:30 p.m. ET.

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