In addition to Hansen and Gemologist, who would be running nine furlongs for the first time, six others are probable or possible for the Grade I Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial on April 7.
As of Wednesday, NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes listed the following horses as probable for the Wood:
--recent stakes winners The Lumber Guy and Street Life;
--Tiger Walk, most recently fourth in the Gotham.
Byrnes said that Currency Swap, second to Gemologist last week, was also under consideration for the race, along with Gotham runner-up My Adonis and Grade II Tampa Bay Derby winner Prospective.
According to trainer Todd's Pletcher's comments today, timing was a very important factor in the decision to run in the April 7 Wood after Gemologist cruised to a seven-length allowance win in his 2012 debut going a mile 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. “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 debuted a winner 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 II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on November 26.
Pletcher said he expects to work Gemologist once before the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial – on Sunday, April 1 at Palm Meadows – before sending him to New York on an April 4 flight.
--Edited NYRA release