Wood Top Three Doing Well
Trainer Todd Pletcher said today that Wood Memorial winner Outwork is doing well in fine fettle and likely will run in the Kentucky Derby.
"He seemed very happy with himself, and I'm pleased with the way he's come out of the race so far," said Pletcher.
The trainer said none of his Blue Grass Stakes runners -- Zulu, Cards of Stone or Donegal Moon -- ran well enough to warrant consideration for the Run for the Roses.
Although pleased with the Uncle Mo colt's development this year, Pletcher said Outwork still has some learning to do.
"He definitely has a tendency to idle," said Pletcher "In his mind, the race was won when he got to the top of the stretch and made the lead. Thankfully, it didn't cost him the win yesterday. His ears go straight forward and he's looking around. Hopefully that's something he'll continue to mature through and get better and learn how to really polish off his races."
One of the more satisfying aspects of Outwork's victory, said Pletcher, was that he made some amends for his sire's loss in the same race five years ago.
"A son of Uncle Mo out of a mare named after his grandmother, it was really a family win for Mike Repole," said Pletcher. "It was extra special in many ways."
Travel plans for Outwork remain undecided, said Pletcher, other than he definitely will not be getting on Monday's flight to Kentucky.
"There's another one on the 19th that could be a possibility," he said. "It's in the process of being sorted out. We have to work out when he's going to breeze and where his two breezes will be. One of them could be here, and I anticipate one, possibly two, will be at Churchill."
Trojan Nation ran second by only a head in the Wood and is also doing well today, according to California-based trainer Paddy Gallagher. He's going back to Santa Anita soon.
Trojan Nation is winless in six starts but now boasts more than $200,000 in earnings and 40 points towards a berth in the Kentucky Derby.
"He's a horse that always trains really well, we kind of hoped that he was putting everything together racing wise and it was another big step up," said Gallagher. "It was his first cross country ship and he got there early, two or three days out from the race, so he got a chance to settle in real good."
Trojan Nation won't go on to Churchill Downs now. Gallagher said he'd be returned to Santa Anita -- but that he could well make his next start in the Kentucky Derby.
"I talked with the owners last night, and he's definitely in consideration for the Derby," he said. "We've got about a month until the race so he's going to ship back here back to California either Tuesday or Wednesday and we'll train him here before making a final decision and deciding when to ship to Kentucky."
Trainer Leah Gyarmati remained encouraged from the effort of third-place Wood finisher Adventist.
"I thought he ran a huge race as he always does," said Gyarmati. "Starting out, Kendrick had to ask him going into the first turn and then had to ask him again towards the finish after having to move out from the rail four-wide and into the seventh path towards the finish."
Adventist currently sits on the bubble for the Kentucky Derby with 32 points in 20th place. Gyarmati plans to see what happens in the Arkansas Derby before making any final decision.
"We'll let everybody else's plans dictate the decision we make on the Derby. I haven't talked to Jeff yet, but if it happens that would be great. He came out of the race great, ate up all his feed and we know he can get the 1 1/4 mile distance with the trips he's encountered so we'll see."
Edited NYRA release