1997 Wood Memorial Stakes

Despite the steady rain that nearly forced him to withdraw, and despite the fears of his handlers that he might work too hard, Captain Bodgit won the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct yesterday with a finishing kick that confirmed his status as the favorite for the Kentucky Derby. The star colt with the funny-looking foreleg overcame the weather and his handlers' worries to run the third-fastest time in the 72 years of the Wood. He covered the mile and one-eighth in 1:481/5 , finishing two lengths in front of Accelerator and three in front of Smokin Mel. It was 3 1/2 more lengths back to the second choice, Ordway. And by then Captain Bodgit was flying through the mud at the close of a brilliant performance. The Wood was the centerpiece of three major preps yesterday for the Kentucky Derby. There were 28 contenders in all, but favorites won all three: Pulpit took the Blue Grass at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., and Crypto Star won the Arkansas Derby at Hot Springs while Captain Bodgit was scoring his success at Aqueduct. Captain Bodgit, a son of Saint Ballado, has now met almost every test for the Derby: he has won the Florida Derby and the Wood; he has won around two turns; he has demonstrated a winning kick in the final furlong and he has run and won on a heavy track. Now, all he has to do is do it again on May 3 against a huge field of perhaps 18 to 20 horses at Churchill Downs. ''He's just a super horse,'' said Gary Capuano, who trains Captain Bodgit for the Team Valor syndicate ...

 

Tags: aqueduct, horse, racing, tom, durkin, team, valor, alex, solis, captain, bodgit, accelerator, smikin, mel

 



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