|The Wood Memorial Stakes is an
American Gr 1 horserace contested in April each year at Aqueduct
Racetrack in Jamaica, New York by three-year-old thoroughbreds over a
distance of 1 1/8 miles on dirt. The race boasts purse of $750,000 and
is one of the most important prep races for the Kentucky Derby.
Inaugurated in 1925, the Wood Memorial Stakes was named in honor of
Eugene D. Wood, founder of the now defunct Jamaica Racetrack, which
hosted the Wood Memorial Stakes until in 1960 it was moved to Aqueduct.
The Wood Memorial Stakes has been run over many distances. From 1925
until 1939 it was contested over 1mile 70 yards, from 1940 until 1951 it
was run over a distance of 1 1/16 miles, and from 1952 until now it has
been run over 1 1/8 miles. All runners must carry a weight of 123
Since its launch, 11 winners of the Wood Memorial Stakes have won the
Kentucky Derby in the same year, 4 of which have won the prestigious
U.S. Triple Crown - Gallant Fox in 1930, Count Fleet in 1943, Assault in
1946 and Seattle Slew in 1977.
In terms of records, the fastest the Wood Memorial Stakes has ever been
completed over 1 1/8 miles is in a time of 1:47.16 set by Bellamy Road
in 2005 for George Steinbrenner, owner of the NY Yankees. Jockey Eddie
Arcaro has won the race 9 times while trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons has
7 wins to his name.