Purse Could Increase To $1 Million If Grade 1 Winner Starts In Wood Memorial

by | 01.13.2018 | 1:09pm
Irish War Cry wins the 2017 Wood Memorial

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced today a bonus program for potential starters in the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial on Saturday, April 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack that could increase the total purse to $1 million.

If any horse in the field registers a Grade 1 or Group 1 victory prior to running in the 94th edition of the Wood Memorial, NYRA will increase the total purse by $250,000 if the qualifying horse is declared an official starter.

Should a Grade or Group 1 winner become an official starter and trigger the increase, the Wood Memorial winner would earn $590,000 with the runner-up garnering $190,000 and third-place collecting $90,000.

“The goal of this bonus program, which can raise the Wood Memorial purse to $1 million, is to bring the most talented 3-year-olds in the country to the Wood on April 7,” said NYRA President and CEO Chris Kay. “Racing fans can look forward to a tremendous card on Wood Day that includes prestigious races such as the Carter Handicap, Gazelle, Bay Shore and Excelsior.”

Contested at 1 1/8 miles on the Big A's main track, the Wood Memorial is named in honor of Eugene D. Wood, a New York State politician and horse racing enthusiast who had been a founder and past president of the old Jamaica Racetrack where the race was run until 1960. On five occasions, the Wood has been run in two divisions, resulting in two winners in 1944, 1945, 1947, 1974, and 1983.

Recent winners of the Wood Memorial include Irish War Cry last year, Outwork in 2016 and Frosted in 2015, who ran second to American Pharoah in his Triple Crown-winning effort in that year's Grade 1 Belmont Stakes before winning the 2016 Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap and the Grade 1 Whitney in his 4-year-old season.

As part of the official Road to the Kentucky Derby prep series, the Wood Memorial is worth 100 qualifying points to the winner, 40 points to second, 20 to third and 10 to fourth, bolstering the bids of the top finishers to earn sports in the starting gate for the 144th running of the Grade 1, $2 million Kentucky Derby on May 5.

  • Richard C

    The U.S. Kentucky Derby qualifying points should be tiered based on the graded stakes status — Grade I / 100-40-20-10….Grade II / 50-20-10-5….Grade III / 10-4-2-1 — with the closing couple weeks exclusively reserved for the “100-point” races.

  • dallascowboy43

    Paulick Report: Can you cover a story of why there were 2 scratches in race 2 at AQU today regarding the Engleharts?

  • Marlaine Meeker

    I sure would like to see the Wood Memorial revive it’s status.

  • PointGivenTCL

    They’re trying to get their G1 back but IMO there are still too many G1 Derby preps. This looks definite to happen as Firenze Fire should be in there.

    • Baloo

      Yes : Arkansas should be downgraded because it is the Johnny Come Lately …
      I think getting FF to stay was the whole idea ;-)

  • Dave Stevenson

    Filly Genuine Risk was a runner up in the Wood, won the Derby and then went on to be in the money in the Preakness and Belmont.

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