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Tacitus, trained by Bill Mott for Juddmonte Farms, and ridden by Jose Ortiz, proved best in a stretch drive with Tax to prevail in the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on Saturday.

The early stages of the race were a little messy. The break was uneventful, but a dozen strides out of the gate, the race turned a bit ugly.
Joevia swept over towards the inside from his extreme outside post position and seemed to intimidate half the field while doing so. At the same time, Tacticus was coming out a bit and Overdeliver was forced to the inside by Joevia’s escapades and collided with Final Jeopardy, who took the worst of it all and lost all action, while hobbling over to the rail after the melee.
Things didn’t get any better for the field around the first turn when Tacitus, Tax and Overdeliver bounced each other around and Overdeliver took the worst of it in round two of the rumble.
Meanwhile, Not That Brady and Joevia opened up a sizable lead on the field and hit the far turn together, putting up fractions of 23.62, 46.91, and 1:11.46. before entering the stretch. At the 1/8 pole Tacitus was set down for the drive and Tax passed Not that Brady, who was tiring on the rail and the two squared off. But Tacitus and Ortiz would keep Tax and Junior Alvarado at bay by a little more than a length at the wire. Haikal closed well to be third and 64/1 shot Math Wizard ran fourth.
There was a stewards inquiry into the race and Joevia was disqualified but the top finishers remained unchanged.
The Tapit colt completed the 1-1/8 mile distance in 1:51.23 over a track listed as fast.
The top two finishers entered the race off stakes victories and both will move on to the starting gate at Churchill Downs on May 4.
Haikal should also have enough points to join the party on the first Saturday in May should his connections chose to go.
Wood Memorial Results:
Tacitus $7.20 4.70 3.00
Tax                 6.20 3.90
Haikal                     3.10
Math Wizard
$1 Exacta $22.90
.50-cent Tri $33.25
.10-cent Super $185.00

 

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