June 18, 2024

Resilience draws clear in Wood Memorial

Resilience wins the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct (Photo by Coglianese Photography)

Resilience booked his spot for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1), recording a 2 1/4-length victory in Saturday’s $750,000 Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct. Fourth when making his stakes debut in the Feb. 17 Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds, the up-and-coming colt continued to show more while adding blinkers for Bill Mott, winning convincingly as the 9-2 third choice among 12 runners.

John Velazquez notched his fifth Wood win aboard son of Into Mischief, and Resilience completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.28. He’s campaigned by Emily Bushnell and Ric Waldman.

Deposition appeared to clip heels between horses and fell in the stretch, dislodging jockey Dexter Haddock, but he stood up on his own power and was vanned off. Haddock also appeared to escape serious injury.

The Wood Memorial offered points on a 100-50-25-15-10 basis to the top five respective finishers as a major qualifier in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series.

Resilience showed speed from his innermost post at the break but settled just a couple of early frontrunners. The pace was solid (:23.45, :47.49, and 1:12.31) and Resilience advanced wide while under a confident hold from Velazquez on the far turn, striking the front and powering clear into the stretch.

Longshots filled the superfecta behind Resilience. Deterministic, the 9-10 favorite following a win in the March 2 Gotham (G3), sustained his first setback while stretching to two turns, weakening to eighth after stalking the pace in fourth. Tuscan Sky, the 2.95-1 second choice following well-regarded maiden and entry-level allowance wins to open his career, lacked the necessary finishing kick from off the pace and wound up seventh.

Society Man, 106-1 following an Aqueduct maiden win in his fourth start, closed from midpack to be a clear second, 1 1/2 lengths better than Protective, who rallied from far back for third at 38-1. It was nearly four more lengths to 80-1 Lonesome Boy in fourth. Uncle Heavy and Elysian Meadows came next. Evening News finished ninth, and Merit and Gettysburg Address came next under the wire.

Resilience improved his record to 6-2-1-1. The bay finished second and third in a pair of maiden special weights at Churchill Downs last fall before graduating in his fourth start, taking a 1 1/16-mile maiden event at Gulfstream by 4 1/4 lengths. He stalked up close in the Risen Star and was in thick in contention turning for home, winding up only 3 1/2 lengths back of Sierra Leone in a deep Kentucky Derby prep race.

He’s discovering his best form at the right time, and Resilience will look to keep progressing at Churchill Downs on May 4. His tactical ability appears advantageous.

Bred in Kentucky by Marty and Pam Wygod, Resilience is the first stakes winner from the Smart Strike mare Meadowsweet, a daughter of multiple Grade 1-winning turf router and millionaire Tranquility Lake and half-sister to Grade 1 winners After Market and Courageous Cat. This is the female family of 1983 Belmont (G1) winner Caveat.