Ninetyprcentmaddie could try G2 Wood Memorial
LC Racing’s multiple stakes-winner Ninetyprcentmaddie made his first trip outside of Parx Racing on February 11 to make his graded stakes debut in the nine-furlong Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Though the son of Weigelia finished a distant seventh after failing to fire, trainer Butch Reid, Jr. said he may consider another try over the same surface and distance in the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on April 8.
“It’s possible,” said Reid, Jr., who finished in-the-money with 7-of-9 runners at the Big A last year. “There’s several races around that time and we wonder if he handled that surface there, so we’ve got some questions to think about. But we’ll see how the races shape up and make our decision from there. I don’t think shipping is his best thing, but he’ll probably have to go on the road again for his next start. We will probably ship him in a little earlier to get him used to his surroundings.”
The Wood Memorial is the last local prep on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, awarding the top-five finishers 100-40-30-20-10 qualifying points, respectively, towards the prestigious Grade 1 test on May 6 at Churchill Downs.
Ninetyprcentmaddie, who is now a dual stakes winner, bounced out of his Withers effort with an emphatic score in Monday’s City of Brotherly Love at one-mile and 70 yards over the main track at Parx Racing, leading at every point of call to post an eye-catching 9 3/4-length victory in a final time of 1:44.57.
The effort was awarded a career-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure, a number that Reid, Jr. said gives him confidence in stretching Ninetyprcentmaddie out even further.
“I don’t think distance is a problem and I’ve always felt he’s a distance horse waiting to happen and that he proved that on Monday,” said Reid, Jr. “If you throw out the Withers, it was really his first time around two turns. It seems like he learned from it and will be even better next time.
“He came out of it really well and happy,” Reid, Jr. added. “I was happy to see him come back after that effort in the Withers and be no worse for wear. The jockey [Abner Adorno] said he was kind of choking up down the backside last time and maybe he flipped his pallet, but he didn’t show any signs of that this time.”