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Wood Memorial boosts purse to attract top horses

Eddie Castro, Toby's Corner, Uncle Mo, John Velazquez

Jockey John Velazquez on Uncle Mo, right, has the lead coming down the stretch as Eddie Castro riding Toby’s Corner (2) starts to make during the Wood Memorial horse race at Aqueduct Racetrack Saturday, April 9, 2011, in New York. Toby’s Corner won the race. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


NEW YORK -- The Wood Memorial purse could increase to $1 million as part of a bonus created to entice the top 3-year-olds to run in the Kentucky Derby prep on April 7.

New York Racing Association officials said Saturday that the presence of any horse in the field with a previous Grade 1 or Group 1 victory would increase the purse from $750,000 to $1 million if the qualifying horse starts. In that case, the winner would receive $590,000, the runner-up would earn $190,000 and third would be worth $90,000.

The Wood is run at 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct. The race is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby prep series that awards 100 points to the winner, 40 to second, 20 to third and 10 to fourth. The top 20 horses on the leaderboard earn starting spots in the Derby on May 5.