Curlin Colt Shocks at 59-1 in Wood Memorial

Lord Miles (c, 3, Curlin–Lady Esme, by Majestic Warrior) outslugged the top two choices on the board to spring a massive upset in a roughly run renewal of Saturday’s GII Wood Memorial S. at the Big A.

Disregarded at 59-1 following a sixth-place finish in the GIII Holy Bull S. Feb. 4 and a fifth-place finish in the GIII Tampa Bay Derby Mar. 11, the Peter Vegso homebred was hustled early by Paco Lopez and raced in second rounding the clubhouse turn. Ridden along in an outside fourth down the backstretch, Lord Miles began to rally while four wide on the far turn as the New York-bred Arctic Arrogance (Frosted) and the Todd Pletcher-trained maiden Dreamlike (Gun Runner) started to throw down approaching the quarter pole.

Four across the track down the stretch, Arctic Arrogance was the first to blink on the inside. Dreamlike narrowly hit the front as favored Hit Show (Candy Ride {Arg}), a dominant winner of Aqueduct’s GIII Withers S., and Lord Miles continued to rally in tandem. Racing shoulder to shoulder with Hit Show, Lord Miles was going the best of all in deep stretch, and, after the trio played a bit of bumper cars close to home, Lord Miles surged late while widest of all to get there by a head in a wild, three-horse photo finish. Hit Show was second; Dreamlike was third.

The result stood following a stewards’ inquiry.

“I knew they got in tight,” winning trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. said. “Watching the head on, I thought we were good, but you’re dealing with opinion. You never want to be in that position, but I accepted that if something happened at least we would be second. But I didn’t think there should be a change.”

Lopez added, “[Dreamlike] came out and [Manny] Franco [aboard Hit Show] was looking for room and so he bumped into my horse. My horse stayed in line all the time and stayed fighting for the line. It was a tight race. He gave me a beautiful run today.”

Lord Miles was sharp debut winner going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park Nov. 19, then was a rallying third in the Mucho Macho Man S. Jan. 1 prior to his pair of aforementioned graded stakes attempts in the Sunshine State.

“He ran huge [today],” Joseph said. “After his first start, I was dreaming Derby. The Mucho Macho Man was good, but from there everything was derailed. The Holy Bull went wrong, the Tampa Bay Derby was a step in the right direction, but we were probably running out of time. Today, here we are, one more time and it worked out.”

Pedigree Notes:

Lord Miles becomes the 52nd graded winner for leading sire Curlin. Out of the unraced Majestic Warrior Vegso homebred Lady Esme, Lord Miles is bred on the same wildly successful Curlin x A.P. Indy cross as top-level winners Malathaat, Nest, Global Campaign, Stellar Wind, Clairiere, Paris Lights and Idol. Lady Esme, from the immediate female family of champion 2-year-old filly Caledonia Road (Quality Road), is also responsible for the 2-year-old filly Lazar’s (Twirling Candy) ($170,000 KEESEP yearling purchase by Solis/Litt) and a yearling filly by Connect. She was bred to Quality Road for 2023. Lord Miles is her first foal.

Saturday, Aqueduct
WOOD MEMORIAL S. PRESENTED BY RESORTS WORLD CASINO-GII, $750,000, Aqueduct, 4-8, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:51.17, ft.
1–LORD MILES, 123, c, 3, by Curlin
                1st Dam: Lady Esme, by Majestic Warrior
                2nd Dam: Come a Callin, by Dixie Union
                3rd Dam: Twilight Service, by Horse Chestnut (Saf)
Racing Stable (KY); T-Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.; J-Paco Lopez.
$400,000. Lifetime Record: 5-2-0-1, $451,100. Werk Nick
Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the
free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Hit Show, 123, c, 3, Candy Ride (Arg)–Actress, by Tapit.
O/B-Gary & Mary West Stables Inc. (KY); T-Brad H. Cox.
3–Dreamlike, 123, c, 3, Gun Runner–Time to Tap, by Tapit.
KEESEP). O-Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable; B-Winchell
Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $75,000.
Margins: NO, HD, 5 1/4. Odds: 59.25, 1.70, 3.30.
Also Ran: Arctic Arrogance, Classic Catch, Slip Mahoney, Shadow Dragon, Knox, Crupi, General Banker, Mr. Swagger, Uncle Jake. Scratched: Clear the Air.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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