Wood Memorial Stakes Betting Guide

The Wood Memorial Stakes presents the last chance for horses to gain qualification points for the Kentucky Derby. Following this race, there are only five more qualifying races before the Triple Crown gets underway, which means that a number of horses will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Seattle Slew and Pleasant Colony, who have won here on their way to Kentucky Derby success.

Event Details

This Grade II race is run every year at Aqueduct Racetrack in April with a purse of $750,000. It is run over a distance of 1 1/8 miles and is considered one of the most important prep runs before the Kentucky Derby.


Success in this race has historically been a good measuring stick, with eleven Kentucky Derby winners winning this prep between 1930 and 2000.

Wood Memorial Stakes Predictions

There will likely be a strong field for the 2021 running of the Wood Memorial Stakes. However, the winner will be looking to achieve a feat that no horse has accomplished since 2000 and go on to win the Kentucky Derby. The declarations for the race can be found below:


  • Brooklyn Strong

  • Dynamic One

  • Bourbonic

  • Candy Man Rocket

  • Capo Kane

  • Risk Taking

  • Prevalence

  • Market Maven

  • Weyburn


This promises to be a wide-open renewal of the race, with so many interesting runners involved. There are five previous winners of Kentucky Derby prep runs, while Prevalence adds further intrigue. The three-year-old has been very progressive on his two starts for trainer Brendan Walsh, as he has won on both occasions at Gulfstream Park.


His first success came back in January as he won the Maiden Special Weight by eight and a half lengths from Stage Raider. Success in the Allowance Optional Claiming Race at Gulfstream Park last time out ensures that he is the one to beat.


Weyburn is a clear contender for the win after he finally won his first race at Aqueduct. He was mainly overlooked at the Gotham Stakes but defied 35/1 odds to claim the win. 

Risk Taking is a more obvious threat in the Wood Memorial Stakes this weekend. The Chad C Brown-trained horse has recovered since defeat first time out to win his last two. 

Both victories have come at Aqueduct, which bolds well for his chances in this race. His most recent victory came in the Withers Stakes, as he beat Overtook by three and three-quarter lengths.


Dynamic One for trainer Todd Pletcher may be the best chance of the outsiders, as he was very impressive on his maiden start at Aqueduct last time out. He managed to win the Maiden Special Weight by five and a quarter lengths from Mutasallem. Brooklyn Strong is another with a credible chance after winning on his first start back in December.


Bourbonic will be one of the outsiders after finishing sixth at Belmont Park on his last start in October. Meanwhile, Candy Man Rocket and Market Maven will both be huge outsiders in this first real test against quality opposition.

Wood Memorial Stakes Information

The Wood Memorial Stakes has been a race that Triple Crown gamblers have kept their sights on throughout its history. Between 1930 and 2000, the race was won by eleven different runners that went on to achieve success in the Kentucky Derby. The first to achieve the feat was Gallant Fox, while the most recent was Fusaichi Pegasus.


Meanwhile, four winners also went on to win the Triple Crown. However, winners of the race aren’t the only ones that are fondly remembered, as Triple Crown winner Secretariat lost in the Wood Memorial Stakes before heading to the Kentucky Derby.


More recent success stories are harder to find, as a winner of the Kentucky Derby hasn’t won the Wood Memorial Stakes since the start of the millennium. Toby’s Corner, Eskendereya, and I Want Revenge were all considered to be live chances before injury scuppered their chances.


Nowadays, the race is listed as a Grade II. That has been the case since 2017. 

Between 2002 and 2016, the race had Grade I status. Eddie Arcaro is the most successful jockey in this race, as he won on nine occasions. Meanwhile, Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons trained the most winners, as success with Bold Ruler in 1957 was his seventh triumph.

How to Bet on the 2021 Wood Memorial Stakes

The Wood Memorial Stakes is one of the most competitive races in the lead up to the Kentucky Derby, which also ensures that it is a popular betting occasion. You can find out more about the markets that you can wager money on for the race below.


  • Win: The win market is the easiest way to make a wager on the Wood Memorial Stakes. To get the returns, you must successfully put your money on the winner of the race.

  • Place: Due to the quality of the race this year, the place market may be very popular. You can bet on a horse to finish in a place position, with returns awarded should they finish in the designated spots set by the sportsbook.

  • Exacta: The Exacta selection is the hardest bet to make on the race. Gamblers must wager their money on the horses in the exact first and second spot to get the returns.


Before making bets on the Wood Memorial Stakes 2021, you must do extensive research regarding the form of the horses involved.