Purse hike offered for Wood Memorial

Horse Racing

OZONE PARK, N.Y. — If a Grade 1 winner starts in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial, the purse of the race will be bumped to $1 million from its current level of $750,000, the New York Racing Association announced Friday. All horses who run in the race would run for the winner’s share of $1 million.

The Wood, which offers 170 qualifying points to the May 5 Kentucky Derby, is scheduled for April 7.

The Wood was a Grade 1 from 2002 to 2016 before being downgraded to a Grade 2 for the 2017 running. Its purse had been $1 million from 2011 to 2016.

Among the Grade 1-winning males eligible to run in the Wood and boost the purse to $1 million are Good Magic, Firenze Fire, Bolt d’Oro, Sporting Chance, and Mendelssohn. Firenze Fire, last year’s Champagne winner, is based this winter in New York.

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