Eleven sophomores will contest Saturday’s $1 million Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct, one of seven major final prep races for the May 4 Kentucky Derby. Before we analyze the BRIS Speed ratings for this year’s Wood Memorial field, let’s take review the numbers for the previous 10 winners. Here are the BRIS Speed ratings for Wood Memorial winners entering the race:

Horse BRIS Speed
Vino Rosso 91
100
Irish War Cry 76
102
Outwork 96
89
Frosted 89
98
Wicked Strong 89
80
Verrazano 100
104
Gemologist 97
94
Toby’s Corner 90
103
Eskendereya 103
99
I Want Revenge 113
95
Analysis: Five brought declining BRIS Speed ratings into the race. Irish War Cry (26), Toby’s Corner (13), Frosted (9) and Vino Rosso (9) showed at least a nine-point decrease in the last start. Four of the last five didn’t post a triple-digit BRIS Speed rating in the previous two starts. Three of the last five – Irish War Cry (76), Frosted (89) and Wicked Strong (89) – didn’t reach 90 in the last start. Nine registered at least an 89 BRIS Speed rating last out (Irish War Cry lone exception). Only Verrazano (100-104) recorded a pair of triple-digit BRIS Speed ratings. Here are the last two BRIS Speed ratings for this year’s field (listed in post order):
Horse BRIS Speed
Tax 102
103
Tacitus 95
85
Hoffa’s Union 97
n/a
Haikal 102
99
Final Jeopardy 95
89
Overdeliver 91
93
Not That Brady 9
101
Grumps Little Tots 91
88
Math Wizard 89
96
Outshine 93
94
Joevia 91
99
Analysis: Tax stands alone with 102-103 BRIS Speed ratings in the last two starts. Haikal (102) and Not That Brady (101) are the only other horses to reach the triple-digit threshold. Hoffa’s Union faces a steep challenge with only one start but did net a 97 BRIS Speed rating that ranks as the third-best last-out number. Not That’s Brady was essentially eased last out (9 BRIS Speed rating), crossing the wire 74 lengths behind the winner. His 101 Speed figure two back stacks up well against in this year’s field. It’s a well-matched field from a BRIS Speed rating perspective, with only Grumps Little Tots (91-88) and Overdeliver (91-93) on the slow side from the last two preps. PHOTO: Tax and jockey Junior Alvarado win the Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct on February 2, 2019 (c) Adam Coglianese Photography/Joe Labozzetta