The New York Racing Association will offer a live 11-race card on Wood Memorial Day, Saturday, April 4. Four graded stakes, headed by the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds at nine furlongs, will make a up a guaranteed $400,000 Pick 4.

NYRA will also increase purses for each non-graded stakes race that day by $10,000.

“We have always felt that better purses attract top horses,” said NYRA Vice President and Director of Racing Paul “PJ” Campo. “We have raised purses on big days before – most recently on Gotham Stakes Day (March 7) – and we felt it helped us to present our fans with a quality race card.”

Along with the Wood Memorial on April 4, Aqueduct will play host to the Grade 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap at seven furlongs; the Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore for three-year-olds at seven furlongs and the Grade 3, $200,000 Excelsior for three-year-olds and up at nine furlongs, all on the main track.

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(From Dogwood Stable)

Dogwood Stable’s Lime Rickey, graded stakes-placed on the turf, will take a serious step onto the Kentucky Derby trail when he tries the dirt for the first time in the Wood Memorial , announced Dogwood President W. Cothran “Cot” Campbell.

“We don’t know how he will take to dirt in a race, but now is the time to find out, and the mile and an eighth Wood Memorial is a spot that will test him pretty keenly,” explained Campbell.

Lime Rickey ships to Belmont Park by air on April 1, accompanied by a large number of other Florida horses, including some that he will likely run against on April 4.

“We’re trying to get (jockey) Javier Castellano or Cornelio Velasquez to ride our colt,” Campbell said.

“If Jupiter aligns with Mars in a precise manner we could get to the Derby this year,” Campbell continued. “Lime Rickey is a solid grass specialist, but he has a dirt pedigree and is a game colt – and if he moves up big time he might get to Churchill Downs.”

Lime Rickey has $131,107 in purse earnings, with a win, four seconds, and three thirds from nine career starts. The colt’s last three races were in turf stakes at Gulfstream Park – the Dania Beach, the Hallandale Beach, and most recently the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes – and he finished second each time.

Lime Rickey is trained by Frank Alexander.

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True Quality, prepping for the Carter, worked five furlongs in 58.78 this morning over Aqueduct’s fast inner dirt track. Owned by Paraneck Stable and trained by John Campo Jr., the 4-year-old Elusive Quality colt has won three of his last four starts and, most recently, won the Grade 2 Gen. George Handicap at Laurel on February 16. He is unbeaten in two starts on Aqueduct’s main track.

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Tri-Bone Stable’s What a Pear, put in a work at Aqueduct this morning, going five furlongs in 1:01.41. Clockers caught her last quarter of a mile in 23 3/5.

The E Dubai filly, 4-for-4 with her victory here in the Busher on February 22, is pointed for the Grade 1, $400,000 Ashland for three-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth at Keeneland on April 4.

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The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation has announced that the New York Racing Association and James Kettlewell, Skidmore professor emeritus of art history, will receive Spirit of Preservation Awards at the foundation’s seventh annual awards presentation on May 8.

Each year, the Preservation Foundation recognizes individuals or organizations that have contributed to the overall quality of life in Saratoga Springs through their hard work and dedication to the ideals of historic preservation.

The New York Racing Association is being recognized for its stewardship of the Saratoga Race Course. Said the Preservation Foundation in a news release, “Since 1955, NYRA has retained the historic integrity of the track through maintenance of over 200 structures and landscapes, as well as honored the character of the race course when making upgrades and changes.”
The May 8 awards presentation will take place at the Saratoga Automobile Museum, beginning at 6 p.m.

For more information contact Marjorie King Martin, programs director, Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, 518-587-5030, , or visit the foundation’s web site at http://www.saratogapreservation.org.