He wasn’t even supposed to be in the race – a maiden who had already been beaten badly by several Derby wannabes and had just a Beyer Speed Figure of 74 – but Trojan Nation almost shocked the racing world, forcing Outwork to a photo finish in the $1 million Wood Memorial.
Still, Outwork looked impressive, leading most of the way on a torrid pace, but still had enough to outlast Trojan Nation, who came from off the pace to lose by a head.
Shagaf and Adventist, two Derby hopefuls, didn’t impress, Adventist settling for third – barely – over Matt King Coal, who pressed Outwork throughout the race but faded in the homestretch. Shagaf, winner of the Gotham Stakes, finished fifth and never really threatened.
Although Outwork’s performance was impressive, his time over the sluggish 1 1/8 miles was 1:52.92, the slowest Wood Memorial ever at this distance.