Brooklyn Strong’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) prospects were dashed when he finished fifth in the Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by Resorts World Casino (G2) April 3, but the graded stakes winner could make an appearance in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Trainer Danny Velazquez said the Wicked Strong 3-year-old could target the 1 1/8-mile, $125,000 Federico Tesio April 24 at Laurel Park as a steppingstone toward the Preakness Stakes (G1) May 15 at Pimlico Race Course.
Making his first start of the year in the Wood after having a winter racing schedule interrupted by sickness and frozen racetracks, Brooklyn Strong raced evenly from an inside position, finishing fifth, beaten 4 3/4 lengths by longshot winner Bourbonic .
“I’ve watched the replay a dozen times and he never really got a break down the backside,” said Velazquez. “He was steadied behind traffic and that takes energy. When he finally found a hole he got banged around again. The mile and an eighth was a little hard on him off the layoff.”
Last year at 2, the New York-bred gelding won three of four starts for owner Mark Schwartz, including the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack Dec. 5. Schwartz acquired him for $5,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2020 Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training from the Coastal Equine consignment.