Early Voting one of two Chad Brown Kentucky Derby hopefuls along with Zandon remains on target for the Wood Memorial
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Klaravich Stables’ Early Voting worked in company Friday in preparation for the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on April 9 at Aqueduct Racetrack. The Grade 3 Withers winner went a half-mile in 48.47 seconds over the Belmont Park training track with stablemate and last year’s Withers winner Risk Taking.
The nine-furlong Wood Memorial is the last local Kentucky Derby qualifier, offering 100-40-20-10 points to the top-four finishers. Early Voting is currently 23rd on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 10 points earned from his Withers score.
“The horse is coming along really well,” said trainer Chad Brown. “He’s been doing well since the Withers and he’s been doing everything the right way. He’s still on track for the Wood.”
Unbeaten in two starts, Early Voting captured his debut going a one-turn mile on December 18 at Aqueduct before capturing the Withers by 4 1/2 lengths over Un Ojo, the next-out winner of the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park.
Grantham, the fourth-place finisher in the Withers, came back to run second in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 12.
“It was great for him to finish ahead of those horses in only his second start. As a trainer, it gives you a lot of confidence coming out of a key race,” Brown said.
A son of last year’s leading freshman sire Gun Runner, Early Voting was bought for $200,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He is out of the unraced Tiznow mare Amour d’Ete – a half-sister to 2004 Champion Sprinter and influential stallion Speightstown.
The four-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner said fellow Klaravich Stables color bearer Reinvestment Risk is possible for the Grade 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Bets on April 9 at the Big A. The 4-year-old son of Upstart registered a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure for a last-out winning effort in an allowance optional claimer in February at Gulfstream Park.
Reinvestment Risk was twice Grade 1-placed as a juvenile behind Jackie’s Warrior in the Hopeful at Saratoga Race Course and the Champagne at Belmont before finishing tenth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland. He made one start last year, finishing a distant third to eventual stakes-winners Following Sea and Wudda U Think Now in a June allowance event at Belmont.
Reinvestment Risk was purchased for $280,000 from the OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, where he was consigned by De Meric Sales. He is out of the Candy Ride mare Ridingwiththedevil.
Jeff Drown’s Zandon remains on target for the Grade 1, $1 million Blue Grass on April 9 at Keeneland, which offers 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The Upstart sophomore made his 2022 debut in the Grade 2 Risen Star on February 19 at Fair Grounds Race Course, where he missed the break but rallied from tenth to finish third.
“He missed the break, but I was happy to see him persevere. He got a lot out of the race fitness wise,” Brown said.
A debut winner in October at Belmont, Zandon was narrowly beaten in the Grade 2 Remsen in December at Aqueduct. Both stakes placings have earned Zandon a collective 14 points on the Derby trail, where he is 14th on the leaderboard.
Brown sent out Highly Motivated to finish a hard fought second in last year’s Blue Grass behind eventual Champion 3-Year-Old Essential Quality. Unraced since finishing tenth in last year’s Kentucky Derby, Highly Motivated has worked consistently for Brown at Payson Park Training Center in Florida. Brown said the son of Into Mischief should be ready to return to action in April.
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Early Voting winning the Withers in the Klaravich colors. (Janet Garaguso)