Wood Memorial and Lord Miles 2023 Prep Race Recap

Kentucky Derby prep race recap of the 2023 Wood Memorial and winner Lord Miles.
Kentucky Derby prep race recap of the 2023 Wood Memorial and winner Lord Miles. / Associated Press

The Championship Series races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby featured eight major prep races that awarded 100 points to the winner and a spot in the starting gate for the May 6 Kentucky Derby.

The Wood Memorial on April 8 produced the biggest upset on the Derby trail. Longshot Lord Miles (59/1) cashed in for bettors for $120.50 on a $2 win bet. Lord Miles jostled with the favorite Hit Show inside the final 1/16 miles and prevailed by a nose to earn his spot in the starting gate for the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Jockey Paco Lopez rode Lord Miles for the second straight race, and he'll be aboard the longshot for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. in the May 6 Kentucky Derby. Lopez makes his third Kentucky Derby start and was unplaced with his previous two Derby runners.

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Lord Miles Kentucky Derby Longshot

Lord Miles will be one of the big longshots in the 2023 Kentucky Derby, according to FanDuel Racing odds. He missed the money and finished fifth and sixth in the Tampa Bay Derby and Holy Bull, respectively, before pulling off the shocking upset in the Wood Memorial.

Aqueduct has a slower track, but Lord Miles still managed to dig in and finish the 1 1/8 mile Wood Memorial with a final 3/8 mile time of 37.98 seconds. His winning time of 1:51.17 was on the slower side, though.

Nine of the last 11 Kentucky Derby winners and 19 of the last 25 finished the final three furlongs of their final prep race in less than 38 seconds.

The Wood Memorial has been New York’s leading prep for the Triple Crown since it was inaugurated in the mid-1920s. Eleven horses have scored the double in the Wood Memorial and the 1 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby. Fusaichi Pegasus is the most recent horse to win the Wood Memorial Stakes and the Kentucky Derby, having done so in 2000.

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