The New York Racing Association brings us some interesting facts about the Grade I Wood Memorial entries.
Gemologist gets his name through his mother’s side of the family – his dam was Crystal Shard, whose sire was Mr. Prospector. The colt is described by trainer Todd Pletcher as being a consummate professional, talented, reliable, always giving 100 percent. “If I had to pick an athlete to compare him to,” said the trainer, “it would have to be Derek Jeter.”
The son of Bernardini is good friends with assistant trainer Andrew St. Lawrence’s 10-year-old Golden Retriever, Sadler. Friendly and sociable, he enjoys being hand-fed from his hay rack. He occupies the same stall in trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s barn as 2006 Horse of the Year Invasor.
Street Life (4-1)
The dark bay colt’s favorite trick is to stick out his tongue on command. Co-owned by Bob and Janice McNair, who will be going for their third victory in the Wood Memorial, having won in 2001 with Congaree and in 2006 with Bob and John.
The Lumber Guy (8-1)
The Lumber Guy is named after thoroughbred owner Aaron Jones, who made his fortune in the lumber business in Oregon.Orphaned a day after his birth, The Lumber Guy was raised by a special “nurse mare. Aptly enough, The Lumber Guy’s first stakes victory came in the Miracle Wood at Laurel Park.
My Adonis (8-1)
His jockey, Elvis Trujillo, was named for singing legend Elvis Presley. The colt himself was named after owner George Hall’s father, who pledged to become an “Adonis” after being diagnosed with cancer.
Teeth of the Dog (15-1)
Teeth of the Dog is named after an iconic Pete Dye-designed golf course at Casa de Campo which is near La Romana, Dominican Republic. Owner Jose Singer’s house overlooks the 15th hole of the course. “His name is the meanest thing about him,” said trainer Michael Matz. “He’s really quite gentle and kind.” Teeth of the Dog’s stall in Florida is right next to that of Union Rags, one of the leading candidates this year for the Kentucky Derby.
Tiger Walk (15-1)
His name was inspired by the Tiger Walk, the signature event of Auburn’s pre-game ritual, where Auburn players walk to the football stadium through a phalanx of fans lined up along Donohue Drive. Owner Kevin Plank’s company, Under Amour, outfits the Auburn football team. Trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Correas says he’s a nice horse to be around, but very tough to gallop in the mornings. “If it was up to him, he would two-minute lick every day. That’s the thing you have to be careful of with him, he’d like to go fast on long gallops.”
Casual Trick (20-1)
Casual Trick gets his name from his breeding, as his dam is a daughter of Red Ransom named Casual Look. Tainer Nick Zito describes the Bernardini colt as playful. “When he’s being walked, he likes to play with his lead shank. A lot. Kind of like a dog playing with his leash.”