Trainer Jimmy Jerkens was still basking this morning in the glow of Wicked Strong's emphatic victory over previously undefeated Samraat and Social Inclusion in Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial.
win gave Wicked Strong 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby,
ensuring him a spot in the starting gate for the May 3 race, but Jerkens
said he and the colt's owner, Centennial Farms, hadn't made any firm
plans for a trip to Louisville.
don't really know anything yet; we haven't talked but I am sure we will
this afternoon or tonight or tomorrow," said Jerkens, whose father,
Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, won the 1992 Wood with Devil His
Due. "It's kind of early. I don't really organize horses' training right
down to the minute. I like to have a little bit of a plan, but I don't
want to be stuck to something if I see something I don't like. Thinking
off the top of my head, I hear there's a plane leaving the Monday before
the Derby; we'd probably want to do that. He'd do the majority of his
training here at Belmont Park."
said Wicked Strong looked good, albeit a little tired, this morning.
The Hard Spun colt ran the 1 1/8-mile Wood in 1:49.31, the fastest since
Bellamy Road's record 1:47.16 in 2005.
was a little tired, which is understandable," said Jerkens, adding that
Wicked Strong's schedule calls for him to walk for two days, then
gallop, then walk again. "Usually, he's hogging the hotwalker. He walked
around like a regular horse this morning."
Strong, named in recognition of the heroes and victims of last year's
Boston Marathon bombing, is one of a number of graded stakes winners
trained by Jerkens and his father for the Massachusetts-based Centennial
those trained by the elder Jerkens are 1970s stakes winner Silent
Account; multiple graded stakes winner Aptostar, who took the 1988 Acorn
and the 1989 Vagrancy; Topicount, victorious in the 1988 Rare Perfume,
and With a Twist, winner of the 1988 Rare Treat. Jerkens, who assisted
his father for many years before going out on his own, won the Grade 1
Metropolitan Handicap, the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and the Gulfstream
Park Handicap for Centennial in 2007 with Corinthian.
Centennial you always have a chance to get a good one, that's for
sure," said Jerkens. "They've been very loyal. We did very good with
Corinthian; we needed this to happen."