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Wood Memorial: Vyjack sizzles in Aqueduct workout
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Maybe it was a result of being matched up with a graded stakes-winning sprinter. Maybe it was the result of his connections wanting to do a little more with him. Or maybe it was simply a result of just how good Vyjack is doing right now.
Whatever it was, Vyjack, the undefeated 3-year-old, turned in a sensational five-furlong workout Friday morning at Aqueduct in preparation for a start in the $1 million Wood Memorial here on April 6.
Working in company for the first time with Head Heart Hoof, a 7-year-old New York-bred who has won 18 races, including the Grade 3 Toboggan, Vyjack drilled five furlongs in 59.07 seconds, getting his final quarter in a sharp 22.84. Vyjack, coming off a 2 1/4-length victory in the Grade 3 Gotham on March 2, typically doesn’t work fast, having never broken a minute in any of his previous five-furlong works.
“It was time to do something and he did,” Gustavo Rodriguez, aboard for the work, said.
Vyjack began the move two lengths behind Head Heart Hoof and finished a half-length in front at the wire before pulling away during the gallop out. Vyjack galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.37 and pulled up seven furlongs in 1:27.84.
Head Heart Hoof, third in the Grade 3 Tom Fool on March 2, was credited with a time of 59.72 seconds. He is entered in a starter handicap here next Thursday.
Gustavo Rodriguez, who is running the stable while his brother Rudy serves a 20-day suspension, was the one who decided to match Vyjack with Head Heart Hoof, wanting Vyjack to get something out of the move. Last week, Vyjack worked an easy half-mile in 51.23 seconds.
“He worked with other horses. Nobody can keep up with him,” Rodriguez said of Vyjack. “I thought it was going to be a good match for him to do a little something.”
Rodriguez did urge Vyjack to get past the veteran Head Heart Hoof but he was far from having to go all out.
“I was just chasing the other one. Turning for home I asked him for a little bit and he responded nice,” Rodriguez said. “And he galloped nice, beautiful, strong.”
David Wilkenfeld, who owns Vyjack under the moniker Pick Six Racing, watched the workout from the Aqueduct press box and liked what he saw.
“Usually after the work he waits on the other horse,” Wilkenfeld said. “It look liked today he kept going. They had [the last quarter] in 22-and-change. That’s really nice to see.”
Rodriguez said that Vyjack would likely have one more work before the Wood, a race that is expected to include the undefeated and early Derby favorite Verrazano. Others pointing to the race include Gotham second- and third-place finishers West Hills Giant and Elnaawi, Remsen runner-up Normandy Invasion, Always in a Tiz, Mr Palmer, Indy’s Illusion, Quinzieme Monarque, and possibly Siete de Oros.
No cheating involved here you don't know what you are talking about . I see it every day a horse wins that you don't have and you proclaim cheaters. Learn how to pick winners and you will love to bet trainers like Rudy, Rick D ,Steve A , Ness and all the others that are crucified in these blogs When a trainer gives a horse aspirin is that cheating? This game is not crooked like wall street those people go to jail. Jb
This has nothing directly to do with the Rodriguez's but the industry as a whole. If you don't mind continue too bet your hard earned money on horse who are being influenced by chemicals. I for one love the game of horseracing but have been forced to bet less and less because you can tactically get away with murder and continue to trainhorse with a simpe slap on the wrist. The penalties need to bemore severe to insure the integrety of the game.....
whats with all the hate towards the Rodriquez brothers? they get up every morning @ 4 a.m. 7 days a wk, ,no vacations ,no overtime,came up under one of the best horseman ever in dickie dutrow & learned there lessons well, now cause there winning races & being successful the jealousy raises it's ugly head. day in ,day out overages are bound to happen,horses are atheletes, therapeutic meds like robaxin & bute sometimes stay longer in a horses system , or perhaps even innocent mixups can happen, but most people that aren't horseman don't understand this & just shoot from the hip.... viva la rudy!!!!!!!!!!
mikey rudy was suspended.do you know the scrutiny his barn must be under.the gov and his merry men would love nothing more than to nail them.so please tell me and everyone else.how is gustavo now cheating.i know he has mr gazoo from the old cartoon series . he slips the juice into the horses when everybody is looking at the trainer.let me ask you 1 question.why do you not say that horses like curlin and rachel alexandra were not juiced up freaks.after all steve was suspended for 6 months.it is just funny how selective you are in pointing the finger.
there is no one close to vyjack and verrazano right now. lets hope they both make the derby. vyjack has already shown his versatility and to some extent verrazano.forget these midwest and california horses this year. its going to be like 2003 kentucky derby with funnycide and empire maker, two predominately east coast horses. you throw in itsmyuckyday also.
shaping up to be a very nice race
Nice that Rudy gets days and it has no effect at all on the barn. So let the cheating continue while the gambler continues to get taken to the cleaners. No wonder interest in paramutuel gambling is waning. When trainers are caught cheating it is business as usual around the barn. Hey why not cheat??? With the purses in NY the waythey are now it only makes sense. I guess he didn't learn anything from his buddy R. Dutrow getting ruled off. What is it going to take to rid this game of the cheaters and the unfair playing field the modern day gambler is asked to endure.....
The way gustavo is knocking them down dead at aqueduct, it seems that both of the rodriguez brothers have that "magic" touch to training a thoroughbred. Who would have thought it was that easy! These guys are making a mockery of this sport and have to be shut down. When will they adopt a test that catches these guys.
nice work but the other v horse will pass him in the strech
Is it my imagination or does the rider of the grey horse look like he weighs about 200 pounds?
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