The three-year-old colt "Buddha" has won the Wood Memorial race, one of the key warm-ups for the Kentucky Derby.
In just the fourth race of his career, Buddha, with Pat Day aboard edged favorite "Medaglia d'Oro" by a head at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York. "Sunday's Break" finished third, with "Saarland" fourth.
Sent off as a 3-to-1 second choice in the betting, Buddha earned $450,000 for his owners. The purse almost guarantees that he will have a place in the Kentucky Derby. Only 20 horses can start in the Derby at Churchill Downs, and the money they have earned can be the determining factor.
The Wood Memorial has produced the last two Kentucky Derby winners. "Monoarchos" won the Wood Memorial last year and the year before it was "Fusaichi Pegasus". Both horses went on to win the Kentucky Derby.