Woods of Windsor is coming home.
The Maryland-bred colt bled when he finished a disappointing seventh in the first division of the Fountain of Youth Stakes last Saturday and will skip the Kentucky Derby.
Instead, plans now call for the colt to run in a series of 3-year-old stakes at the coming Pimlico meet with the idea of possibly earning a starting berth in the May 15 Preakness.
"I had a ton of horse until the half-mile pole," jockey Rick Wilson said about his ride on the Adelaide Riggs-owned colt in Saturday's Florida race.
"When I asked him to go on, he just dropped the bit and flattened out. I was real disappointed. But he seems to have come out of the race all right, even though he was scoped [through the nostrils] and did bleed. Obviously, he didn't run his race."
Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. will keep the colt at Gulfstream Park for a couple weeks, then ship him to Maryland in time for the $75,000 Deputed Testamony Stakes at Pimlico on April 3. Woods of Windsor could then run in the Federico Tesio Stakes on April 24 as a final prep for the Preakness.
Wilson, however, could still have a Derby mount.
He also rides Perkins-trained Storm Tower, impressive winner of the second half of the Fountain of Youth and likely favorite for the March 20 Florida Derby.
A victory in that race at Gulfstream Park could propel Wilson and the horse into the Kentucky Derby.
Wilson has been riding regularly for the Perkins outfit on the Maryland circuit for the last two years, but also travels out of town to ride their stakes horses.
He lives with his wife, Jean, and their children in Sykesville.
Storm Tower, undefeated in four career starts, is owned by Charles Hesse, a New Jersey road contractor, and Anthony Tornetta, a long-time Perkins client.