The 143 Kentucky Derby is restricted to only 20 Kentucky Derby runners and will run on Saturday, May 6, 2017, for the first leg of the Triple Crown.
Here is the latest look at Irish War Cry, one of the contenders for the 2017 Kentucky Derby to be run at Churchill Downs.
Owner: Isabelle de Tomaso
Trainer: H. Graham Motion
Pedigree: Curlin – Irish Sovereign, by Polish Numbers
Last Race Result: 1st Place, Wood Memorial Stakes, 4/8/17
We all have bad days at the office, right? For Irish War Cry, that bad day at the office came at the Fountain of Youth Stakes when he finished seventh and just flat out didn't look good. Aside from that, he's an undefeated pony, and he put on a really impressive run at the Wood Memorial Stakes to claim the 100 Derby Points and the automatic spot in the Run for the Roses that comes with it.
Now all of a sudden, Irish War Cry went from a 7 to 2 choice at the Wood to a +600 second choice to win the Kentucky Derby, and it's hard to say that that isn't warranted. Everywhere he's gone, he's been well bet upon, and with breeding like he has with Curlin in his bloodlines, it's hard to suggest he isn't a champion thoroughbred already.
The Wood Memorial wasn't exactly stacked this year, but Battalion Runner was a great horse and is capable of winning the Kentucky Derby as well. The fact that Irish War Cry ran an outside route over the course of the entire race on a big track at Aqueduct and still ultimately came out on top with an impressive romp over the course of the last eighth of a mile is telling that he has the distance in him.
The breeding, as we already alluded to, will help just that. Curlin's foals have largely been underachieving based on expectations, but the fact of the matter is that said expectations were ( and are ) so high that anything short of a Triple Crown would be considered a disappointment.
Maybe the most interesting decision ahead for H. Graham Motion is who is going to end up getting the mount on this colt. Irish War Cry has run well with Joel Rosario in the past, but at the Wood Memorial, he had Rajiv Maragh on top, and we could argue the race that he ran was the best job a jockey has done on his back over the course of his entire career.
If you're looking for things to not like about Irish War Cry, you're going to be out of luck. He had one really bad day at the office at the Fountain of Youth Stakes and just didn't look himself. His training sessions leading into that though, were a bit shaky, and since then, he has turned four furlongs in a very respectable 1:13 and 2. Not surprisingly, the first time he was on the track competitively after that breeze, he picked up his biggest win at the Wood.
The biggest downside is going to be the price. Irish War Cry might end up being the favorite at the Kentucky Derby, and he might end up just off of the favorite's heels at a price of around 7 to 1. Regardless, where he sits right now at +600 isn't an overly appealing price, though it's going to be hard to find a cause to bet against him as well when it comes to finally be the first Saturday of May.
With a maximum of 20 horses accepted into the Kentucky Derby field, there is a significant vetting process to qualify the horses among this group of three-year olds. A points system is in place to reward winners and other top finishers of the main races leading into the Derby. The Top 20 horses will get the first opportunity to run in the Kentucky Derby, though as horses bow out of the process, the next ones in the standings are given their chances until the field of 20 is set.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby wraps up the second week of April, thus ending a grueling stretch of eight months of qualifying for the top colts in the world. The field won't be finalized until the Kentucky Derby post draw on Wednesday, May 3.
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Below are some of the contenders that will possibly run the day of the race. There are 20 Derby Contenders for the race but these are the most likely ones will be confirmed a place at the event.
|Rank||Horse||Points||Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings||Graded Stakes Earnings||Breeder||Trainer||Owner|
|1||Girvin||150||$840,000||$840,000||Bob Austin & John Witte||Joe Sharp||Brad Grady|
|2||Gormley||125||$884,000||$884,000||Castleton Lyons & Kilboy Estate||John Shirreffs||Moss, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S.|
|3||Irish War Cry||110||$676,660||$616,660||Isabelle de Tomaso||H. Motion||Isabelle de Tomaso|
|4||Irap||108||$760,000||$738,000||Aaron & Marie Jones||Doug O'Neill||Reddam Racing LLC|
|5||Always Dreaming||100||$589,000||$589,000||Santa Rosa Partners||Todd Pletcher||St Elias, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, Brooklyn Boys, MEB Stables|
|6||Gunnevera||84||$1,137,800||$1,134,200||Brandywine Farm & Stephen Upchurch||Antonio Sano||Peacock Racing Stables, LLC|
|7||Practical Joke||74||$966,000||$966,000||Whispering Oaks||Chad Brown||Klaravich Stables, Inc. and Lawrence, William H.|
|8||J Boys Echo||63||$305,000||$305,000||Betz, Blackburn, J. Betz, Ramsby, CNHHNK||Dale Romans||Albaugh Family Stables LLC|
|9||State of Honor||62||$310,364||$280,000||Manfred Conrad & Penny Conrad||Mark Casse||Conrad Farms|
|10||Mastery||60||$480,000||$480,000||Stone Farm||Bob Baffert||Cheyenne Stables LLC|
|11||Tapwrit||54||$325,570||$280,000||My Meadowview LLC||Todd Pletcher||Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and LaPenta, Robert V.|
|12||Epicharis (JPN)||50||$753,381||$400,000||Masatsugu Kamada||Kiyoshi Hagiwara||Carrot Farm|
|13||Malagacy||50||$540,000||$540,000||John Trumbulovic||Todd Pletcher||Sumaya U.S. Stable|
|14||McCraken||40||$385,048||$335,320||Whitham Thoroughbreds, LLC||Ian Wilkes||Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC|
|15||Battle of Midway||40||$224,000||$224,000||Thor-Bred Stables, LLC||Jerry Hollendorfer||Fox Hill Farms, Inc.|
|16||Patch||40||$200,000||$200,000||Calumet Farm||Todd Pletcher||Calumet Farm|
|17||Battalion Runner||40||$140,000||$140,000||Dell Ridge Farm, LLC||Todd Pletcher||St. Elias Stable|
|18||Cloud Computing||40||$135,000||$135,000||Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Inc & Stretch Run Ventures, LLC||Chad Brown||Klaravich Stables, Inc. and Lawrence, William H.|
|19||Mont Saint Legame (JPN)||40||$0||$0||Kawashima Bokujo||Koji Maki||Shinichi Yamashita|
|20||Untrapped||34||$210,000||$210,000||Indian Creek & Jonathan Sheppard||Steven Asmussen||Michael Langford|
|21||Classic Empire||32||$1,493,820||$1,493,820||Steven Nicholson & Brandi Nicholson||Mark Casse||John C. Oxley|
|22||El Areeb||30||$330,000||$270,000||Dixiana Farms LLC||Cathal Lynch||M M G Stables, LLC|
|23||Royal Mo||30||$213,000||$213,000||Brandywine Farm||John Shirreffs||Moss, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S.|
|24||Local Hero||30||$140,000||$140,000||Three Chimneys Farm LLC||Steven Asmussen||e Five Racing Thoroughbreds|
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