Irish War Cry has the distinction of being the lone runner in the Kentucky Derby (G1) field that has earned two triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures. He is currently the third choice in early Kentucky Derby betting at 13-2.
The colt earned a 101 for his victory in the Holy Bull (G2) in February and matched that figure in his most recent outing winning the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct.
However, in between those two starts the Graham Motion trainee tossed in a real clunker in the Fountain of Youth (G2) where he checked in seventh, beaten 21 ¾ lengths and earning a Beyer of just 63.
Motion had no real excuse or explanation for the terrible outing but seems to have the colt back on track.
The colt made just one start as a juvenile, breaking his maiden at Laurel Park going six furlongs last November.
The colt is by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, who in 2007 was third in the Kentucky Derby, won the Preakness and was second in the Belmont Stakes. He beat his elders later that year taking the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The mare Irish Sovereign has produced five other winners.
Motion is one of the most respected trainers in the sport and won the 2011 Kentucky Derby with upset winner Animal Kingdom, who paid $43.80 and then came back to finish second in the Preakness (G1) and sixth in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
The Wood Memorial has not been a key prep in recent years although 20 Derby winners did use the Wood as a prep overall. The race has not produced a top-three finisher in the Run for the Roses since Funny Cide and Empire Maker completed the exacta in 2003.
Without that dud in the Fountain of Youth, this guy could have gone off as the betting favorite but instead likely will be the third or fourth choice in the betting.
Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown for OddsShark and his full card reports with selections, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for major tracks can be found daily at turfnsport.com.