OZONE PARK, N.Y.- Isabelle de Tomaso’s Irish War Cry’s win in Aqueduct’s $750,000. Grade 2 Wood Memorial assured Kentucky Derby 2017 Live there will be at least one New Jersey bred colt in the May 6 running of the Kentucky Derby.One race later, Miss Sky Warrior’s win in the Irish War Cry, who is owned by the daughter of the late Monmouth Park founder Amory L. Haskell, was one of the 115 thoroughbreds foaled in the Garden State in 2014 thanks to his owner’s loyalty to her home state’s breeding program.Although she spends almost all of her time in her residences in Italy and Palm Beach, all of the produce of Mrs. de Tomaso’s breeding program are bred in New Jersey.
The 100 Kentucky Derby points the Graham Motion trainee earned in the Wood assured him one of the 20 stalls in the Deerby starting gate.
His performance in winning the Wood over seven rivals assured he will receive strong backing in the Derby pari-mutuel pools.The son of champion Curlin from the Polish Numbers mare Irish Sovereign stalked the pace setting Battalion Runner through the early stages of the mile and furlong contest that was run on the main track.Jockey Rajiv Maragh, who was aboard for his first afternoon ride on Irish War Cry (he had worked him three times for Motion at Fair Hill) asked for run in the home stretch and got it passing the furlong pole.
With the journeyman rider Kentucky Derby 2017 Live Stream relying on his hands to encourage the colt in the final stages, Irish War Cry bid his foes ‘adieu’ and crossed the line 3-1/2 lengths ahead of the 2 to 1 favorite Battalion Runner with Cloud Computing another 3-1/2 lengths back in third.
The teletimer reported the winner’s time as 1:50.91 over a fast surface.The win boosted Irish War Cry’s record to four wins from five starts with earnings of $699,400.After the race, Maragh said Irish War Cry had come to terms with some of his behavior problems. “He was always in smooth rhythm,” the rider said. “He wasn’t rank at all. He settled beautifully.”Motion said after the race he had not yet decided if another work at Fair Hill or a direct shipment to Churchill Downs was in Irish War Cry’s future. After Miss Sky Warrior’s Gazelle win, a delighted Kelly Breen reported, “It looks like we’re on to the Oaks,” for the Arlene’s Sun Star stable’s filly.The 100 points she earned, added to the 60 she carried into the Gazelle assured owner-breeder Arlene London her filly would be one of the 14 starters in the Oaks.The daughter of First Samurai from the Conquistador Cielo mare Sky Minister is sure to be one of the Oaks favorites after she ran eight foes off their feet in the Gazelle.
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Regular rider Paco Lopez got her away from the gate in front and she made every pole a winning one in the mile and furlong race as the 8 to 5 favorite.
The Oaks betting money will flow in when the punters look at her past performances and see she and Monmouth riding champion Lopez won the Gazelle by 13 lengths with the rider looking back and finding no home stretch challengers.
With that margin, there was no reason for the dark bay or brown filly and Lopez to go any faster than the 1:51.71 she recorded.Miss Sky Warrior heads to Churchill with a record of five wins from six starts and earnings of $641,590.
After the post-race pictures, Breen allowed he had some pre-race nerves. “This is the sharpest I’ve seen her going into a race,” he said. “When she was walking over here she was trying to strike at the groom and was trying to buck a little in the post parade. But it was good energy.”
When it was his turn to comment, Lopez didn’t seem convinced Miss Sky Warrior was his ride in the Oaks, “It’s up to the owner and the trainer (but) I hope we can go to the Kentucky Derby 2017 Oaks together.”
McCraken was originally targeted to the March 11 Tampa Bay Derby (GII) but a minor ankle injury rerouted the colt to the Blue Grass.Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. is confirmed to ride McCraken in the Kentucky Derby.In other local Kentucky Derby news:Blue Grass fourth-place finisher J Boys Echo returned to trainer Dale Romans’ Barn 4 at Churchill Downs following Saturday’s race. The Gotham (GII) winner is expected to breeze two or three more times prior to the first Saturday in May.Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen breezed Sunland Derby (GIII) winner Hence and TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (GII) third-place finisher Local Hero on Monday at Churchill Downs. Hence, No. 13 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 50 points, breezed a half-mile in :47.80 while Local Hero, No. 23 with 30 points, breezed a half-mile in :51.80 according to the Churchill Downs official clockers.
Florida Derby (GI) runner-up State of Honor settled in to Mark Casse’s Barn 36 Friday afternoon. Casse is scheduled to breeze State of Honor Sunday at 6 a.m.Louisiana Derby winner Girvin is on target to breeze Saturday at Churchill Downs’ Trackside Training Facility, according to trainer Joe Sharp. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has picked up the Kentucky Derby 2017 Live mount on Girvin after regular rider Brian Hernandez Jr. opted to ride McCraken.