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Homeracing

Kentucky Derby BRIS Speed Rating Report April 11: Irish War & Gormley bounce back, Irap surprises

Profile Picture: James Scully

April 11th, 2017

Three major prep races last weekend provided a clearer picture of who will be running in the 143rd Kentucky Derby but left us without a clear-cut favorite as the first Saturday in May quickly approaches.

The Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct had value as Irish War Cry rebounded from a no-show performance in the Fountain of Youth (G2), drawing off to a 3 ½-length decision. By Curlin, the Graham Motion-trained colt registered a 102 BRIS Speed rating, the same number he earned winning the Holy Bull (G2) two previously and tied for the third-best figure by a Kentucky Derby contender this year.

Irish War Cry promises to be racing up close from the start of the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby.

Battalion Runner set the pace in the Wood Memorial and while he proved no match for the winner in the latter stages, the Todd Pletcher pupil stamped his Kentucky Derby ticket finishing second in his stakes debut.

The Blue Grass featured a couple of horses, McCraken and Tapwrit, with the opportunity to grab the favorite’s mantle in the Kentucky Derby but neither performed to expectations. McCraken may have needed the start, missing a planned appearance in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) due to an ankle strain, and experienced a less-than-favorable trip. He could still wind up as one of top betting choices in the Kentucky Derby despite finishing third. Tapwrit never fired in a dull fifth-place showing.

Irap posted a shocking upset, recording his first victory in eight career starts. He has the right connections – trainer Doug O’Neill has won two of the last five editions of the Kentucky Derby – but the front-runner benefitted from soft early fractions and raced on the wrong lead through the stretch drive.

Along with runner-up Practical Joke and fourth-placer J Boys Echo, the top 5 from the Blue Grass appear to have enough points to make the Kentucky Derby field.

In the Santa Anita Derby (G1), Gormely utilized a change in tactics to rebound from a well-beaten fourth in the San Felipe (G2), rallying to win by a half-length. Kudos to trainer John Shirreffs for orchestrating a switch in run styles and Gormley recorded his third graded stakes victory. He’s the leading 3-year-old male in California, but it’s not a fast contingent with Mastery’s absence and Gormley’s 99 BRIS Speed rating won’t get it done at Churchill Downs.

Gormley and runner-up Battle of Midway posted dismal BRIS Late Pace ratings of 77 and 71, respectively.

Here are the top BRIS Speed ratings from Kentucky Derby contenders in qualifying races this year (90 or above, top four finish required):

Horse

 

Race (finish position)

 

BRIS Speed

J BOYS ECHO

 

Gotham (1st)

 

104

HENCE

 

Sunland Derby (1st)

 

103

ALWAYS DREAMING

 

Florida Derby (1st)

 

102

GORMLEY

 

Sham (1st)

 

102

GUNNEVERA

 

Fountain of Youth (1st)

 

102

IRISH WAR CRY

 

Wood Memorial (1st)

 

102

IRISH WAR CRY

 

Holy Bull (1st)

 

102

TAPWRIT

 

Tampa Bay Derby (1st)

 

101

IRAP

 

Blue Grass (2nd)

 

100

CLOUD COMPUTING

 

Gotham (2nd)

 

100

GIRVIN

 

Louisiana Derby (1st)

 

99

GORMLEY

 

Santa Anita Derby (1st)

 

99

MCCRAKEN

 

Sam Davis (1st)

 

99

PRACTICAL JOKE

 

Blue Grass (2nd)

 

99

GIRVIN

 

Risen Star (1st)

 

98

BATTALION RUNNER

 

Wood Memorial (2nd)

 

98

BATTLE OF MIDWAY

 

Santa Anita Derby (2nd)

 

98

PATCH

 

Louisiana Derby (2nd)

 

98

ROYAL MO

 

Santa Anita Derby (3rd)

 

98

GUNNEVERA

 

Holy Bull (2nd)

 

97

PETROV

 

Southwest (2nd)

 

97

STATE OF HONOR

 

Florida Derby (2nd)

 

97

TAPWRIT

 

Sam Davis (2nd)

 

97

STATE OF HONOR

 

Tampa Bay Derby (2nd)

 

96

UNTRAPPED

 

Risen Star (2nd)

 

96

LOCAL HERO

 

Louisiana Derby (3rd)

 

96

MCCRAKEN

 

Blue Grass (3rd)

 

96

STATE OF HONOR

 

Sam Davis (3rd)

 

96

MALAGACY

 

Rebel (1st)

 

95

ROYAL MO

 

Robert Lewis (1st)

 

95

PRACTICAL JOKE

 

Fountain of Youth (2nd)

 

95

GUNNEVERA

 

Florida Derby (3rd)

 

95

CLOUD COMPUTING

 

Wood Memorial (3rd)

 

94

SONNETEER

 

Rebel (2nd)

 

93

J BOYS ECHO

 

Withers (3rd)

 

93

LOCAL HERO

 

Risen Star (3rd)

 

93

UNTRAPPED

 

Rebel (3rd)

 

93

IRAP

 

Sunland Derby (4th)

 

93

J BOYS ECHO

 

Blue Grass (4th)

 

93

PETROV

 

Rebel (4th)

 

93

CLASSIC EMPIRE

 

Holy Bull (3rd)

 

92

IRAP

 

Robert Lewis (2nd)

 

91

PETROV

 

Smarty Jones (2nd)

 

91

UNTRAPPED

 

Lecomte (2nd)

 

91

GORMLEY

 

San Felipe (4th)

 

91

 

 

 

 

 

 

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