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Homeracing

Kentucky Derby BRIS Speed Rating Report: Irish War Cry, El Areeb highlight trifecta of early-season preps

Profile Picture: James Scully

February 7th, 2017

El Areeb confirmed his status as a serious contender and Irish War Cry emerged as possible force in South Florida as three prep races in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series were offered on Saturday, February 4.

The Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park featured the return of early Kentucky Derby favorite Classic Empire, but the unanimous 2-year-old champion weakened to be a well-beaten third as Irish War Cry dominated wire-to-wire, registering an excellent 102 BRIS Speed rating for the 3 ¾-length decision.

Bred in New Jersey, Irish War Cry is now 3-for-3 for owner/breeder Isabelle de Tomaso, making his first two-turn start Saturday after opening his career with a pair of fast wins at Laurel Park. Joel Rosario rides the Curlin colt for Graham Motion.

El Areeb backed up a sterling performance in the Jerome (G3) with another convincing victory on Aqueduct’s inner track, easily capturing the Withers (G3) by 4 ¼ lengths. He earned a fine 99 BRIS Speed figure after rallying from just off a moderate early pace, receiving a whopping 119 BRIS Late Pace rating as he finished full of run under regular jockey Trevor McCarthy.

Cathal Lynch conditions the Laurel-based gray son of Exchange Rate.

Related: Irish War Cry dominates on the lead, Classic Empire disappoints in Holy Bull; El Areeb much the best in Withers

Royal Mo rolled to a 3 ¼-length tally while making his stakes debut in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita, drawing off in the stretch after setting the pace on a short early lead. Victor Espinoza has the call on the John Shirreffs trainee, but the Uncle Mo colt will need to show more after registering only a 95 BRIS Speed rating against a questionable cast of opponents.

Below are the BRIS Speed ratings (90 or better) registered in Kentucky Derby qualifying races (asterisk denotes number earned in 2016):

Horse

 

Race (finish position)

 

BRIS Speed

*Classic Empire

 

BC Juv. (1st)

 

108

Gormley

 

Sham (1st)

 

102

Irish War Cry

 

Holy Bull (1st)

 

102

American Anthem

 

Sham (2nd)

 

102

*Mo Town

 

Remsen (1st)

 

101

El Areeb

 

Jerome (1st)

 

100

El Areeb

 

Withers (1st)

 

99

*Mastery

 

Los Al Futurity (1st)

 

99

*No Dozing

 

Remsen (2nd)

 

98

*Practical Joke

 

BC Juv. (3rd)

 

98

Uncontested

 

Smarty Jones (1st)

 

97

Gunnevera

 

Holy Bull (2nd)

 

97

*Gormley

 

FrontRunner (1st)

 

97

*Practical Joke

 

Champagne (1st)

 

97

*Gunnevera

 

Delta Jackpot (1st)

 

96

Royal Mo

 

Robert Lewis (1st)

 

95

True Timber

 

Withers (2nd)

 

94

*Classic Empire

 

Breeders’ Futurity (1st)

 

94

J Boys Echo

 

Withers (3rd)

 

93

*McCraken

 

Ky Jockey Club (1st)

 

93

*Guest Suite

 

Lecomte (1st)

 

93

*Lookin at Lee

 

BC Juv. (4th)

 

93

Classic Empire

 

Holy Bull (3rd)

 

92

*Wild Shot

 

Ky Jockey Club (2nd)

 

92

Irap

 

Robert Lewis (2nd)

 

91

Petrov

 

Smarty Jones (2nd)

 

91

Untrapped

 

Lecomte (2nd)

 

91

Sheer Flattery

 

Robert Lewis (3rd)

 

90

*Lookin at Lee

 

Breeders’ Futurity (2nd)

 

90

 

 

 

 

 

 

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