Will the real Irish War Cry please stand up!

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

June 6th, 2017

The Belmont Stakes is rapidly approaching and we will see a third different horse take down a Triple Crown race in a 2017 season that has been anything but formful to this point. And IRISH WAR CRY has been as confusing as any sophomore this year.

Graham Motion trainee is surely as good as any when he is on his game, evidenced by comfortable wins in the Wood Memorial (G2) and Holy Bull (G2), but the Kentucky-bred has also “spit the bit” when soundly defeated in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Fountain of Youth (G2).

In the Wood, the son of Curlin won as he pleased under a most confident ride from Rajiv Maragh, who spent as much time looking behind him as he did urging his colt to get home first. This remains, to me, the top performance by a 3-year-old this spring from a visual standpoint.

Irish War Cry was a close second-choice in the Kentucky Derby and it appeared to be déjà vu leading up to the homestretch, with Maragh once again appearing to have a ton of horse under him as he looked over his shoulder. But for reasons that remain unexplained, the powerful chestnut basically came to a stop and offered little resistance in the lane at Churchill Downs.

Classy sort has been flattered on a few occasions this spring. His convincing Holy Bull victory came over 2-year-old champion Classic Empire, the probable prohibitive Belmont favorite following a head second in the Preakness. And Irish War Cry’s performance in the Wood looks great considering he dominated Cloud Computing, who came back to win the Preakness in his subsequent outing.

Irish War Cry has a high-cruising speed and a pedigree that indicates that he could stay the 1 ½ miles as well as most in this field. I love his chances in the Belmont and trust Motion to have him ready for his best. Though the question still lingers: Which Irish War Cry will we see?

TwinSpires has a 2017 Belmont Stakes contenders blog up. has a link to free Ultimate PPs and more news on each contender