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Irish War Cry

Irish War Cry

Since the inaugural Breeders’ Cup in 1984, only 12 New Jersey-breds have started in the championship event. Irish War Cry will add his name to the list while trying to become the second horse born in the Garden State to win following Open Mind’s score in the 1988 Juvenile Fillies. According to The Jockey Club Fact Book, Irish War Cry is one of 118 Thoroughbreds born in New Jersey in 2014, which is less than one percent of the total foal crop.

Irish War Cry is a third generation New Jersey-bred on his maternal side. Like his dam and grand dam, he was bred by his owner Isabelle de Tomaso who herself has strong ties to the state. She grew up in New Jersey as the daughter of Amory Haskell, founder of Monmouth Park and namesake of the track’s signature race, the Haskell Invitational for 3-year-olds.

Irish War Cry had unlimited potential after winning his first three starts so he was understandably the even-money favorite in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park in March, but he finished seventh. The son of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin rebounded to win the Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct the following month.

In an evenly matched Kentucky Derby field of 20, Irish War Cry was the second choice behind eventual winner Always Dreaming. Irish War Cry was in contention at the top of the stretch, but decelerated to check in 10th and he returned to the serenity of trainer Graham Motion’s base at Fair Hill training center in Maryland. Back in action as the favorite in the Belmont Stakes, he led for all but the closing yards to be second.

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