May 2017 Issue - page 11

May 2017
Page 11
Irish War Cry
Captures Wood,
Headed to
Kentucky Derby
"I don't see a necessity to get
him to Churchill in a hurry, it's
very busy over there," Motion
said. "One of the reasons I want-
ed to get him home from Palm
Meadows (Training Center) was
to get him in a quieter environ-
ment at Fair Hill, where he's used
to being, and I think it's shown in
his behavior this last week.
"I think he's been more settled
and I think it's going to be advanta-
geous to him to keep him there as
long as I can. Right now, that's my
gut feeling. I can certainly change
my mind, but I'd probably keep
him at Fair Hill and give him his
one work before the Derby there."
Two New Jersey-breds have
won the Kentucky Derby, Regret
in 1915 and Cavalcade in 1934.
Battle of Midway
Derby Bound
Battle of Midway opened
some eyes in the Santa Anita Der-
by where he outdueled two rivals
on the lead and still had enough
left to finish a strong second,
beaten a half-length. He earned 40
Derby qualifying points and sits
at No. 18 on the Derby list as of
April 14. Owned by Rick Porter
of Songbird fame, the colt showed
a lot of grit, running hard every
step of the way. He appears to be
getting good at the right time.
“He ran really well,” jockey
Corey Nakatani said of the Santa
Anita Derby runner-up. “I wish
we could’ve gotten a breather at
some point, but it didn’t work out
that way. He ran dynamite.”
“If he didn’t get pressured so
much early, I think we would have
won, but that’s how things go," said
trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. "I’m
very happy with him. He’s been
progressing all along, and if he can
continue, he should be a contender.
He still has room for improvement.”
The son of Smart Strike has
turned in a pair of sharp efforts at
1 1/16 and 1 1/8 miles, but it's an
open question whether he’s ready
for a grueling mile and a quarter
in a 20-horse field.
Songbird Back in Action
Porter's star filly Songbird, who
suffered a minor leg injury in mid-
March, returned to the track for an
easy three furlong workout onApril
8. It was the four-old Medaglia
d'Oro filly's first drill since losing
by half a nostril to Beholder in the
November 4 Breeders' Cup Distaff.
"It was very nice and
smooth, she galloped out nicely,"
Hollendorfer said. "She's the
same, believe me."
The Distaff was her first de-
feat following 11 straight wins to
start her career. In a stretch run for
the ages, Songbird fought head-
to-head with the older and more
experienced champion Beholder.
Her first race this season could be
ironically the Beholder Mile at
Santa Anita Park in early June. A
two-time champion, Songbird has
earnings of $3,712,000.
"It's the same with all horses—
you take one step at a time," Hollen-
dorfer said after the workout.
(Continued from page 7)
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