Jersey-bred Irish War Cry among early favorites to win Ky. Derby. Fillies by Union Rags among those aimed at Ky. Oaks
- By SARA CAVANAGH
Trivia question: When was the last time a New Jersey bred won the Kentucky Derby? Answer: Never.
In fact, you might ask, when was the last time a Jersey bred even ran in the Derby? The answer to that is probably very few if any..
But all that may change on May 6 when Irish War Cry goes to the post as one of the favorites in this year’s Derby.
Irish War Cry, who is owned by Isabelle de Tomaso and was foaled at Overbrook Farm in Holbrook, N.J., will not be the only northeast representative in the spotlight during derby week.
Two fillies by Union Rags, who was bred by Phyllis Wyeth of Chadds Ford, Pa., will be running in the Kentucky Oaks on May 5. They are daughters of the Wyeth-bred and owned Union Rags, who was the leading sire of 2-year olds for a while last year.
One, Tequilita, was bred and is owned by Dorothey Matz of Coatesville, Pa.
Irish War Cry, who was also bred by deTomaso, is trained at Fair Hill by Graham Motion.
Irish War Cry won his first race, a Maiden Special Weight at Laurel Park, on Nov. 11, 2016 and has since won three stakes, the Marylander Stakes at Laurel on Dec. 3, the Lambholm South Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 4 and the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 8.
In between, he inexplicably threw in one bad race, the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream on March 4.
Other top favorites to win the Derby are Classic Empire, trained by Mark Casse, who won the Arkansas Derby, and Always Dreaming, trained by Todd Pletcher, who has only started three times but won the Florida Derby at Gulfstream on April 1.