Motion Wants Him in Quiet Atmosphere
Irish War Cry is back at Fair Hill Training Center and is doing fine on Sunday after wining the Wood Memorial, according to trainer Graham Motion.
"He seems good this morning," he said "He's obviously a little tired. It was a long day, shipping back last night and everything. He didn't eat up everything last night, but otherwise he seems absolutely fine. He's perky and looks nice.
The trainer reflected on yesterday's win with Rajiv Maragh at the helm.
"Things pretty much went as we hoped they would go," said Motion. "He settled just off the pace and I guess I was a bit concerned on the backside because he kind of moved up quite early to the leader and, from what Rajiv told me, he felt like he had so much horse underneath him.
"My big question for him was how he thought about how he won, and he said he felt like he did it pretty comfortably really. He said he did everything he wanted him to do, that he could have put him anywhere in the race that he wanted and that was the kind of feedback I needed to hear."
Motion, who won the 2011 Derby with Animal Kingdom, noted that Irish War Cry is likely to complete his major preparations for the Derby at Fair Hill in Maryland before traveling to Louisville.
"I don't see a necessity to get him to Churchill in a hurry; it's very busy over there," he said. "One of the reasons I wanted to get him home from Palm Meadows was to get him in a quieter environment 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 advantageous 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."
Motion had Animal Kingdom put in his final pre-Derby workout at Churchill Downs.
"Animal Kingdom was different because he had never run on the dirt, so we were very anxious to get him to Churchill and breeze on the dirt before we entered him in the Derby," he said. "We wanted to be sure with that horse that he could handle the dirt, but it's very different with this horse. He doesn't have to answer that question."
Edited NYRA release