Two more horses coming out of the May 6 Kentucky Derby (G1) rebounded with graded stakes victories on Saturday. Battle of Midway, a gritty third in the Run for the Roses, romped in the Affirmed (G3) at Santa Anita. And Irap, an uncharacteristic 18th at Churchill Downs last out, bested fellow Derby veteran Girvin in an Ohio Derby (G3) thriller.
Battle of Midway rated as the 1-10 favorite against only three rivals in the $98,000 Affirmed. Leading throughout for jockey Flavien Prat, the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee drew off by 4 1/4 lengths and completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.25 on the fast track.
A terrific runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) two starts ago, Battle of Midway was earning his first stakes win here. Don Alberto Stable and WinStar Farm’s runner has compiled a record of 6-3-1-2, $550,000.
The July 30 Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth is now on Battle of Midway’s radar.
For more, see the full recap of the Affirmed on Brisnet.com.
Irap is also based at Santa Anita, but instead of staying home to face Battle of Midway, he shipped out of town to chase a far more lucrative prize in the $500,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown. That race spotting proved wise on the part of Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill.
Well handled by Julien Leparoux, who was also aboard for Irap’s only previous score in the Blue Grass (G2), the 5-2 chance rallied from just off the pace. Girvin, the 4-5 favorite, tried to fend him off in a rousing stretch duel, but Irap won the photo. Another Kentucky Derby participant, Untrapped, was third. After finishing the 1 1/8-mile test on a fast track in 1:50.48, Irap improved his resume to 10-2-3-1, and he joined millionaires’ row with a bankroll of $1,072,600.
The Brisnet recap of the Ohio Derby has detailed coverage.
Battle of Midway and Irap reinforced the trend of good results for Derby alumni of late. Tapwrit captured the June 10 Belmont S. (G1), with Irish War Cry, Patch, and Gormley rounding out a clean sweep of the superfecta. Last Saturday, McCraken bounced back with a victory in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs. And at the prestigious Royal Ascot opener on Tuesday, Thunder Snow was a creditable third in the St James’s Palace (G1).
The summer racing season for three-year-olds is heating up, and will get hotter as we approach the Haskell and the August 26 Travers (G1).
Photo of Irap (outside) edging Girvin in the Ohio Derby courtesy of J.J. Zamaiko