Isabelle de Tomaso’s homebred Irish War Cry led all the way home in Saturday’s $350,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park to move his record to a perfect three-for-three.
The chestnut colt grabbed command of the 1 1/16-mile affair soon after the start and proceeded to set fractions of :24.14, :47.92, 1:11.87 and 1:36.37 under jockey Joel Rosario. The duo raced well off the rail and lengthened their advantage in the stretch, eventually crossing under the wire 3 3/4 lengths the best while stopping the clock in 1:42.52 over the fast main track.
This victory saw Irish War Cry make his debut on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard in position 8 with a total of 10 points. The Holy Bull is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series of points races and awarded 10-4-2-1 points to the top four finishers.
Finishing second with four points was Gunnevera, who had five lengths to spare on Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion Classic Empire in third. Gunnevera, who scored in the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) to close out his two-year-old campaign, moved into the 4 spot with 14 points. Classic Empire remains on top of the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard having added two points to bring his total to 32.
Completing the Holy Bull field were Talk Logistics, Cavil, Perro Rojo and Shamsaan.
Trained by Graham Motion, Irish War Cry is now three-for-three in his career and has banked $295,460 in lifetime earnings. After breaking his maiden by 4 1/2 lengths on November 11 he captured the Marylander Stakes on New Year’s Eve by a nose. The New Jersey-bred colt was making his first start outside of Maryland in the Holy Bull as both of those starts came at Laurel Park.
Irish War Cry is out of the Polish Numbers mare Irish Sovereign, making him a half-brother to stakes-placed Irish Politics.