Monday Morning Mig: Irish War Cry’s Wood Memorial Comeback

Racing
Irish War Cry took command under Rajiv Maragh and pulled away to win the Wood Memorial by 3 ½ lengths on April 8. (Robert Mauhar/NYRA Photo)

Retired jockey Richard Migliore, who works as a racing analyst for the New York Racing Association, offers his expertise from the perspective of a professional rider in a regular feature for America's Best Racing — Monday Morning Mig. A winner of 4,450 career races and the 1981 Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice will review key races on the Triple Crown trail and the road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, providing his thoughts leading into the race, insights about what happened during the running of the race and key takeaways from the outcome.

Here Migliore takes a closer look at the April  8 Wood Memorial Presented by NYRA Bets at Aqueduct.

1. Post Positions: Of the three horses that I thought were the main contenders, Battalion Runner drew the best with post position No. 3. The lightly raced Cloud Computing drew post No. 7, and Irish War Cry took the worst of it, with the far outside post No. 8. 

2. The Start: As expected, Battalion Runner used his natural speed and inside position to go to the lead. Irish War Cry was able to position himself toward the front while traveling a bit wide. Cloud Computing was unable to get any sort of position and was further back than I anticipated. Mo Town gained a perfect inside stalking position into the first turn.

3. The Big Move: Jockey Rajiv Maragh allowing Irish War Cry to find his stride while gaining forward position was key to his success. Irish War Cry had been rank in his previous start but settled well under a long light hold in the Wood Memorial.

4. The Big Miss: Cloud Computing’s failure to get any position into the first turn necessitated him making a wide sustained move, which for a horse making his third start proved too much to overcome.

5. The Finish: Irish War Cry finished well to draw away in the final furlong from a very game Battalion Runner, who seems like he has some maturing to do. Cloud Computing, who was a well-beaten third, withstood a long and unnecessary drive.

6. The Takeaway: Irish War Cry emphatically stamped his ticket to the Kentucky Derby, showing a new dimension when relaxing early and waiting for his rider’s cues. Battalion Runner ran well but I have questions regarding his ability to get a mile and a quarter. Cloud Computing may need to regroup after being hard ridden. Hopefully he will rebound and have an opportunity to show how talented he is.

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