Going off as a 7/5 favorite in the 2017 Indiana Derby, Irap had a lot to prove. He had cruised to a win in the Ohio Derby just a month ago, but the stink of his 18th place finish in the Kentucky Derby was still fresh in people’s minds. There was simply a lot of ground to recover before cappers and players were firmly behind him once again.
Consider the mission accomplished…for now.
Wild Shot took the field out as the pace setter with opening half-mile fractions of :23.71 and :47.71 but dropped well out of the lead as the pack hit the home stretch. Jockey Mario Gutierrez made a definitive pass at that point and Irap did the rest, dusting the remainder of the field to a closing time of 1:42.21 over the 1 1/8th mile distance.
With a 2017 Indiana Derby win, trainer Doug O’Neill answered positively as to whether or not you have to consider the colt a contender. “I think you have to,” O’Neill replied. “He’s getting better with each race. We’ve learned so much from him. We just couldn’t be more happy than we are now. And Mario rode just a perfect race. We’re just very, very happy.”
Gutierrez shared that same feeling by addressing Irap’s development since a rough run in the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown. “He’s definitely grown up since then,” Gutierrez noted. “He was very unlucky in that race and he was a bit immature back then. He has matured a lot and he showed that today.”
Irap delivered$4.80, $3.20 and $2.60 with the 2017 Indiana Derby win while Coloneldarktemper was worth $9.60 and $5.80 in second. Untrapped finished third for the second time to Irap and was worth $2.80.
The next destination for Irap would logically be the Travers Stakes where he’s expected to run up against the top three-year-old colts in the country. With the 2017 Indiana Derby and 2017 Ohio Derby providing some much needed momentum, Irap could certainly add to the $1.3 million he’s already earned while improving his prestige wildly.