Irap gallops at Churchill Downs on Wed., May 3 - Coady photo
Tiznow's 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) entrant Irap drew post nine of 20 for the 143rd Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 6.
The outcome was just what Irap's trainer Doug O'Neill was hoping for.
“Just about perfect,” O’Neill said afterward. “We wanted the 10, but nine is next best. The way they load them – one and 11, two and 12 – we wanted to stand in there the least amount of time. But this is next best. We’re very happy with it.”
Irap, who had been competitive in several graded stakes, burst on the Derby scene in a major way when he won the April 8 Blue Grass S. (G2), securing his spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate. The powerfully-built colt had been at Keeneland until just recently, and schooled in the both the paddock and starting gate during Wednesday morning's training session.
O'Neill, along with jockey Mario Guttierez and owner Reddam Racing, are looking for their own personal Derby trifecta after winning the 2012 edition with I'll Have Another and last year's running with Nyquist.
Irap is Tiznow's leading runner of 2017, and should he win on Saturday, would be Tiznow's first Derby winner. Bred by Aaron and Marie Jones, Irap is out Silken Cat, making him a half-brother to another leading WinStar stallion – Speightstown.
The 143rd Run for the Roses will be televised live on NBC and is race 12, with a scheduled post of 6:46 p.m. ET.