Irish War Cry and Painter’s Rags, a pair of promising undefeated colts trained by Graham Motion, began preparations for their 3-year-old debuts by breezing a half-mile Sunday morning.
Working together, Irish War Cry and Painter’s Rags breezed four furlongs in 48.95 seconds at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach. The time ranked fourth of 28 horses at the distance.
It was the first work for both horses since arriving in South Florida earlier this month from Motion’s northern base at the Fair Hill Training Center in Fair Hill, Md.
“We had a little bit of a quarter crack issue with Painter’s Rags that we dealt with when we got down to Florida, but I’ve been very happy with them,” Motion said. “I was down there last week and got to see them, and I’m told things went very well this morning.”
A chestnut son of Hall of Famer Curlin, Irish War Cry was bred in New Jersey by owner Isabelle de Tomaso. He rallied from far back to win his Nov. 11 debut by 4 ½ lengths going six furlongs, then returned with a gutsy, front-running nose win over O Dionysus in the seven-furlong Marylander Stakes Dec. 31. Both races came at Laurel Park.
Painter’s Rags, owned and co-bred by Chadds Ford Stable, is a bay son of 2012 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Union Rags that came from mid-pack to capture his unveiling by a length going one mile Dec. 26, also at Laurel.
“I’m excited about both of them, for sure,” Motion said. “I couldn’t have predicted how easily Irish War Cry would have won first time out. I wasn’t at all surprised at Painter’s Rags; he’d always shown a lot of ability. Certainly they seem to be my two best colts.”
Motion said he has not picked out a starting spot for either colt, but expected to bring Irish War Cry back in a stake. Gulfstream’s series of races for 3-year-olds on dirt include the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull (G2) and seven-furlong Swale (G2) Feb. 4, the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth (G2) March 4, and 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby (G1) April 1.
“Painter’s Rags is eligible for an a-other-than, so that’s probably what we’ll do at Gulfstream,” Motion said. “Irish War Cry, we’ll look at the next round of 3-year-old preps around two turns. I’m a little reluctant to throw him in the deep end at Gulfstream off of two races, but we’ll see.”
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