Irish You Well breaks maiden … Travers Ahoy!

June 15, 2014 03:23pm
Irish You Well Hawthorne 615 X 400
Photo: Heidi E. Carpenter


Lovable maiden no more, Irish You Well made no mistake of today’s opener at Monmouth Park. Taking complete control of the maiden special weight on the far turn, the Donegal Racing runner opened up an insurmountable lead early in the stretch under Jersey Joe Bravo, and coasted home to a ‘win by as much as you please’ kind of win.


The chestnut colt by Broken Vow, out of the Pulpit mare, Pun, had been to the starting gate eight times without a victory before today, but he was far from your average maiden. After the improving $170,000 Keeneland yearling purchase knocked on the door against some well intended maidens early this year at Fair Grounds, especially after the addition of blinkers, his connections decided to bite the bullet and enter him in the Grade 3 Illinois Derby. In all honestly, he never looked like a winner that day, but he moved up nicely on the outside and kept running down the Hawthorne lane to be clearly best of the rest behind a Dynamic Impact and Midnight Hawk stretch duel.


From there, the maiden was spotted in even a tougher spot in Belmont Park’s Grade 2 Peter Pan. I’m not sure if the sloppy track that afternoon suited him, but he again was full of run on the far turn and the stretch, and finished a solid third once again.


The Peter Pan, by the way, has turned out to be quite the key race. Race winner, Tonalist, came back to win the Belmont Stakes, while the Peter Pan runner-up, Commissioner, ran a bang up race in the final leg of the Triple Crown to finish a close second. Irish You Well continued the great form of Peter Pan competitors with today’s romp on the Jersey Shore.


After today's 7 1/2 length score, the Donegal Racing account on Twitter let the world know their plans for the impressive colt.








The Mid-Summer Derby would seem to be a lofty aspiration for a horse still eligible for non-winners of one other than, but just as it was said before today’s race that Irish You Well was no ordinary maiden, we can now see that Irish You Well is not your run of the mill maiden winner.

Some horses are precocious and come out running, while others take their sweet time to demonstrate their class. Irish You Well certainly falls into the latter group. Winless in the first eight starts of his career, I suspect the Wayne Catalano trained colt might just get a favorable taste of this winning thing … just don’t look for him to work his way through his conditions. Travers ahoy! 


comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about Irish You Well breaks maiden … Travers Ahoy!...

There is a lot of irony in the tweet from Donegal racing. On the same day as the local prep for the Haskell, their horse dropped from stakes company back into a MSW and is now pointing to the Travers. I’d assume the Jim Dandy is next, but if it is wouldn’t you wait for a good showing in that race before talking about the Travers?
Where is it written that a horse even has to be a winner to be competetive in a G1 Stakes Race at ant distance. In 1997 in the BC Jeuvenile for colts. Maiden Nationalore flew home from almost a different area code to get 3rd place,missing 2nd by a neck. The winner that year was HOTY Favorite Trick. In Afleet Alexs' Belmont Stake, Nolans Cat (a maiden) is another horse who closed from a different area code to get 3rd place. In doing so,he defeated Derby winner Giacomo in the process. Although the bottom line is that the horses do win the race. Circumstances play a major role. The only thing written in stone for the upcoming Haskell / Travers Stakes . You must be a 3 yo to enter . Previous winner is not a pre-requisite.
Tiznow also comes to mind, John!
I guess the Moss' and Giacomo missed the memo that horses with only a maiden win have no business in a Gr.1 10F race for 3 year olds. Good thing since he won the Kentucky Derby. I guess Summer Bird did too winning the Belmont with only a maiden win to his credit. Jazil's owners were crazy too, same with Commendable. Oh yeah almost forgot Golden Ticket who DH'ed in the Travers with only a maiden win to his credit.
If he wins the Travers wow.
owner blindness perhaps
Melann, this horse wasn't on the Triple Crown trail so how did he not hack it?. I think your suggestion that he dosn't belong in the race is questionable but to then follow it up with it being a risk to his life is insane.
@Andy I agree the Haskell will come up easier and having a win over the track is favorable but it is a 9F race not 10, not sure if that is playing into their decision
How many Gr.1 races restricted to 3 year old on the dirt going 10F are left?? One, the Travers. I have no problem with them taking a shot. This isn't your classic maiden winner. He is graded stakes placed and just finished 3rd behind the 1-2 finishers in the Belmont. The last horse I dismissed as just a maiden winner in a 3 year old graded stakes race in NY was Moreno in last years Dwyer and he went on to win that race finish third in the Jim Dandy and second in the Travers. I am not making a strong case Irish You Well will win the Travers but to say it is ridiculous to enter him is a ridiculous statement
  • Melann · So on Traver or Haskel day when the horse breaks down in front of a million screaming fans, you will see how ridiculous this really is!! He couldn't win to qualify for the Triple Crown races, but they think he can for these races!! · 2071 days ago
This is insane, this horse couldn't hack it on the Triple Crown trail, so he finally finds a win in a maiden special weight and his connections thing he should be in the Travers!! A classic distance with horses that have been winning??? I think with Tonalist winning the Belmont has made owners think their horses can do it too!! i sure hope some one steps up and tell them this horse isn't ready!! I sure hope he lives to see his next birthday!!
yeah, the Haskell's nine furlongs. wouldn't be a bad spot at all for Irish You Well, given that we know he can run on the Monmouth track. either would make sense, really...he hung with winners in the Illinois Derby and the Peter Pan, so i don't think it's nuts to point him to either the Haskell or the Travers.
Isn't the Haskell 9f?
10F for 3YOs on July 27 is the $1,000,000 HASKELL (G1) and the horse just won at Monmouth and it will be an easier race, too.
This is just another bit of proof that horses are being put into races beyond their class!! This is a ridiculous idea, this horse just broke his maiden, lets put in a classic ran and see if he can run??? Let just see if he survives!!
it was good to see Irish You Well finally break through today. he's a talented horse -- he showed that in the Illinois Derby and the Peter Pan, where he hit the board against winners. even though he left a couple of my beloved Curlin babies in the dust today (Sunset District and Rebel Spy), he had the best resume in that field, and it was great to see that he had lurking within him the desire to win.
I wish you well,Irish you well!

Related Pages

ZATT's Star of the Week
Sole Volante

Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

Best of the Blogs

Top Stories