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Irish War Cry adjusting well to Churchill Downs

Trainer Graham Motion on getting his colt, Irish War Cry ready to run in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. If Irish War Cry wins, Motion would become just the fifth active trainer with multiple Derby wins. (Baltimore Sun video)

Trainer Graham Motion worried that his Maryland-based Derby contender, Irish War Cry, was overly excited when he first touched the track at Churchill Downs on Tuesday.

The colt traveled from Fair Hill to Kentucky by van on Monday, encountering some "rough weather" along the way but arriving in good order. He had breezed under his Derby mount, Rajiv Maragh, on Sunday. So after a travel day, he was apparently itching to get loose.

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"He was a little sharp in his gallop yesterday, but this morning, he was much more relaxed," Motion said Wednesday. "He was super today. He was his old self."

Irish War Cry is a 6-1 fourth choice in Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia morning line, and he'll start from well outside at the No. 17 post. No horse has ever won the Derby from there, but trainer Graham Motion was content with the draw.

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"Someone's going to win from the 17 hole one day," Motion said. "I was very happy with it. I think it suits the horse, actually. It doesn't bother me at all."

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