Irish War Cry vs. Classic Empire

Kentucky Derby Predictions: Irish War Cry or Classic Empire? 5/6/17

Irish War Cry or Classic Empire? Which Kentucky Derby contender will have the better finish this evening at Churchill Downs?

The Matchup

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, both Classic Empire and Irish War Cry have 5/6 odds, respectively, to finish ahead of each other at the Kentucky Derby. To be clear, these aren't odds to win the race, just the odds to win in this matchup between Classic Empire and Irish War Cry. For example, if you were to wager that Irish War Cry will finish ahead of Classic Empire, you'll receive $5 on a $6 bet.

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Classic Empire Snapshot

In seven career starts, Class Empire has won five races, has placed second zero times, and finished third once. The stalker is coming off a win in the Arkansas Derby on 15, when he sat farther off the pace than his previous stakes wins in 2016. Nevertheless, Classic Empire beat out Conquest Mo Money and Lookin At Lee for the fifth victory of his career. He also placed third in the Grade 2 Holy Bull and won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year.

Irish War Cry Snapshot

Irish War Cry has only lost once in his career, a seventh place showing in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. Outside of that dud, a race won by fellow Kentucky Derby contender Gunnevera, Irish War Cry has finished first in every one of his starts, including the Grade 2 Wood Memorial on April 8. His other victories include the Marylander Stakes in December of last year, as well as the Grade 2 Holy Bull.

Kentucky Derby Matchup Prediction

This matchup is even for a reason: Both horses are extremely talented and have decorated resumes. That said, Irish War Cry beat Classic Empire in the Holy Bull earlier this year, a race in which Classic Empire finished a disappointing third despite being the heavy favorite. (In fact, Classic Empire was beaten by eight lengths at the Holy Bull.) In fairness, Irish War Cry did finish seventh as the favorite in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, losing by 20 lengths in the process. But I'm betting that his performance in that race was an aberration in an otherwise excellent career.

2017 Kentucky Derby Prediction: Irish War Cry over Classic Empire

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