Bluegrass Stakes winner Irap has gone from just another runner to prime time player after a mighty mile and an eighth at Keeneland on April 8. Sending his horse East with confidence despite no trips to the winner’s circle in seven lifetime starts, West coast based conditioner Doug O’Neill was rewarded with a huge win. Breaking alertly and stalking a moderate pace, This son of Tiznow bolted to the lead heading into the far turn and courageously held off Practical Joke to win by a length. Covering the distance in 1:50.39, the 31 to 1 shot became the first maiden winner in the 93 year history of this prominent Kentucky Derby prep. With his ticket punched for the first Saturday in May, Irap will send his two-time Derby winning trainer (2012, 2016) back to Louisville. “Irap always displayed special abilities in the mornings for us,” says O’Neill. Since Dennis bought him for Paul Reddam for $300,000 we had dreamt of him winning the Kentucky Derby…well now we are one step closer!”