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McCraken Racing News
A minor ankle injury suffered in training Feb. 28 is the only question mark to date about the Kentucky Derby prospects of the highly-regarded McCraken.
Unbeaten in four starts, McCraken impressed in his 3-year-old debut by comfortably winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes Feb. 11.
But the injury – described as “very minor” by trainer Ian Wilkes – will keep him out of his next planned assignment, the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) March 11, and he is now likely to race next in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland April 8.
McCraken has oozed class in every start to date. In addition, everything about McCraken’s racing style – he has the ability to settle behind the speed and finish very strongly – suggests he should stay the 1-1/4 mile Derby distance.
His stamina prospects are also backed by his pedigree: though his first two dams were stakes placed at sprint distances only, the stock of Ghostzapper have shown an ability to stay up to a mile and a half.
McCraken’s human connections should also give some confidence about his Derby prospects, as Wilkes was assistant to Carl Nafzger when he prepared 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense.
McCraken emerged as the most favored individual at 6-1 when Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager closed Feb. 26. Those odds may seem very generous if he wins his final Derby prep.