Janis Whitham's homebred son of Ghostzapper worked a seemingly effortless five furlongs in 1:00 at Keeneland March 20 in preparation for a Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) start.
The built up to McCraken's seasonal bow ended with results to match. Under some left-handed urging from jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., the unbeaten colt unleashed a wicked turn of foot down the middle of the track to win the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3).
- By Alicia Wincze Hughes
- Thoroughbred Racing, Triple Crown, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, Kentucky
As the regular rider for McCraken, the 2-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3), jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. could find his current groundswell of momentum dwarfed by what could come his way should his mount prevail.
One of the more highly regarded classic prospects for 2017, McCraken gets his first chance to make good on his buildup when he makes his seasonal bow against eight others in the 1 1/16-mile Sam F. Davis (G3).
The build up around McCraken live up to the billing in the 1 1/16 miles Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes as Janis Whitham's homebred used his big turn of foot to edge clear late under Brian Hernandez Jr. and remain unbeaten in three career starts.
After dueling in early stretch with grade I winner Harmonize, Linda found another gear in the final furlong to register a clear win in the $200,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs.
Thatcher Street capped a big day at Churchill Downs for Australian-born trainer Ian Wilkes when his 5-year-old gelding came back to beat chief rival Pleuven by a half-length to win the $100,000 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 24.
Stoneway Farm's homebred Ahh Chocolate worked a half-mile at Churchill Downs June 14 in preparation for her next start in the $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares June 18 at the Kentucky track.
Lightly raced but perfectly primed for a big effort, Mike Tarp's homebred Go Maggie Go soared to her second grade II victory May 20 in the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico Race Course.
Ahh Chocolate, owned and bred by Stoneway Farm, earned her second graded stakes victory May 20 in the $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes presented by Maker's Mark at Pimlico Race Course.
W. S. Farish's homebred Eagle broke through for his first graded stakes win April 16 and kept an unbeaten record at Keeneland intact in the $200,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III).
Scratched from what would have been his stakes debut in the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 16, Dede McGehee's Dolphus took a step forward Jan. 31 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Eagle, a 3-year-old Candy Ride colt, seems to have hit his stride after earning his first stakes victory in the Tenacious Stakes Dec. 19 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Maggi Moss' Control Stake, the lone 3-year-old in the field, got the jump on the competition from the gate and wasn't headed en route to a solid win in the $60,000 Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
James Stone's homebred Ahh Chocolate, by Candy Ride, tracked the pace of longshot Gamblers Rose and pounced to win the $200,000 Falls City Handicap Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs.
Heaven Trees Farm's 2-year-old colt Dolphus, a half brother to Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, made his first start a winning one when he captured a maiden special weight event at Fair Grounds Nov. 22.
Dolphus, a Lookin At Lucky half brother to Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, is scheduled to make his career debut in the sixth race Nov. 22 at Fair Grounds.
Island Town sat just off the pace and pounced at the quarter pole to claim his second graded stakes score in the $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes (gr. III) Aug. 29 at Parx Racing.
Trainer Paul McGee also has the $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational (gr. II), a 1 1/2-mile dirt race on the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) undercard, under consideration.
Tiz Windy made her second attempt in graded stakes company a successful one when she ran down the leaders late to take the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (gr. II) at Indiana Grand Race Course the evening of Oct. 4.
Jockey Rosie Napravnik will serve a four-day suspension after she rides Vicar's in Trouble in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 3.
Embellishing Bob, stepping up into graded stakes company off a maiden win, won the Derby Trial (gr. III) on the disqualification of Bayern under the lights on the opening night of the Churchill Downs spring meet April 26.
Apprentice jockey Courtney Hernandez registered her first career win at Delta Downs on the night of March 14 aboard Mission to Collect, who finished in a dead-heat with Xstream Heart in a $5,000 claiming race.
Jockey Colby Hernandez reached his 1,000th career victory March 8 when guiding Stephanies Wildcat to a narrow triumph in the fifth race at Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino.
Jamie Radosevich-Hernandez of Louisville, Ky., has won the 2013 Eclipse Award for photography for her picture of Wise Dan racing to the finish line in an evening rainstorm in the Firecracker Handicap (gr. II).
Janis Whitham's Fort Larned completed serious preparation for this week's bid for consecutive victories in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park with a five-furlong workout Oct. 28 at Churchill Downs.
Owner/breeder Janis Whitham's Fort Larned, winner of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), prepped for another shot at the race with a wire-to-wire score in the inaugural $191,275 Homecoming Classic at Churchill Sept. 28.
On the final Saturday of Churchill Downs' "Homecoming" meet, the Louisville track will offer up a competitive field of nine 3-year-olds in the Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT) and the first edition of the Homecoming Classic Stakes.
One of the gems on Churchill Downs' new September meet schedule will serve as a well-timed prep for Fort Larned as he prepares for a defense of his 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) victory.
Janis Whitham's 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Fort Larned was assigned post 3 and installed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite over seven others for the Aug. 3 Whitney Invitational (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
Trying to become the second horse to win the Whitney Handicap Invitational (gr. I) in back-to-back years, Fort Larned showed his readiness with a bullet five-furlong breeze July 29 at Saratoga Race Course.
On a rainy day at Saratoga Race Course, 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Fort Larned breezed five furlongs in 1:01.19 over the sloppy main track.
Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Fort Larned put his early season problems behind him June 15 as he scored a front-running victory in the $536,300 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Ian Wilkes sent 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Fort Larned through a five-furlong breeze in :59 4/5 May 24 at Churchill Downs, continuing preparations for the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).
Illinois Derby (gr. III) winner Departing worked a half-mile in :50 2/5 over a fast track at Churchill Downs the morning of May 12 in preparation for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Departing rolled to a strong 3 1/4-length victory in the $750,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne April 20, proving his class after a third-place finish in the March 30 Louisiana Derby.
After monitoring Fort Larned for the past few days, trainer Ian Wilkes said he is pleased with the manner in which the 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic winner has emerged from his fall in the March 9 Gulfstream Park Handicap.
Fort Larned came out of his bad stumble at the start of the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 9 with a grabbed quarter, but otherwise escaped further injury, trainer Ian Wilkes reported the following morning.
E. Paul Robsham Stables' Discreet Dancer picked up the pieces of an incident-marred running of the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 9, when Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Fort Larned stumbled at the start.
Bluegrass Hall's Oxbow went wire-to-wire to win the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes by 11 1/2 lengths for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Jan. 19. Earlier, Touch Magic took the Silverbulletday.
Grade I winner Daisy Devine made quick work of four rivals in the $72,000 Blushing K. D. Handicap, going gate to wire for a six-length victory on the turf at Fair Ground Race Course & Slots Dec. 22.
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's homebred Lea didn't disappoint as the favorite in the Commonwealth Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) Nov. 17 at Churchill Downs.
Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., winner of the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) aboard Fort Larned Nov. 3, will move his tack to Gulfstream Park this winter following the fall meet at Churchill Downs.
A. Stephens Miles' Neck 'n Neck comes from off the pace to win the Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs Nov. 2.
Indiana Derby (gr. II) winner Neck 'n Neck is the 120-pound starting high weight for his first race against older horses when he headlines the $100,000-added Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs.
Already a grade III winner, Neck 'n Neck added a grade 2 score Oct. 6 when he rallied from 10th to win the $513,600 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park.
Odds-on choice Grace Hall took command leaving the final turn and drew out to a dominating 5 3/4-length win over four opponents in the $205,600 Indiana Oaks (gr. II). Oct. 6 at Hoosier Park.
Kentucky Downs ended its most successful live race meet Sept. 19 in Franklin, establishing new benchmarks for on-track and all sources handle while hosting some of the highest quality racing the track has seen.
Jockey Brian J. Hernandez Jr. earned the 1,000th win of his career when he guided Wildandcrazyguy to victory in the eighth race Aug. 18 at Ellis Park in Kentucky.
Fort Larned, impressive winner of the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III) last time out, became a grade I winner in the Whitney Invitational Handicap (gr. I) when he strutted clear Aug. 4 at Saratoga Race Cours
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