The McCraken that inspires confidence from trainer Ian Wilkes is the one that showed up in the June 17 Matt Winn Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, unleashing his typical kick after ranging up on the final turn en route to a 2 1/4-length triumph.
- Bay Colt
- Born 2014
McCraken, who went from highly thought of to an afterthought after losses in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), looks to get his confidence back in the Matt Winn Stakes.
Janis Whitham's homebred McCraken put in his first timed move since running eighth in the first leg of the Triple Crown, going an easy half-mile in :49 4/5 at Churchill Downs the morning of May 23.
Trainer Todd Pletcher stated all was well with newly minted Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming the morning after the colt's stirring triumph in the first leg of the Triple Crown.
The term "wide-open" has been tossed about the Churchill Downs backstretch like a baseball of late whenever the connections of Kentucky Derby aspirants are asked about the complexion of this year's Run for the Roses.
Steve announces his final selections and wagers for the 2017 Kentucky Derby.
John Oxley's Classic Empire was made the 4-1 morning-line favorite for the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) after drawing post 14.
McCraken appears to be on the upswing, Girvin going other way.
The final Derby Dozen for 2017. Do you agree with Steve's list? How would you rank them?
Since his high-water mark as a trainer, when Drogue scored a record-setting nine-length victory in the $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes for older horses in 2014, at Oaklawn Park, Mike Johnson has won only three races. But he's ridden some of the best.
As he took in Ian Wilkes' cool demeanor less than a week out from the first leg of the Triple Crown, it was hard to find anyone enjoying the ascent of multiple graded stakes winner McCraken more than Carl Nafzger himself.
Reporting from Churchill Downs, Claire Novak provides updates on McCraken, Fast and Accurate, Irish War Cry, and more!
In his final major preparation for what will be his most significant race beneath the Twin Spires, Janis Whitham's homebred looked every bit the house horse, turning in a strong five-furlong move in 1:00 4/5 under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.
Tom Pedulla is interviewing prominent racing personalities for America's Best Racing as they travel the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The opening leg of the Triple Crown will be run on May 6 at Churchill Downs.
The details in the Dozen make the difference as the Derby draws near.
Whether McCraken becomes the latest Derby winner to come out of Churchill's Barn 26 remains to be seen, but the bay colt put in five-furlong drill in 1:00 3/5 April 24 that was nearly as buzz worthy as Street Sense's final move before his triumph.
How did the Arkansas Derby impact the Derby Dozen? Was Classic Empire's performance enough to propel him back to the top.
Back at his home track, Churchill Downs, McCraken showed composure before and during his half-mile drill April 18 in :47 4/5.
Janis Whitham's McCraken arrived at trainer Ian Wilkes' Barn 26 at Churchill Downs the morning of April 10 following a third-place finish in Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
How did the weekend stakes results impact the Derby Dozen? Did Blue Grass winner Irap make the cut?
Trainer Ian Wilkes had his humor intact and his perspective on point Sunday morning less than 24 hours after McCraken finished third in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) April 8, the colt's first loss in five career starts.
Reddam Racing's Irap moved to the lead turning for home and held off a late challenge from grade 1 winner Practical Joke to upset the 93rd edition of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
- By Dave Litfin
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region, Kentucky
Horse players will need three sets of eyes to keep track of this week's action, as Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park all run 170-point qualifiers to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
As his connections watched their $1.2 million purchase finish last in the field of 10 in his Saratoga Race Course debut, they were hit with the sinking feeling that the potential they thought they saw the summer before had led them awry.
There's a new number one in the Derby Dozen, and the return of an old face at number 12
Chad Brown will send out Practical Joke in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) and the Eclipse Award-winning trainer likes that the April 8 race at Keeneland allows his two-time grade 1 winner an extra week of training.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll results were released April 3.
Unbeaten McCraken soared through his final move in preparation for the April 8 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2), covering a half-mile in :49 2/5 at Keeneland.
Two veterans of this year's Road to the Kentucky Derby, Whitham Thoroughbreds' unbeaten McCraken and Peacock Racing Stables' Gunnevera, are the morning line co-favorites at 6-1 for the fourth and final pool of the 2017 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
Does the new addition to Derby Dozen prove that Steve Haskin is always dreaming?
McCraken (17 first-place votes, 322 points) is sitting chilly in first place on the top-10 National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll released today.
With trainer Ian Wilkes looking to put more of a bottom into undefeated 3-year-old McCraken, the Ghostzapper colt breezed six furlongs in 1:13 2/5 at Keeneland the morning of March 27.
Was Malagacy's Rebel performance enough to secure a place in the Derby Dozen?
McCraken remains in first place in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Top 3-Year-Old Poll released today.
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 Silver Deputy branch of the Deputy Minister sire line—has suffered two blows recently via export. They would be Silver Deputy’s son Posse, and Posse’s son Kodiak Kowboy, now in Uruguay and Brazil, respectively.
Mastery's injury and weekend results impact the Derby Dozen, which features the return of some old faces.
McCraken remains in first place for the NTRA 3-year-old poll, while Arrogate was the unanimous choice for top Thoroughbred.
Trainer Ian Wilkes breathed a sigh of relief March 11 when he sent unbeaten McCraken out for an easy half-mile move at Palm Meadows Training Center, the first work for the colt since a mild ankle strain was discovered in his left front Feb. 28.
Janis Whitham's unbeaten homebred McCraken has resumed galloping at Palm Meadows Training Center the past few days and remains on track to start in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland April 8.
Until now, the Whithams' best runners have primarily been older horses, but 2016 marked a change. In addition to McCraken, they own Linda, a four-year-old filly who captured the Mrs. Revere (Gr. II) at Churchill Downs last year.
Late-breaking news that McCraken will miss the Tampa Bay Derby due to a minor ankle injury has scrambled things up at the last minute. And, there is another new face amongst the 12.
Unbeaten multiple graded stakes winner McCraken will miss the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) March 11 after emerging from a four-furlong move Feb. 27 with a slight strain to his left front ankle.
The always-popular "All Others" wagering interest was the narrow 5-1 favorite in the third of four pools of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager, edging a tightly bunched group of individual contenders headed by unbeaten McCraken ( 5-1).
McCraken (20 first-place votes; 362 points) remains in first place after his win two weeks ago in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.
The battle for the individual favorite in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 is expected to be tight between reigning 2-year-old champ Classic Empire, unbeaten rising stars McCraken and Mastery, along with Irish War Cry.
The Southwest provides a new face for the Derby Dozen, and those knocking on the door include a Japanese hopeful, Epicharis
Did McCraken's victory in the Sam F. Davis propel him to the number one spot? Are there any new faces among the dozen?
This past weekend the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" biggest race ran through Tampa Bay Downs in Florida resulting in some changes in week three of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll.
The unbeaten 3-year-old colt raised his connections' optimism several notches Feb. 11 at Tampa Bay Downs, where he won the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) by 1 1/2 lengths.
|Trainer||Ian R. Wilkes|
|Jockey||Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.|
|Owner||Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC|
|Breeder||Whitham Thoroughbreds, LLC|
|McCraken View Five-Cross Pedigree||Ghostzapper||Awesome Again|
|Ivory Empress||Seeking the Gold|
No auction history found.