McCraken Works in Company at Keeneland

McCraken Works in Company at Keeneland

McCraken winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs – Coady Photography

With the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland less than two weeks away, Kentucky Derby favorite McCraken continued his preparations for the nine-furlong Derby prep by breezing six furlongs at Keeneland on March 27th.

Working in company with stablemate Nessy, a four-year-old allowance runner, McCraken started several lengths behind his companion, then rallied up the rail on the turn to take command and pull away to stop the clock in 1:13.40. According to Keeneland clockers, McCraken posted fractions of :25.20, :38 flat, :50 flat, and 1:01.60 before galloping-out five furlongs in 1:25.40.

Trained by Ian Wilkes, McCraken is unbeaten in four starts, including the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. Although a slight ankle issue caused him to miss the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) earlier this month, McCraken has trained sharply since that setback and remains on target for the Derby.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to sign up for email newsletters and special offers from The Turf Board!

Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the blog Unlocking Winners.

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "McCraken Works in Company at Keeneland"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Hi Keelerman. McCraken seems to be able run well under a tight rein and his ability to speed up or slow down within a workout bodes well for him. I love workouts on video, but the critical points, the initial jog off and when they change strides from a gallop to a jog at conclusion are the points that estimation of soundness can be determined. In McCraken’s case, with the setback from a swelling in his ankle it would be a big asset in regards to his current condition to see those. Without those components available the next best is… Read more »