McCraken appeared back on the Churchill Downs work tab on Tuesday morning, cruising through an easy half-mile in :49 4/5 seconds. The sophomore son of Ghostzapper, eighth in the Kentucky Derby after suffering a puncture wound during bumping at the start, is being aimed at the G3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill on June 17, trainer Ian Wilkes told bloodhorse.com.
“(The wound) is not totally healed yet, but it is healing good. I'm pleased with how he went today,” Wilkes said. “It's tough, you feel like you let a lot of people down with the way he ran. But he made his move and in the long run, you just have to put it all together. Hopefully we'll find out as we go on down the road exactly what happened. I can't read too much into it. But right now, the horse is doing great.”
Undefeated through his first four starts, including the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill last fall and the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, McCraken was defeated for the first time when he finished third in the G2 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. In the Kentucky Derby, Irish War Cry came over on top of McCraken at the start, who then collided hard with an outward-bearing Classic Empire. McCraken did rally again to finish eighth in the Derby, but the puncture wound to the outside of his left hind ankle definitely could have compromised the colt's performance.
Read more at bloodhorse.com.
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