From left to right, Girvin, Practical Joke, and McCraken hit the wire in the Haskell
One-time Kentucky Derby favorite McCraken has been preparing for Saturday’s Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga, and trainer Ian Wilkes sent the sophomore son of Ghostzapper out for a final breeze on Tuesday morning. According to drf.com, the colt worked a half-mile in :51.21 over the Oklahoma Training Track, galloping out five furlongs in 1:04.75 under exercise rider Yoni Orantes.
“I just wanted a light work, but I wanted to do some more with him, wanted to get his adrenaline pumping a little bit,” Wilkes said.
Most recently, McCraken finished a tough second by a nose in the Haskell Invitational, run down in the final sixteenth of a mile by fellow Travers aspirant Girvin. Wilkes believes McCraken can step forward from that loss to be competitive on Saturday.
“I could analyze the whole race – if we did this or we did that we would have won – but the thing is we got beat,” the trainer said. “I felt like the horse idled a little when he got the lead, but I don’t want to make excuses because we got beat. We need to just jump up and do it this time.”
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