Baffert pulls McKinzie from training; Kentucky Derby unlikely

By Jonathan Lintner
April 03, 2018 01:22pm
Trainer Bob Baffert on Tuesday all but declared McKinzie off the 2018 Kentucky Derby trail, saying the colt is receiving time away from training.

McKinzie was over the weekend removed from consideration for the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, his anticipated final prep, with hind leg soreness. Baffert said a follow-up scan revealed an issue in the Street Sense colt's hock, 
a leg joint between the tarsal bones and tibia.

“I think he jammed it, so we’re going to wait another 10 days and re-scan it," Baffert told reporters on an NTRA media teleconference. "He was just a little off one morning. We were going to go to the track, and we were hoping it was a foot, but there was no swelling or nothing. He was fine the next day, but the new scan did show something going on in the hock.”

While McKinzie will miss his anticipated final prep, he has the points already to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Should he return to full health before the first Saturday in May, however, Baffert doesn't imagine running the multiple graded stakes winner at Churchill Downs, saying "there's nothing we can do but wait" for the injury to heal.

“The Derby’s a brutal race, and right now I can’t see him making it," Baffert said. "I’m going to have to back off on him. He looks fine, but I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize his health. We’ll know more in probably a couple weeks. I just can’t see him — the Preakness would be a longshot. But the Derby race I can’t see happening.”


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