TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

McKinzie

MCKINZIE (c, Street SenseRunway Model, by Petionville)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-Karl Watson, Michael Pegram & Paul Weitman. B-Summer Wind Farm (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $170,000 yrl KEESEP ’16. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-3-0-0, $270,000.
Last Start: 1st, GIII Sham S., SA, Jan. 6
Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Los Alamitos Futurity, LRC, Dec. 9
Next Start: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. Caulfield on McKinzie.
KY Derby Points: 20

Each one of this ‘TDN Rising Star’s three races so far has been an exercise in measured progression, building from a seven-furlong debut score to a two-turn Los Alamitos stakes win (via disqualification), and then a primed-to-pounce victory on Saturday going a mile in the GIII Sham S. In that 3 1/2-length win, McKinzie tracked the action three wide and about three lengths off the lead until 3 1/2 furlongs out, then was nudged along into closer contention prior to getting light encouragement at the top of the lane to peel away with ease from the all-out 14-1 pacemaker. McKinzie raced with blinkers removed for the first time in the Sham, which might have contributed to jockey Mike Smith’s push-button handling. “He looks great today,” trainer Bob Baffert told the Santa Anita notes team on Sunday.  “Now I can sort of ease off him a little bit, find two spots–it could be here, it could be out of town–I don’t know yet.”

VIDEO PPS