McKinzie was among the brightest stars at the season preps for this year’s Kentucky Derby after three wins in four starts, but ended up missing Also the and Also the entire Triple Crown season
Marquee summer races after a hind leg injury in the spring.
While his stablemate, went on to become the 13 th winner of the elusive Triple Crown and Justify, carried the banner high for Hall of Fame coach Bob Baffert , McKinzie sat on the sidelines,
But he is now ready to resume the role of in the Baffert barn now that Justify is retired.
He made a strong case for that if he won the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 22 by 1 3/4 spans in his first race in six months.
“If anything could be taken away out of a sting of a Triple Crown horse retiring, it’s a horse like this,” said jockey Mike Smith, who also rode Justify, following the Pennsylvania Derby. “He is an
Incredible horse. Really, really proud of him. Bob [trainer Bob Baffert] had him prepared. To come off the bench at a mile and an eighth, Bob is just a trainer that is tremendous. I felt very confident that I could be competitive early and move a little early.”
“He was training really well,” Baffert added after the race. “I always felt as though he was the best 3-year-old and he got hurt and Justify picked it up. He has come back with all the time off and has responded really well. It was good to see him get back in the game. It was a fairly tall order to go 1??1/8 miles. However, it is possible to do it with good horses. I believed we had him pretty tight. I believed we had him pretty tight I felt as though that he was the best horse. If you’d asked me on January 1, then I’d have told you we were going to win the Kentucky Derby with that horse.”