SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — McKinzie won the $1 million Whitney by 1 3/4 lengths at Saratoga on Saturday, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his first victory in the Grade 1 race.
It was Baffert’s second starter in the race and first since 2004. McKinzie earned an automatic berth to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita, where the colt is based.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, McKinzie ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.10 on Saturday. The 4-5 favorite paid $3.70 to win.
Yoshida was second. Vino Rosso was another 4 3/4 lengths back in third.
McKinzie has seven wins in 12 career starts and earnings of $2,238,560.
The Whitney was run on Marylou Whitney Day, honoring the late breeder, owner and philanthropist nicknamed “Queen of Saratoga.” She died July 19 at age 93.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Arabian Knight is off the Kentucky Derby trail.
Wagering has been suspended on the 3-year-old colt for the Derby’s future wager after owner Amr Zedan announced the decision. Arabian Knight was the second choice on the morning line behind favorite Forte for the May 6 race.
“Trainer Tim Yakteen wasn’t happy with his last work & we feel it’s in Arabian Knight’s best interest not to rush & allow him more time to develop,” Zedan tweeted. “We know he’s a superior talent & our plan is to point him toward a summer and fall campaign.”
Purchased for $2.3 million as a 2-year-old, Arabian Knight won his debut by 7 1/4 lengths at Keeneland last November. He made his 3-year-old debut in the Southwest at Oaklawn in January and won by 5 1/2 lengths.
Arabian Knight had his third workout at Santa Anita.
TAMPA, Fla. — Tapit Trice rallied from last to win the $360,000 Tampa Bay Derby by two lengths and earn qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.
Ridden by Luis Saez, Tapit Trice ran 1 1/16 miles 1:43.37. The 1-2 favorite in the field of 12 paid $3 to win. The 3-year-old colt earned 50 qualifying points, which places him in the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby on May 6.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher extended his record for most wins in the Grade 3 race to six. He already has the early Kentucky Derby favorite in Forte, who won the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream last weekend.
Classic Car Wash was second and Classic Legacy was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.
Tapit Trice was making his stakes debut after winning two of three starts.
“Once he got clear down the lane, he really extended himself,” Pletcher said. ”I loved the way he finished up. He relished the two turns, and the longer he goes, the better he’ll get.”