Tuesday, July 6, 2021
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McKinzie romps in Grade 2 Alysheba S.
Friday, May 3, 2019
McKinzie's sparkling performance in the $400,000 Alysheba S. (G2) missed the track and stakes record by just .06 seconds in the 1 1/16-mile affair for older horses on the Kentucky Oaks day card (VIDEO).

A three-time Grade 1 winner prior to Friday, McKinzie's powerhouse race upped his record to 6-3-0 in 10 starts for Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman. The 4-year-old's earnings now stand at $1,483,560. 

With the track drying out from heavy morning rains, it was rated “good” by post time. McKinzie, in post 1, was head-to-head with Tom's d'Etat for the lead around the first turn. Mike Smith took McKinzie back off the lead down the backstretch, and dropped back to third on the turn before swinging out around Tom's d'Etat at the top of the stretch. 

In the matter of a few strides, McKinzie was three lengths in front and pulled away even further late to win by 4 3/4-lengths in 1:41.10. 

“I knew if there was one horse who can’t get beat this week it was this guy right there,” said Bob Baffert in his post-race interview. “He was going to set the tone for us. He’s been training well but you have to win to get it going. Especially this horse. He’s had some tough breaks, tough losses. We’re getting to know the horse and I thought he would put him on the lead today. But (Mike) said he didn’t feel comfortable being on the lead like that and really didn’t want to be on the lead. He was like riding a helicopter today so it’s good he got the job done. I love those kind of horses.”

McKinzie returned to his winning ways after very narrow defeats in the Santa Anita H. (G1) and San Pasqual S. (G2). After the race, Pegram said the next objective is the Metropolitan Mile (G1) at Belmont Park. 

Baffert 2013