Horse racing fans are in for a treat at the 2017 Blue Grass Stakes in Keeneland. Today’s race is full of the most Kentucky Derby favorites before the calendar hits Churchill Downs.
McCraken enters the race as the favorite to reach the Winner’s Circle. The horse has had four straight victories including February’s Sam F. Davis Stakes.
There are concerns about McCraken including missing the Tampa Bay Derby with an ankle injury. While reports indicate the horse has looked good in practice runs, trainer Ian Wilkes did not sound like an extremely confident man in his interview with ESPN.
“Winning [the Blue Grass] is not the object of the game. The Derby is. This isn’t a situation where you want to win at all costs, although obviously we want to see a good effort. We think we have him as ready as we want him,” Wilkes told ESPN.
Beyer Figures are numbers used to measure a horse’s speed. According to ESPN, McCraken’s Beyers for the last three races are 95, 86 and 85. One horse that has a chance to upset McCraken is Tapwrit.
The horse is trained by Todd Pletcher who heads into Keeneland on a hot streak. Tapwrit’s Beyer Speed Figures are more impressive than McCraken. The horse has had a 96, 93 and 85 over the last three races. Tapwrit was narrowly defeated by McCraken at the Sam F. Davis Stakes but this was prior to McCraken’s injury.
J Boys Echo is another horse to watch whose win at Gotham may be the most impressive race so far by any of the Derby contenders. His last three Beyers read 102, 84 and 70.
Here’s a look at the Blue Grass Stakes odds courtesy of the Kentucky Derby. Horses are listed by their post positions.
|1||It’s Your Nickel||20-1|
|3||J Boys Echo||4-1|
Heavys Pick: 1. Tapwrit 2. J Boys Echo 3. McCraken