Daily Racing Form: McKinzie Drills For Pennsylvania Derby

McKinzie, once considered the leading contender for the Kentucky Derby this year, is nearing a comeback from injury.

On Wednesday at Del Mar, McKinzie worked seven furlongs in 1:24.80 under jockey Joe Talamo in preparation for the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing on Sept. 22.

“He looked great,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “He went strong. We’re still on schedule for Parx.”

McKinzie, who races for Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, was taken out of training in late March because of a hock injury. He had been expected to start in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby days later.

McKinzie has won 3 of 4 starts and earned $350,000. He finished first in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 10 but was disqualified and placed second for interfering with Bolt d’Oro in the final strides.

The $1 million Pennsylvania Derby is run at 1 1/8 miles and will be the longest race of McKinzie’s career.

The 2-year-old filly Der Lu, the winner of a maiden special weight race in her debut on Aug. 5, worked seven furlongs in 1:27.60 at Del Mar on Wednesday. Trained by Baffert for Baoma Corp., Der Lu is likely to start in a stakes next, though Baffert said he has not finalized race plans.

McKinzie and Der Lu were among the final workers for the Baffert stable at Del Mar this summer before the entire stable relocates to Santa Anita.

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