When you have a horse that has finished first or second in all but one of his 12 starts, it might seem a bit churlish to be disappointed at missed opportunities and narrow losses.
Still, one might forgive owners Michael Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman for wondering wistfully what might have been with McKinzie.
Undefeated in his first three starts, he was on his way to being among the top contenders on the 2018 Kentucky Derby (G1) trail, until injury sidelines him for the entire Triple Crown series. He came back to win the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1), only then to finish 12th in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
But standing in the winner’s circle at Saratoga Race Course after McKinzie won Saturday’s $980,000 Whitney Stakes (G1), Weitman was happy to live fully in the moment.
“(You never like) missing the Kentucky Derby,” he said, “But this makes up for it.”
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