McCraken to prep for 4-year-old season

Horse Racing

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Trainer Ian Wilkes said he is expecting McCraken to arrive this week at Palm Meadows to begin preparing for a 4-year-old campaign that will focus primarily “on races of about a mile.”

McCraken has been on hiatus at Lambholm South near Ocala, Fla., since shortly after Wilkes decided not to run him in the Nov. 24 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. His final start at 3 resulted in a distant third-place finish in the Oct. 28 Fayette at Keeneland.

“I haven’t really thought about where to start him back, other than to try him as a miler,” said Wilkes, whose stable is currently split among Palm Meadows, Tampa, and Fair Grounds. “I was happy to give him a break because he deserved one. He’d been going strong since the summer of his 2-year-old year.”

McCraken, bred and owned by Whitham Thoroughbreds, has won five of his 10 starts and $722,228.

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