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Baffert fears setback could rule Mckinzie out of Kentucky Derby reckoning

McKinzie and Mike Smith (right) battle with Bolt D'Oro at Santa Anita last month
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Mckinzie will miss his intended rematch with Bolt D'Oro in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby after suffering a leg issue which trainer Bob Baffert fears will cost the colt his place in the line-up for the 144th Kentucky Derby on May 5. 

Mckinzie worked in Baffert's absence while the trainer was in Dubai last week and, although nothing serious has come to light, connections are taking no risks.

"He's sound, but a nuclear scan we did wasn’t 100 per cent," Baffert told reporters on returning to California. "It doesn’t look serious, but we’ve got to wait. His x-rays are clean, but he tweaked something."

The son of Street Sense was first past the post in the Grade 2 San Felipe last month after a gruelling battle with Bolt D'Oro but was demoted to second for causing interference.

In his absence Baffert will reroute Justify from the Arkansas Derby to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby, one of three key preps on Saturday to carry 100 qualifying points for Churchill Downs alongside Keeneland's Blue Grass Stakes – in which Ryan Moore will partner Marconi – and the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. 

Unraced at two, Justify has two wide-margin wins to his name this year but will need to finish well on Saturday to secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby line-up.

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It doesn’t look serious, but we’ve got to wait. His x-rays are clean, but he tweaked something
E.W. Terms