Kentucky Derby hopeful McCraken believed to have a shot at winning Saturday

May 5, 2017

McCraken stretches out during his morning workout at Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky, April 2.
Credit COURTESY / COADY PHOTOGRAPHY

The western Kansas horse running in the Kentucky Derby is described as a “handful” but one that could very will win the coveted race.

As The Wichita Eagle repors, McCraken, named for the Kansas town of McCracken, belongs to Janis Whitham of Leoti. Her son, Clay Whitham, describes the 3-year-old horse as a closer.

“He’ll hang back in the pack – and then, after that second turn, he’ll make a move," he said.

And that could prove to be a winning approach. Brian Zipse, editor of Horse Racing Nation, published a column Monday called “Why McCraken will win the Kentucky Derby” and John Clay, the sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader, thinks McCraken has a shot.

Janis Whitham picked McCraken’s parents for mating and has raised all of her foals herself for the past 30 years, something her son said she is good at.

He also said the fact that McCraken made it to the big race at all is a “lifetime achievement award” for his mother.

The Kentucky Derby is scheduled to take place May 6 at around 6:30 p.m. eastern time.