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Derby Winner Mystik Dan Not A Sure Bet To Run Preakness

Mystik Dan won a thrilling 150th edition of the Kentucky Derby, but may not be given a shot to pursue the Triple Crown. It doesn’t appear that trainer Ken McPeek, who conditions Mystik Dan, will make a decision on running in the Preakness Stakes until right before the post position draw on May 13 for the May 18 race at Pimlico in Baltimore.

Rich Strike, the 2022 Derby winner, didn’t run in the Preakness because trainer Eric Reid was worried about his horse’s well being with the race only two weeks after the Derby. McPeek could follow suit after Mystik Dan beat Sierra Leone by a nose at 18-1 in the Derby horse racing odds.

Preakness No Sure Bet for Derby Winner Mystik Dan
Mystik Dan's jockey Brian Hernandez Jr./ Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP


Quick Turnaround Turning Off Some Trainers

McPeek wheeled Mystik Dan back in two weeks earlier in his career, and a fifth-place finish ensued, so he knows from experience. Also, Mystik Dan left three quarts of feed in his tub after Saturday’s race, not a good early sign that he’ll be up to running in the Triple Crown’s second jewel.

We’ll just watch him over the next week,’’ said McPeek, who became the first trainer since Ben Jones in 1952 to sweep the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, winning Friday with Thorpedo Anna. “It will be one of those where we’ll probably take (the decision) up to the last minute. … We’ll let him tell us. If he’s not in the feed tub, he won’t run.

Mage, the 2023 Kentucky Derby winner, finished third in the Preakness, beaten by 2½ lengths.



What About Bob? Baffert has Likely Favorite in Baltimore

Bob Baffert’s ban from the Kentucky Derby ended Saturday, so he’ll be back with a vengeance in 2025. The embattled trainer, though, has the likely Preakness favorite in Muth. Baffert boasts a record eight Preakness wins after National Treasure prevailed in 2023. Baffert, who won the Derby six times, also said that his Imagination will run in the Preakness.

Muth won the Arkansas Derby by two lengths, earning a 98 Beyer speed figure. Mystik Dan, third by 6¼ lengths that day, was assigned a 100 Beyer for winning the Kentucky Derby.

Imagination isn’t as fast as Muth, but is dangerous when compared to the rest of the potential Preakness field. Imagination finished second in the Santa Derby after winning the San Felipe. The California 3-year-old scene, though, was quiet again because of Baffert’s Derby ban.


Who Will – and Won’t – Challenge Muth, Imagination

Chad Brown said that Sierra Leone won’t run in the Preakness, but the trainer may be represented by Tuscan Gold. Brown, however, said that Tuscan Gold could run in the Peter Pan Stakes on Saturday, a prep for the Belmont on June 8. Tuscan Gold finished third in the Louisiana Derby and is working well for his return – whenever and wherever that may be.

Informed Patriot earned an all-expenses paid trip to the Preakness by winning the Bathhouse Row Stakes at Oaklawn on April 20. Informed Patriot, trained by Steve Asmussen, finished fifth – 9¼ lengths behind Muth – in the Arkansas Derby at 69-1 at the BetUS racebook.

D. Wayne Lukas said Seize the Grey, winner of the Pat Day Mile on the Derby undercard, is being “strongly” considered. Seize the Grey is owned by nearly 700 people as part of a MyRacehorse ownership conglomerate, something the Hall of Fame trainer pointed out.

We have nothing to lose,” Lukas said. “He earned his way to run in the Preakness. He’s qualified for it. He’s nominated for it. So why wouldn’t we give those people that opportunity? That’s what we’re getting paid for, to make that many people happy. If he pulls up well … we’ll strongly, strongly consider the Preakness.



Questions Of The Day

Which trainer has won the most Preakness Stakes?

Bob Baffert owns eight Preakness Stakes wins after National Treasure prevailed in 2023.

What is the distance of the Preakness Stakes?

The Preakness Stakes is run at 1 3/16 miles, one-sixteenth shorter than the Kentucky Derby.

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