May 26, 2024

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Mystic Dan, a Kentucky Derby winner, will compete in the upcoming Preakness Stakes

Mystic Dan, a Kentucky Derby winner, will compete in the upcoming Preakness Stakes

Mystic Dan, winner of the Kentucky Derby, will go to the second leg of the Triple Crown and run in the Preakness Stakes on May 18.

Kenny McPeak, the horse’s trainer, had previously said he wanted to make sure the horse had recovered well after the Derby before committing, but announced he was ready to go after a gallop on Saturday morning at Churchill Downs. It will ship to Baltimore on Sunday.

Mystic Dan is likely to face stiff competition from Moth, a horse trained by Bob Baffert. In their head-to-head meeting in the Arkansas Derby in March, Moth won, with Mystic Dan in third by 6 1/4 lengths. D. Wayne Lukas’ Just Steel, another Derby horse preparing to return to the Preakness, finished second. Muth was not eligible to compete in Kentucky due to Baffert’s extended suspension by Churchill Downs. The horse ownership group fought the suspension all the way to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, but lost its request for an injunction.

Baffert is also expected to run Imagination, a Santa Anita Derby winner, in the Preakness.

Mystic Dan, at odds of 18-1, won the 150th Kentucky Derby last week in a photo finish over Sierra Leone and Forever Young. He had the lead going into the final turn and saw it go down on the final turn, but he held on.

McPeek and Brian Hernandez Jr.’s jockey Mystic Dan also won the Kentucky Oaks with Thorpedo Anna. McPeak was the first trainer to win the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby on the same weekend since Ben Jones accomplished the feat in 1952.

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Mystik Dan is trying to become the first horse since Justify (2018) to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Justify went on to win the Belmont Stakes, becoming the thirteenth horse to win the Triple Crown.

Mage, last year’s Derby winner, finished third in the Preakness.

Should Mystic Dan win next weekend at Pimlico, all eyes will be on the Belmont Stakes on June 8 — which moves from its home field (Belmont Park) to Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga Springs, New York, due to major renovations to the Belmont track.

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(Photo: Michael Reeves/Getty Images)