canada africa partner reservation Kentucky Derby Champion Mystik Dan ‘Not Committed’ to Preakness Stakes

Kentucky Derby Champion Mystik Dan ‘Not Committed’ to Preakness Stakes

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The 150th Kentucky Derby was as dramatic as it gets in a three-way photo finish that saw Mystik Dan win the Run for the Roses 18-1.

Unfortunately, it’s not certain that Mystik Dan will get a chance to win the Triple Crown, as his trainer revealed they might not let him play in the Preakness Stakes.

“We are not committed to the Preakness, not yet,” coach Kenny McPeek told the media on Sunday. “I’ve been sending him back once every two weeks, and it completely backfired on me. … So we’ll just keep an eye on him over the next week. It’ll be one of those (situations) where we’ll probably take it to the last minute.”

McPeek is referring to November last year, when Mystik Dan ran twice in a span of thirteen days. He broke his Maiden on November 12 at Churchill Downs, but finished fifth on November 14. As always, the Preakness will take place two weeks after the Kentucky Derby on May 18. McPeek said a decision would not be made until the very last minute. Registrations are made on the day, namely the Monday before the race (May 13).

The quick two-week turnaround between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes has been a hot topic in recent years. Last year, only one horse that ran in the Derby (the winner, Mage) also ran in the Preakness. Before that, Justify was the last Derby winner to lead the Preakness on a two-week rest, winning the Triple Crown in 2018.

Although this year’s field is not yet known, Mystik Dan opened as a contender among those who could be running at Pimlico. He was only 45-1 despite winning the Kentucky Derby and ranked 15th out of 30 horses listed by TwinSpires.

Muth is the odds-on favorite at 7-2. The winner of the Arkansas Derby was not allowed to run the Kentucky Derby because he was trained by Bob Baffert, who is still banned from running horses in the legendary race after his 2021 winner – Medina Spirit – tested positive for performance-enhancing substances after coming in first. Fierceness, the Derby favorite who finished a distant 15th in the Kentucky Derby, has the second-best odds at 9-2.

Meanwhile, a few high-profile horses have already been excluded from the Preakness. Sierra Leone was booed at the finish at Churchill Downs, and its owners announced that the Kentucky Derby runner-up will not compete at Pimlico. It is also not certain that Forever Young, who was also eliminated in the photo finish and came third, will participate in the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.