Mystik Dan, the upset winner of an exciting three-way photo finish in the 2024 Kentucky Derby, is trending in the right direction after a productive workout Wednesday. Still, his connections do not plan to make an official decision about the Preakness Stakes on May 18 until this weekend.

Mystik Dan’s trainer, Ken McPeek, had nothing but praise for his runner after a vigorous exercise. The horse galloped a little more than a mile with exercise rider Martin Reyes. McPeek didn’t give anything away but considered the update positive.

“I suspect we’ll make a [Preakness] decision over the weekend, or even as late as Monday,” McPeek said, according to the Maryland Jockey’s Club Press Office. “But more than anything, I just want to make sure he’s moving good and eating good and happy. And at this stage, I like what I see.”

Mystik Dan went off at 18-1 odds in the Derby last Saturday but went on to nose out late closer Sierra Leone and Japanese phenom Forever Young in the final strides to the wire. With another $3.1 million in the bank and questions about the horse’s fitness racing twice in two weeks, McPeek and the horse’s owners are warranted to be hesitant with their new superstar.

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter!

A week of sports news in your in-box.
We find the sports news you need to know, so you don't have to.

If he does skip the Preakness, Mystik Dan would be the second winner in three years to do so, turning an oddity into a potential trend as owners grow more and more hesitant to race their horses too often. It was common for horses to race once every two or three weeks back in the day. Now, it is rare for them to run more than once a month. The current Triple Crown is a holdover from previous eras, demanding that three-year-olds compete in three races between May and June in five weeks.

Even if Mystik Dan does race in the Preakness, there’s a distinct possibility that he will not earn favoritism among bettors. Though many of his Derby foes are either off the trail or waiting for the Belmont Stakes in New York, trainer Bob Baffert has been preparing superstar colt Muth to run at Pimlico for weeks. The West Coast trainer attempted to get his horse into the Derby. Still, a state appeals court in Kentucky upheld Churchill Downs’ ban relating to 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s disqualification for failed drug tests three years ago.

Read more about:

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!