Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan to compete in the Preakness after all, keeping Triple Crown in play

The Triple Crown is in play after all.

Mystik Dan, after pulling off a ridiculously close win at the Kentucky Derby last weekend, is going to compete in the Preakness Stakes on May 18. Trainer Kenny McPeek confirmed the decision Saturday after initially suggesting that Mystik Dan wouldn’t compete in the second race of the Triple Crown due to the short turnaround.

“Mystik Dan is well and acts like he’ll be ready to run in the Preakness,” McPeek said in a statement, via The Washington Post. “I’ve discussed the decision with owners Lance Gasaway, Daniel Hamby, Brent Gasaway and Scott Hamby, and we plan to run May 18th. The colt’s had a good week. He will travel to Baltimore on Sunday.”

Mystik Dan snuck out a win over Sierra Leone and Forever Young in one of the closest finishes in Kentucky Derby history last week. The three-horse photo finish, which was just the 10th time the event was decided by a nose, was a perfect ending for the 150th edition of the race.

Mystik Dan, who was ridden by jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., started out the day with 18-1 odds to win. McPeek won both the Derby and the Kentucky Oaks on the weekend, too, which made him the first trainer to do so since 1952. Hernandez will ride Mystik Dan at the Preakness, too.

“[Mystik Dan] didn’t win the Derby without the job Brian did,” McPeek said. “I’m thrilled Brian is finally getting the credit he deserves.”

Mystik Dan won the Kentucky Derby by a nose last weekend in one of the closest finishes in history.Mystik Dan won the Kentucky Derby by a nose last weekend in one of the closest finishes in history.

Mystik Dan won the Kentucky Derby by a nose last weekend in one of the closest finishes in history. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

So now, Mystik Dan and McPeek will head to Baltimore for the Preakness next Saturday. McPeek won the 2020 Preakness with Swiss Skydiver, but no horse has won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness since Bob Baffert’s horse Justify won the Triple Crown in 2018.

While the Triple Crown is still a ways off, McPeek and Mystik Dan will at least have the opportunity to accomplish that rare feat.

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