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2024 Triple Crown Prospect Profiles: Evaluating Derby Winner Mystik Dan’s Probabilities in Preakness, Belmont Stakes



Welcome to 2024 Triple Crown Prospect Profiles – up to date after the primary jewel of the Triple Crown from the earlier title of Kentucky Derby Prospect Profiles – the place we’ll have a look every week at a latest winner on the Triple Crown path.

This week’s profile, no shock, is Mystik Dan, winner of the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby Introduced by Woodford Reserve Might 4, 2024, at Churchill Downs.

Kentucky Derby-winning coach Kenny McPeek has but to substantiate Mystik Dan for the $2 million Preakness Stakes Might 18 at Pimlico Race Course and will as an alternative go for the $2 million Belmont Stakes Introduced by NYRA Bets June 8 at Saratoga Race Course. So this week, we’ll take a better take a look at Mystik Dan and the way he may match for each races along with his résumé, pace figures, working type, pedigree, and connections. Let’s get to it!

Racing Résumé: Mystik Dan’s résumé acquired the last word enhance within the type of a victory within the first jewel of the Triple Crown, the 150th Kentucky Derby. He improved to a few wins, one second, and one third in seven begins. The bay colt additionally has a runaway victory within the $800,000 Southwest Stakes on a muddy most important monitor and a third-place end within the $1.5 million Arkansas Derby amongst his different notable achievements.

Mystik Dan’s first two tries navigating two turns have been unspectacular to say the least, a pair of fifth-place finishes wherein he light late, one in November 2023 and the opposite in January 2024. However he improved considerably in his subsequent three races as Thoroughbreds usually do late of their 2-year-old seasons or early of their 3-year-old campaigns, the latter being the case with Mystik Dan.

Mystik Dan’s breakout race got here in his second begin of the yr and third attempt round two turns within the 1 1/16-mile Southwest Stakes Feb. 3 at Oaklawn Park. He merely swamped 10 opponents in an eight-length romp, which stays his quickest race up to now (see pace figures under).

Winter climate had pressured the postponement of the Southwest by per week, and McPeek opted to not convey Mystik Dan again from the Southwest on three weeks of relaxation within the $1.25 million Insurgent Stakes Feb. 24. As an alternative, he focused the $1.5 million Arkansas Derby March 30. Mystik Dan was crushed by 6 ¼ lengths when third behind Muth in that race, which was a giant purpose he was despatched off at 18.61-1 odds within the Kentucky Derby.

Within the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby, Mystik Dan wanted to rebound from a considerably disappointing race within the Arkansas Derby. He did simply that and in addition benefitted by an ideal journey engineered by jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. The rider tucked Mystik Dan in behind the pace whereas saving floor early in eighth, moved as much as monitor from fourth after three-quarters of a mile in 1:11.31, then urged his mount by means of a slim opening on the rail to take command within the stretch.

Credit score Mystik Dan for pushing by means of a gap that opened after which semi-closed whereas battling by means of some jostling to make his technique to the entrance. From there, he accomplished the ultimate quarter-mile in :25.88 to narrowly maintain off late-rallying Sierra Leone and Ceaselessly Younger within the first three-horse picture end within the Derby since 1947. It was a hell of a race and a career-defining win.

“Between the post-position draw [Post #3] and the job that Brian did gave us an enormous alternative as a result of we saved floor, saved floor, saved floor,” profitable coach Kenny McPeek stated. “And if you take a look at that picture end, I feel we would have liked all of it to carry off the 2 second- and third-place horses [Sierra Leone and Forever Young].”

Velocity Figures: Mystik Dan entered the Kentucky Derby with a career-best 110 Equibase Velocity Determine and 101 Beyer Velocity Determine, each earned within the Southwest Stakes. He regressed to a 106 Equibase determine and an 89 Beyer Velocity Determine within the Arkansas Derby and wanted to regain his high type on Kentucky Derby day. In accordance with the speed-figure makers he acquired there with a 109 Equibase Velocity Determine and a 100 Beyer Velocity Determine, each one tick off his finest and primarily matching his finest race.

Working Fashion: Mystik Dan has good tactical pace for a stalker-closer kind. He confirmed that when urgent the tempo in his first two profession begins, each in sprints, and clearly was quick sufficient to emerge unscathed from an inside put up in a 20-horse Kentucky Derby discipline to achieve good early place. From what I’ve seen all through his profession, I imagine Mystik Dan offers jockey Hernandez choices. In a discipline with eight to 14 horses within the Preakness or Belmont Stakes, he might settle nearer to a average tempo or drop again if the early tempo is particularly swift.

Hernandez stated Mystik Dan’s cruising pace made an enormous distinction within the Derby: “Happening the bottom, the great factor about actually proficient horses, they went [:46.63 for a half-mile] in entrance of us, however my horse … he was simply cruising alongside so properly and so comfy, it by no means felt like we have been going that shortly.”

Connections: Mystik Dan is owned by the partnership of Arkansans Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing (Brent Gasaway and his spouse, Sharilyn Gasaway), Daniel Hamby III, and Valley View Farm (Scott Hamby). Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing, and Daniel Hamby bred the colt out of the Colonel John mare Ma’am in Kentucky.

“We really feel like we’re simply strange folks and we’ve got acquired simply a tremendous horse that God gave us,” Sharilyn Gasaway stated after the Derby.

Kentucky resident Kenny McPeek deliberate the mating of Ma’am to the stallion Goldencents, and the foal that mixture produced anchored a banner weekend for him in Louisville. McPeek gained the Longines Kentucky Oaks with Thorpedo Anna after which gained the Derby with Mystik Dan the subsequent day. In 150 years, the identical coach has swept the Oaks and Derby solely 4 instances and the final one to take action was Ben Jones all the best way again in 1952. McPeek additionally accomplished a profession sweep of the U.S. Triple Crown races having gained the Belmont Stakes in 2002 with 70.25-1 longshot Sarava and the Preakness in 2020 with the filly Swiss Skydiver. McPeek has amassed greater than 2,000 wins since taking out his coach’s license in 1985.

Underrated jockey no extra! Brian Hernandez Jr. has been a fixture in Kentucky for a few years and gained his share of awards and large races, notably the Eclipse Award as excellent apprentice jockey in 2004 and the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Basic aboard Fort Larned. He’s been a terrific and revered Kentucky-based rider who has amassed greater than 2,500 wins in his profession. However if you sweep the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby on the milestone 150th celebration of each races, you turn into a family title. A 38-year-old rider from Lafayette, La., Hernandez hails from a household of jockeys, together with his father and his youthful brother Colby.

Pedigree Notes: Mystik Dan is from the sixth crop of Goldencents, the 2013 Santa Anita Derby victor and a two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dust Mile. By main sire Into Mischief, Goldencents has changed into a pleasant sire himself with standouts like 2019 Louisiana Derby winner By My Requirements, 2019 Indiana and West Virginia Derby winner Mr. Cash, and a number of Grade 1 winner Going to Vegas amongst his runners who’ve thrived going longer distances. Including a Kentucky Derby winner to the listing ought to little question present Goldencents a pleasant enhance.

The aforementioned Ma’am, by Colonel John, is the dam (mom) of Mystik Dan. She gained 4 of 23 begins for McPeek, the Gasaway household, and Daniel Hamby at distances starting from a mile to 1 1/16 miles. Grade 1 winners Siphonic, Clean Like Strait, and Laragh together with a number of graded stakes winners Summer season Entrance and Dixie Dot Com are notable family members.

When it comes to stamina, with the Belmont Stakes being reduce to 1 ¼ miles this yr as a result of its non permanent transfer to Saratoga Race Course, Mystik Dan has already excelled on the longest distance he’ll face on this Triple Crown. He could be slicing again to 1 3/16 miles ought to he goal the Preakness or staying at 1 ¼ miles for the Belmont Stakes.

Triple Crown Potential: The massive query coach Kenny McPeek faces is, will Mystik Dan be prepared to fireside one other high efficiency on two weeks relaxation within the Preakness? McPeek talked about that the one time he beforehand introduced the colt again on comparable relaxation produced a disappointing fifth-place end result, so it’s clear that turnaround is entrance and middle on the coach’s thoughts. Context is essential, nonetheless, as Mystik Dan was 2 years outdated then and stretching out in distance from 5 ½ furlongs on Nov. 12 to 1 mile on Nov. 25 after incomes a giant pace determine for profitable the previous by 7 ¾ lengths.

That stated, I do suppose Mystik Dan in all probability is extra more likely to duplicate or enhance upon his Derby effort with 5 weeks of relaxation coming again within the Belmont Stakes quite than returning in two weeks for the Preakness at Pimlico and taking up a freshened Muth, who defeated him soundly within the Arkansas Derby.

Who is aware of? Mystik Dan may emerge from his Derby win brimming with confidence and present McPeek within the coming days that he’s completely raring to go. Through which case, it’s value taking part in the recent hand within the Preakness and giving Mystik Dan a shot at profitable the Triple Crown. He proved he was an elite 3-year-old within the Kentucky Derby and did so with out taking an enormous leap when it comes to pace figures, so perhaps Mystik Dan has a giant of magic left for a visit to Baltimore.



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