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Mystik Dan, Kentucky Derby winner, to race in upcoming Preakness Stakes

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Mystik Dan, Kentucky Derby winner, to race in upcoming Preakness Stakes

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

Kenny McPeek, the horse’s trainer, previously said he wanted to ensure the horse recovered well post-Derby before committing, but declared him good to go after a Saturday morning gallop at Churchill Downs. He will ship to Baltimore on Sunday.

Mystik Dan will likely face fierce competition from Muth, a Bob Baffert-trained horse. In their head-to-head meeting at the Arkansas Derby in March, Muth won, with Mystik Dan third by 6 1/4 lengths. D. Wayne Lukas’ Just Steel, another Derby horse prepping to run back at the Preakness, took second. Muth was not eligible to compete in the Kentucky due to Baffert’s extended suspension by Churchill Downs. The horse’s ownership group fought the suspension all the way to the Kentucky appellate court but lost its request for an injunction.

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

Mystik Dan, at 18-1 odds, won the 150th Kentucky Derby last week in a photo finish over Sierra Leone and Forever Young. He had the lead coming around the final turn and saw it reduced in the final furlong, but held on.

McPeek and Brian Hernandez Jr., Mystik Dan’s jockey, also won the Kentucky Oaks with horse Thorpedo Anna. McPeek 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.

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 13th horse to win the Triple Crown.

Last year’s Derby winner, Mage, finished third at the Preakness.

Should Mystik Dan win next weekend at Pimlico, all eyes will turn to the June 8 Belmont Stakes — which is moving from its home course (Belmont Park) to Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., because of major renovations at the Belmont track.

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(Photo: Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

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