2024 Kentucky Derby Contenders: MYSTIK DAN

The 150th Kentucky Derby (G1) is Saturday, May 4, at Churchill Downs, offering a record $5 million purse. The field is limited to 20 starters based on Derby qualifying points from dozens of prep races.


Mystik Dan

After a runner-up finish in his debut at Keeneland last October, Mystik Dan broke his maiden at second asking over the Churchill Downs main track by 7 ¾ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs. A pair of fifth-place finishes early this sophomore season, including in the listed Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park, led to an eight-length upset in the Southwest Stakes (G3) in February and a goal to make the Kentucky Derby.

Well below a points cutoff heading into the Arkansas Derby, he absolutely needed to hit the board and he did, checking in third behind the non-eligible-at-this-writing Muth and Just Steel to earn 25 points and a spot securely on the bubble. Now with several early defections, the Kenny McPeek trainee will make the starting gate as a significant longshot.

Betting advice:  With a hot pace, this closer moves up a bit, but it’s going to take a lot more than a hot pace to get him to the wire in front. He’s a good horse, for sure, but overall seems just a cut below the more highly regarded runners.

2024 Kentucky Derby Contenders Odds and Post Position: Mystik Dan

Post Position: 3

Odds: 20/1

Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.

Trainer: Kenny McPeek

Owners: Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing LLC and Valley View Farm LLC.

Career record: 6-1-1-0

Career earnings: $641,360

Most recent race: Arkansas Derby, March 30 (3rd)

Top Equibase speed figure: 106

Pedigree: Goldencents—Ma’am, by Colonel John

Color: Bay

Running Style: closer

Notes: Kenny McPeek has saddled nine for the Run for the Roses, the most successful was Tejano Run in 1995, who finished second behind Thunder Gulch…



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