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Mystik Dan Arrives at Pimlico For Preakness

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mystik Dan  arrived at Pimlico Race Course just after 4 p.m. ET May 12 for a run in the May 18 $2 million Preakness Stakes (G1) following a van ride from Churchill Downs.

Trainer Kenny McPeek is scheduled to arrive in Baltimore in time for the post-position draw at 5:30 p.m. May 13.

Assistant trainer Ray Bryner accompanied Mystik Dan on his road trip to Pimlico.

“No muss, no fuss. He’s a really easy horse to be around, not complicated,” said Bryner who said he expects the Derby winner to go to the track at Pimlico for a jog and gallop Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. following the renovation break.

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Mystik Dan will be ridden again by Brian Hernandez Jr., who provided the son of Goldencents   a brilliantly executed ride in the Derby, in which the McPeek trainee tracked the early leaders while saving ground before surging to the lead at the top of the stretch along the rail and holding off Sierra Leone  by a nose.

Brown Impressed by Tuscan Gold’s Final Work

Trainer Chad Brown has won the Preakness Stakes twice. He’ll come to Baltimore this weekend confident that he can get No. 3 with the lightly raced Tuscan Gold .

Tuscan Gold, Maiden Win, Gulfstream Park, January 31 2024
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson

Tuscan Gold breaks his maiden at Gulfstream Park

Brown watched the son of Medaglia d’Oro   work four furlongs in company with Blazing Sevens , who fell a head short of defeating National Treasure  in last year’s Preakness, May 11 at Belmont Park.

“That was the best I have ever seen him work,” Brown said Sunday from his office at Belmont. “He came out of it in good shape.”

Brown said that Tuscan Gold has worked with Blazing Sevens in the past. After seeing the two horses go four furlongs in :49.30, Brown is more than anxious to see how Tuscan Gold does in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Tuscan Gold will be making his fourth career start in the Preakness, easily the fewest of any of the nine colts expected to run in the 1 3/16-mile spring classic.

“It was a good test for him against a horse that is established,” Brown said of the pairing with Blazing Sevens. “What better horse to prepare him? I thought the work went excellent. I am confident going into the race. He is fast enough on figures to win.”

This will be Brown’s seventh starter in the Preakness. He won in 2017 with Cloud Computing  , his first Preakness starter, and in 2022 with Early Voting  .

Tuscan Gold, who is owned by William H. Lawrence, Walmac Farm and Stonestreet Stables, will be ridden in the Preakness by Tyler Gaffalione. Gaffalione was the rider when Tuscan Gold finished third behind Preakness rival Catching Freedom  and Honor Marie  in the March 23 Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. He also rode when the horse broke his maiden in his second career start at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 31.

Brown said that plans call for Tuscan Gold to ship to Baltimore from Belmont on Tuesday.

Baffert Pair Have Long Day Ahead of Them

Zedan Racing Stables’ Muth , the likely favorite for the Preakness and SF Racing and partners’ Imagination  will begin their long day of travel early Tuesday morning from California.

Muth wins the 2024 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park
Photo: Coady Photo/McCarlee Perkins

Muth wins the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday that plans call for the two colts to leave their Santa Anita Park barn between 1 and 2 a.m. PT. The cross-country flight, Baffert said, follows around 5 a.m.

“It is a long day,” Baffert said. “Hopefully, they’ll get (to Pimlico) in the afternoon.”

Baffert said he is scheduled to fly to Baltimore Thursday, arriving in the late afternoon.

Muth and Imagination both jogged at Santa Anita Sunday after working in tandem May 10.

“They are both doing well,” Baffert said. “I liked the way they breezed; they were a good team. I am happy the way they are coming into this.”

Muth was last seen winning the March 30 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, beating Just Steel  and Mystik Dan to the wire. Muth will face both horses in the Preakness, a race Baffert has won a record eight times, the most recent being last year with National Treasure.

Imagination has never been worse than second in six career races. When last seen, he was second, beaten a neck by Stronghold  in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 6.

“It’s going to be a very competitive race,” Baffert said of the Preakness. “I am really looking forward to it.”

Lukas Welcomes Preakness Challenge

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he welcomed the news Saturday that Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan will run in the Preakness. Lukas is scheduled to challenge Mystik Dan with BC Stables and Henry Schmueckle’s Just Steel and MyRacehorse’s Seize the Grey .

April 25, 2024: D. Wayne Lukas ponying Just Steel back to the barn Thursday morning...
Photo: Rick Samuels

D. Wayne Lukas (right) ponying Just Steel back to the barn at Churchill Downs

“I think it’s good. It’s very good,” Lukas said Sunday while en route from Kentucky to Baltimore. “I think we needed him. I think the industry needs him. I think it’s very important that in this Triple Crown hype that we get that we have the Derby winner participate. And I think Baltimore needed it too. People show up because of a marquee horse and he’s the horse of the hour, whether he wins that or not. The other story, I’m sure it’ll be (Bob) Baffert showing up. That’s wonderful, too.”

Lukas, who is competing in his 32nd Preakness, said he looks forward to facing McPeek and Baffert on the big Triple Crown stage at the Preakness.

“They’re both good friends of mine and I think they bring a lot to the table,” Lukas said. “They really do, and they need to be here.”

Lukas and a crew of four members of his staff left Louisville for Baltimore shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday and arrived at Pimlico shortly after 2 p.m.

“It was a smooth trip for us,” said Lukas.

The advance party will prepare the stalls at the Preakness Stakes Barn for the Lukas horses that will ship from Kentucky Monday with an expected arrival time at 2 p.m.

“I’ve got seven of them and whenever we get that many, we always go in a day early and set up,” Lukas said. “It’s too chaotic when you come in with seven and a pony, eight head of horses, and they’re wanting them off the van and with no screens, nothing, trying to do it all, it’s too chaotic.”

Just Steel and Seize the Grey will bring Lukas’ total number of Preakness starters to 48. This will be the 14th time he has had two or more horses in the field. He has six wins.

“They’re doing great,” Lukas said. “They’re both doing very, very, very well.”

This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.

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