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Mystik Dan Team Pursues Sir Barton With Gould’s Gold

Some familiar 3-year-olds from this spring’s Kentucky Derby (G1) preps, who fell short of qualifying for the first race of the Triple Crown, reappear in the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes May 18 at Pimlico Race Course.

Deposition , Real Macho , Tuscan Sky , and Imperial Gun —who were off the board in graded company on the Derby Trail this year—are among the 10 entered in the 1 1/16-mile dirt race, which is restricted to nonwinners of an open stakes race. 

The race is a spot for some to ascend and others to regroup. If they prove successful, they could potentially leap back into major races as early as next month or during the summer. Sarava memorably did so in 2002, taking the Belmont Stakes (G1) after success in the Sir Barton weeks earlier for trainer Kenny McPeek.

McPeek is back this year in the race with the up-and-coming Gould’s Gold , who races for much of the same ownership associated with Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan , who goes for the second leg of the Triple Crown a few races later on the Saturday card at Pimlico. Brian Hernandez Jr. is aboard Mystik Dan and Gould’s Gold, both sons of Goldencents  . Mystik Dan is a bay, Gould’s Gold a gray or roan.

Gould’s Gold, a maiden winner at Oaklawn Park in late March, finished an even third in the Bathhouse Row Stakes there in Arkansas April 20. Imperial Gun, 7-2 odds on the Sir Barton morning line, was second in that race, four lengths ahead of Gould’s Gold, an 8-1 chance Saturday.

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Favored at 9-5 is Courtlandt Farms’ recent allowance optional claiming runner-up Corporate Power , followed by Tuscan Sky at 5-2. Both add blinkers, the latter doing so after an uninspired effort when seventh in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) after two initial victories.

Entries: Sir Barton S. sponsored by Brandon and Diannah Perry to Benefit The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance

Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 18, 2024, Race 10

  • STK
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo
  • 4:10 PM (local)

Three other ungraded $100,000 stakes are also on the Saturday card.

Apple Picker  and Disco Ebo  are the headliners in the first of these stakes, the Skipat Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs. The Skipat is the first stakes race of the Saturday program and the day’s fourth race. 

Entries: Skipat S.

Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 18, 2024, Race 4

  • STK
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo’s & up Fillies and Mares
  • 12:16 PM (local)

The other two ungraded stakes surround the Sir Barton, the 10th race.

The James W. Murphy Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile on turf is right before the Sir Barton as the ninth race, with Twirling Point  looming a force under international riding star Frankie Dettori. Twirling Point was a last-out third behind next-out American Turf Stakes (G2T) winner Trikari  in the Rushaway Stakes on synthetic at Turfway Park.

Entries: James W. Murphy S.

Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 18, 2024, Race 9

  • STK
  • 1m
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo
  • 3:30 PM (local)

Following the Sir Barton as the 11th race is the Jim McKay Turf Sprint, a five-furlong turf dash headed by graded stakes winner Beer Can Man , who took this same race last year.

For the first time, this year the McKay offers the winner automatic entry and travel incentive to the July Cup (G1) at England’s Newmarket Racecourse July 13.

Entries: Jim McKay Turf Sprint S.

Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 18, 2024, Race 11

  • STK
  • 5f
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo’s & up
  • 4:53 PM (local)

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