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Preakness recap: Seize the Grey denies Mystik Dan shot at Triple Crown

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There will be no Triple Crown winner this year.

Seize the Grey is the winner of the 2024 Preakness Stakes, denying 2024 Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan the chance of becoming the 14th horse to win the Triple Crown. 

History was made with trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who at 88 becomes the oldest trainer to win a Triple Crown race.

Mystik Dan got off to a good start out of the gate, but Seize the Grey seized the lead early and never let up. Mystik Dan made a late push after the final turn but was unable to catch up to the winner. Mystik Dan finished second. 

With no Triple Crown winner possible this year, Justify in 2018 remains the last horse to achieve the remarkable feat.

Preakness payouts

The purse for this year’s race was $2 million, the highest in Preakness history. As a result, the owners of Seize the Grey − MyRacehorse, which sells public shares of the horse − will get $1.2 million. Those who bet on Seize the Grey to win the race could also cash in, and even more for getting the finalists of the race correct.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, 88, adds to his legend

He still wakes up every morning at 3:30 to get to the barn. He still gets on the pony every day to watch his horses train. And though his operation isn’t the coast-to-coast behemoth it once was as he’s aged into his late 80s, D. Wayne Lukas is still the Stetson-and-sunglasses wearing embodiment of what Thoroughbred racing is all about. 

Train ‘em hard. Give ‘em a shot. Maybe, just maybe, win a big one. 

It’s never changed for Lukas, from the moment he won his first Preakness with Codex in 1980 until he did it again Saturday for the seventh time with Seize The Grey. 

D. Wayne Lukas knew Seize the Grey would hold on at Preakness

Seize the Grey was out in front nearly the entire race, but the excitement picked up down the stretch when Mystik Dan closed the gap. But Seize the Grey trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he didn’t believe the horse would falter and said he looked great coming out of the far turn.

Interviewed by NBC after the race, Lukas said his thoughts during the race were, “Watch out. He’s not gonna quit.’

Mystik Dan trainer Kenny McPeek: ‘Just wasn’t his day’

Mystik Dan trainer Kenny McPeek gave credit to Seize the Grey trainer D. Wayne Lukas on the NBC broadcast, saying he idolized Lukas and “it’s fineâ€� to get beat by him. 

McPeek said he’s proud of his team for getting Mystik Dan prepared for the race, inlcuding the horse. 

“(I’m) proud of him and it just wasn’t his day, but look, he’ll live to race again.�

Watch: Seize the Grey dominates at muddy Preakness

Preakness Stakes results

Seize the Grey
Mystik Dan
Catching Freedom
Tuscan Gold
Just Steel
Uncle Heavy
Imagination
Mugatu

Preakness odds

Post positions for the 2024 Preakness Stakes were drawn May 13. The eight-horse field is as follows, followed by the jockey and the latest odds, courtesy of FanDuel:

Mugatu, Joe Bravo, 20-1
Uncle Heavy, Irad Ortiz Jr., 20-1
Catching Freedom, Flavien Prat, 7-2
Muth (scratched)
Mystik Dan, Brian Hernandez Jr., 8-5
Seize the Grey, Jaime Torres, 12-1
Just Steel, Joel Rosario, 12-1
Tuscan Gold, Tyler Gaffalione, 9-2
Imagination, Frankie Dettori, 3-1

Track downgraded to ‘muddy’ before race

After a rainy day in Baltimore, Pimlico officials officially downgraded the track condition to ‘muddy’ before Saturday night’s race.

Ravens legend Ray Lewis announces ‘Riders up!’

Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis made the ‘Riders up’ announcement his own in the moments before the race Saturday.

After shouting out Baltimore, Lewis yelled ‘Riders up,’ then broke out his famous dance and threw some grass from the infield into the air.

Lewis revealed his pick for the race on NBC: Mystik Dan.

Preakness weather looks stormy

There is a thunderstorm watch in Baltimore as lightning was forecast in the area a few hours before the race, according to AccuWeather. Conditions are expected to calm around race time, but there is another chance of thunderstorms when the horses are scheduled to be out of the gate. There’s also a 66% chance of rain with temperatures in the mid-60s.

Preakness Stakes start time

Post time for the 2024 Preakness Stakes is 6:50 p.m. ET.

Preakness Stakes TV coverage

The Preakness Stakes will be broadcast live on NBC, with coverage starting at 4:30 p.m. ET. Coverage of the early races begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on CNBC.

Preakness Stakes live stream

For cord-cutters, the Preakness Stakes can be streamed on Peacock.

What is Triple Crown in horse racing?

The Triple Crown refers to the three major races in American Thoroughbred horse racing. It consists of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. A horse that finishes first in all three races in the same year is said to have won the Triple Crown.

Triple Crown winners

Since the Kentucky Derby was established in 1875, a total of 13 horses have won what’s officially called the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. They are:

Sir Barton (1919)
Gallant Fox (1930)
Omaha (1935)
War Admiral (1937)
Whirlaway (1941)
Count Fleet (1943)
Assault (1946)
Citation (1948)
Secretariat (1973)
Seattle Slew (1977)
Affirmed (1978)
American Pharoah (2015)
Justify (2018)

Kentucky Derby was electric. What’s next? We’ll see.

Television ratings for the 150th Kentucky Derby were the best since 1989, with a peak of more than 20 million people tuning in to watch the thrilling, three-horse photo finish with Mystik Dan beating Sierra Leone by a nose. The Derby drew a record $198.3 million in wagers, with nearly $320 million bet in total on the 14-race card at Churchill Downs.

And perhaps most important of all, the week went off without any breakdowns or horse deaths, which might be coincidence but could also be evidence that new federally mandated safety protocols implemented over the last year are working. We’ll see.

The bottom line is that, despite racing’s decline as a major mainstream sport, people still like watching and betting on horses – particularly around days that feel like big events. But the elation surrounding Derby Day is about to once again run into the sport’s annual comedown: The Preakness.

Read Dan Wolken’s column here.

Bob Baffert discusses his Churchill Downs suspension

It’s been three years since Bob Baffert was allowed to enter a horse at Churchill Downs, and the Hall of Fame trainer is hopeful he’ll be allowed back soon.

“I miss being there,â€� Baffert said Friday morning at Pimlico Race Course, where he’ll saddle Imagination for Saturday’s $2 million Preakness Stakes. “Watching on television, it’s exciting to watch. The Derby means a lot to me. I have great moments in my life there.

“It was tough sitting it out again. We’re totally committed to finding an amicable solution and hopefully to get back in the Triple Crown race. … I’d love to be there. I’d love to be there next week.�

Baffert’s six Kentucky Derby victories are tied with Ben Jones for the most by a trainer. Baffert appeared to have a record-breaking seventh Derby win with Medina Spirit in 2021 before all hell broke loose.

What does Muth’s scratch mean for Mystik Dan at Preakness?

Upon hearing the news morning-line favorite Muth had been scratched from Saturday’s Preakness Stakes because of a fever, trainer Kenny McPeek knew what it meant for his Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan.

“Oh, my goodness,� McPeek responded. “I guess it puts added pressure on us, but he’s ready.�

Muth’s scratch provided the buzz Wednesday at Pimlico Race Course. Muth is 4-2-0 in six career starts for trainer Bob Baffert and was set to enter the Preakness as the 8-5 favorite after an impressive victory March 30 in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.

Muth arrived at Pimlico at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday after an 18-hour trip that started with a FedEx flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey. He was then vanned from Newark to Baltimore.

Mystik Dan was great in Derby. His jockey was even better.

There would have been a fleeting moment nearly three decades ago, participating in his first Kentucky Derby, when Kenny McPeek thought he might just win it. He was just 32 years old back then, barely starting to crack the top echelon of the sport, and a horse named Tejano Run — the first big horse he had in his barn — was flying through the stretch.

Ultimately, Tejano Run came up just short to Thunder Gulch. McPeek, a young and confident trainer, figured it was just the beginning.

“If I thought it would take me this long to knock it down…â€� he said, his voice trailing off. “I thought I’d do it before today.â€�

But in the 29 years since, McPeek has won a ton of races and learned a lot of lessons. One of them, of course, is that winning the Derby is really, really hard: None of his next eight Derby runners even hit the board.

He learned another lesson, too: It doesn’t take a superstar jockey to give a horse a great ride.

Read Dan Wolken’s story here.

Preakness Stakes winners since 2000

Here are the Preakness Stakes winners over the years, with the winning horse and the winning time in parentheses. Eventual Triple Crown winners are in bold.

2023 – National Treasure (1:55.12)

2022 – Early Voting (1:54.54)

2021 – Rombauer (1:53.62)

2020 – Swiss Skydiver (1:53.28)

2019 – War of Will (1:54.34)

2018 – Justify (1:55.93)

2017 – Cloud Computing (1:55.98)

2016 – Exaggerator (1:58.31)

2015 – American Pharaoh (1:58.46)

2014 – California Chrome (1:54.84)

2013 – Oxbow (1:57.54)

2012 – I’ll Have Another (1:55.94)

2011 – Shackleford (1:56.47)

2010 – Lookin At Lucky (1:55.47)

2009 – Rachel Alexandra (1:55.08)

2008 – Big Brown (1:54.86)

2007 – Curlin (1:53.46)

2006 – Bernardini (1:54.65)

2005 – Afleet Alex (1:55.04)

2004 – Smarty Jones   (1:55.59)

2003 – Funny Cide (1:55.61)

2002 – War Emblem (1:56.40)

2001 – Point Given (1:55.40)

2000 – Red Bullet (1:56.00)

Have any fillies won the Preakness?

In 148 Preakness Stakes runs, only six female horses have won the event:

Flocarline in 1903;

Whimsical in 1906;

Rhine Maiden in 1915;

Nellie Morse in 1924;

Rachel Alexandra in 2009 and;

Swiss Skydiver in 2020

There are no fillies in the field in 2024, with Secret Oath the last to enter the race (2022).

Preakness Stakes 2024 field

The complete field for the 2024 Preakness Stakes is as follows (trainer in parenthesis):

Mugatu (Jeff Engler)
Uncle Heavy (Robert E. Reid Jr.)
Catching Freedom (Brad H. Cox)
Mystik Dan (Kenneth G. McPeek)
Seie the Grey (D. Wayne Lukas)
Just Steel (D. Wayne Lukas)
Tuscan Gold (Chad C. Brown)
Imagination (Bob Baffert)
Muth (Bob Baffert, SCRATCHED)

Where is the Preakness Stakes held?

The Preakness Stakes takes place at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

How long is the Preakness Stakes?

The Preakness Stakes is the shortest of the three Triple Crown races, at 1 3/16 miles, or 9 ½ furlongs. The race has been run at this length since 1925.

Mystik Dan at disadvantage after quick turnaround from Derby

Typically, horses respond to this grueling task one of two ways. Either they exit the rigorous Derby as fit and ready to run as they’ve ever been in their life, or they struggle to bounce back and run lethargically in the Preakness.

The physical effort it took for Mystik Dan to win the Kentucky Derby was undoubtedly at the front of trainer Ken McPeek’s mind during the week he spent waffling about whether to run in the Preakness.

At the same time, all the physical signs from Mystik Dan point to him being one of those horses that comes out of the Derby thriving and ready to put on an even better performance at Pimlico, says Dan Wolken.

Read his column here.

Preakness Stakes 2023 winner

National Treasure won the 2023 Preakness Stakes by a head. The horse was the eighth of Bob Baffert’s to win the Preakness Stakes.

Preakness Stakes 2024 purse

The purse for the 149th running of the Preakness Stakes sits at $2 million. That number is up from $1.5 million in 2023.

Why was Muth scratched from Preakness?

Muth, the Bob Baffert-trained horse who was the favorite for the Preakness entering the week, was scratched after dealing with a 103-degree fever.

‘We are sick about this. The horse had been doing really well,’ Baffert said earlier this week. ‘But we have to do what’s right by the horse.’

Baffert still has a horse in the race, with Imagination in the running this weekend.

When is the 2024 Belmont Stakes?

The Belmont Stakes will take place June 8 from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.

With renovations taking place at Belmont Park, this is the first time the race will take place in Saratoga. It will be run at 1 ¼ miles, shorter than the usual 1 ½-mile distance.

Pimlico Race Course capacity

Pimlico Race Course can hold around 120,000 fans on the day of the Preakness. There are 750 betting windows at the track, as well as automated betting machines.

When was the last Triple Crown winner?

In 2018, Justify (trained by Bob Baffert) took home the Triple Crown. Justify was the first horse to win the Triple Crown since American Pharaoh in 2015. American Pharaoh was also trained by Baffert.

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