Mystik Dan Gets First Feel Of Pimlico Main Track

Mystik Dan | Maryland Jockey Club

Having arrived on a van from Louisville on Sunday, GI Kentucky Derby hero Mystik Dan (Goldencents) took to a sloppy and sealed main track at Pimlico Race Course for the first time Monday morning.

If the bay looked at home in the wet conditions, it should come as no surprise. Prior to his narrow success in the Derby, his career highlight came in the Feb. 3 GIII Southwest S., when he relished a muddy strip to crush by eight lengths.

“He's such a smart horse. He takes everything in,” said retired jockey Robby Albarado, whose two Preakness victories include the 2020 renewal aboard the Ken McPeek-trained Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil). “Obviously, he loved that racetrack. If you saw the Southwest, it was a similar racetrack as this. I'm really not opposed to rain this weekend. Rain is in the forecast. He did really well [Monday]. He went over the racetrack smooth and looked around. He's ready for another round.”

Albarado did some reminiscing on the Pimlico backside Monday.

“It's been great, especially coming to Pimlico,” Albarado said. “I stopped by Stall 24 there, where Swiss Skydiver was. It was nice, it was like deja vu. Me coming here on Monday, like I did with her in 2020. It's just that I'm not riding in the race, but I'm still part of the team.”

Albarado, who was approaching the end of a very successful career four years ago, has only fond memories of that first Saturday in October in the COVID-reshuffled Triple Crown in 2020. The Preakness served as the final leg.

“I wanted to win one more major race for myself. I called up Kenny McPeek and said, 'Man, I want to win one more major race before I retire,'” Albarado recollected. He said, 'Me, too!' About a month and a half later, he calls me up and said, 'Hey, you might ride Swiss Skydiver in the Preakness.' He called me up five minutes later and said, 'Pack your stuff up. You're going to Baltimore.' I was helping him out at Keeneland. I guess I was there at the right time.”

 

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