Mystik Dan

Kentucky Derby Contenders Catching Freedom, Endlessly, Mystik Dan, Common Defense Work at Churchill Downs

With only three weeks remaining until the 150th running of the GI Kentucky Derby, Catching Freedom (Constitution), Endlessly (Oscar Performance), Mystik Dan (Goldencents) and Common Defense (Karakontie {Jpn}) continued their training towards the Run for the Roses with published workouts Saturday morning at Churchill Downs. Soon after the track opened at 5:30 a.m., GII Louisiana Derby winner Catching Freedom was the first Derby contender to work when he went a solo half-mile in :48 (14/123). "He's had very steady training the last five, six weeks," trainer Brad Cox said....

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The Two Towers Of Graded Stakes, Oaklawn And Gulfstream, Align Saturday

If you do not happen to be a Lord of the Rings devotee, then as a horse racing fan you might assume that Gandalf, Frodo, Saruman and Sauron were just names some eccentric owners concocted to toy with The Jockey Club. Well, for true disciples of Tolkein, you understand the 'Two Towers' reference is a major theme in the trilogy, but for our purposes it simply denotes coverage. This Saturday, both Oaklawn Park and Gulfstream Park are those poles of power when it comes to authoring graded stakes. Their cards...

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Mystik Dan Readies for Arkansas Derby

Lance Gasaway, 4G Racing and Daniel Hamby III's Mystik Dan (Goldencents) worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 (20/34) over a fast track at the Fair Grounds Saturday morning. Trained by Ken McPeek, the winner of the Feb. 3 GIII Southwest S. is expected to ship to Oaklawn Wednesday in advance of a tilt at the $1.5-million GI Arkansas Derby Mar. 30. McPeek opted to train Mystik Dan up to the Arkansas Derby, which could award as many as 200 qualifying points to its top five eligible finishers (100-50-25-15-10, respectively) for Kentucky...

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Mystik Dan Confirmed for Arkansas Derby, Catching Freedom Possible

Trainer Kenny McPeek confirmed that GIII Southwest S. winner Mystik Dan (Goldencents) is pointing for the GI Arkansas Derby Mar. 30. McPeek said Mystik Dan returned to the Fair Grounds shortly after his eight-length victory in the Southwest, which was postponed a week because of winter weather. According to McPeek, the 21-day return to the GII Rebel S. factored into McPeek's decision to train Mystik Dan up to the Arkansas Derby. McPeek originally sent Mystik Dan to the Fair Grounds to prepare for the Southwest after arctic temperatures, snow and...

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Kenny McPeek Joins TDN Writers' Room Podcast

No one was hotter last week than trainer Kenny McPeek, who won two stakes at Oaklawn over the weekend, one a prep for the GI Kentucky Derby, the other a prep for the GI Kentucky Oaks. McPeek scored with the filly Band of Gold (Preservationist), who, at 24-1, won the Martha Washington S. Two races later, it was the colt Mystik Dan (Goldencents), who was an impressive eight-length winner of the GIII Southwest S. at odds of 11-1. That meant there was plenty to talk about when McPeek joined this...

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Kenny McPeek Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Trainer Kenny McPeek joins this week's TDN Writers' Room to discuss his big weekend at Oaklawn Park, including a win in the GIII Southwest S. with Mystik Dan (Goldencents).

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TDN Derby Top 12: Ace On Top, Rest of Deck Gets a Good Reshuffling

As if ranking the contenders for the GI Kentucky Derby isn't enough of a challenge in and of itself, the crystal ball-gazing becomes even more hazy when you factor in the ban imposed by Churchill Downs, Inc., on trainees from Bob Baffert's stable (click here for a more detailed writeup on this subject). Even though the official Derby qualifying points leaderboard omits those horses, TDN's Top 12 will continue to include them for the time being on the basis that 1) the situation could change; 2) the performances of those...

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Saturday's Derby Prep Runners Look Ahead

All of the major runners in Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby preps have come out of their respective races well according to releases by Aqueduct, Oaklawn and Gulfstream Park. GIII Holy Bull S. winner Hades (Awesome Slew) still had his connections flying high the morning after his upset win over 'TDN Rising Star' and Eclipse champion Fierceness (City of Light). "He galloped out really strong [yesterday]," trainer Joe Orseno told Gulfstream Park media Sunday morning. "I don't think we got to the bottom of him yet. We're real happy with him,...

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Kenny McPeek's Mystik Dan Upends Oaklawn's Southwest

One of four Kentucky Derby preps run Saturday, the $800,000 GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park was the richest. It also promised to be the most wide-open betting contest and it didn't disappoint as a mud-splattered 11-1 MYSTIK DAN (c, 3, Goldencents--Ma'am, by Colonel John) pulled the upset for trainer Kenny McPeek. Last fall's Ed Brown S. winner Just Steel (Justify) got up for second while GIII Street Sense S. winner Liberal Arts (Arrogate) secured third. The Southwest offers points on a 20-10-6-4-2 scale for the Road to the Kentucky...

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Goldencents Colt Breaks Maiden In Style At Churchill

4th-Churchill Downs, $121,125, Msw, 11-12, 2yo, 5 1/2f, 1:03.27, ft, 7 3/4 lengths. MYSTIK DAN (c, 2, Goldencents--Ma'am, by Colonel John) broke quickly in his debut Oct. 22 at Keeneland, but lost the lead down the lane to finish second. Tabbed as the 4-5 choice here, the bay colt tracked the pacesetter from second up the backstretch. Making his move to the outside around the far turn, the Ken McPeek trainee built up a head of steam and really poured it on to win by 7 3/4 lengths over Eusebius...

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Munnings Colt Overcomes Torrid Trip To Graduate at Keeneland

8th-Keeneland, $100,000, Msw, 10-22, 2yo, 6 1/2f, 1:18.24, ft, 1 1/4 lengths. AGOO (c, 2, Munnings--Grandacious {SW & GSP, $206,304}, by Grand Slam) was a strong second after leading late on his six-furlong Churchill debut Sept. 17 behind Stretch Ride (Street Sense), who validated that peformance with a 5 3/4-length allowance victory going two turns here Oct. 14, good for an 86 Beyer. One of the first to break the line from a double-digit gate, the $72,000 KEENOV weanling and $190,000 KEESEP yearling was forwardly placed, but was no better...

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