Preakness 2024: Complete Mystic Dawn’s Triple Crown bid and earn Gray wins

BALTIMORE (AP) — D. Wayne Lucas tries to capture the gray after his horse wins. Preakness Stakes And well-wishers keep interrupting the greetings.

“I think they’re trying to get rid of me,” Lucas said. “They would like me to retire. I don’t think that will happen. “

Not when the 88-year-old Hall of Fame trainer wins big-time races.

Grab the gray ending Kentucky Derby winner Mystic Dawn’s Triple Crown bid went wire-to-wire to win Saturday’s Preakness, giving Lucas his seventh victory in the race. Good friend Bob Baffert.

“I’m behind him – I already warned him,” Lucas said. “It never gets old at this level, I love the competition. I love coming out here with other people.”

Two weeks after racing on the Derby undercard at Churchill Downs, the strapping gray colt took to the muddy track as Lucas had hoped. Going 9-1 as one of the longest shots on the board, Cheese the Gray moved to the lead immediately out of the starting gate and never looked back, finishing 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Mystic Dawn in 1:56.82.

“I thought his move on the back was beautiful and I knew he was handling the track,” Lucas said. “I said, ‘Watch out, he’s not going to leave.'”

Mystic Dawn finished second in a field of eight horses in the $2 million, 1 3/16-mile race. After winning the Kentucky Derby by a nose and not being able to go back, it would be a surprise if he ran. Belmont Stakes June 8 at Saratoga Race Course.

“My colt is a fantastic colt and proud of him,” said trainer Kenny McPeake. “It wasn’t his day, but he’ll live to race again.”

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Preakness winner Size the Gray was a surprise, facing stiffer competition than in the Pot Day Mile on May 4. Given the Lucas connection, one shouldn’t be surprised when one of his horses is covered in a blanket of black-eyed Susan flowers.

In the race’s 149-year history, no one has saddled more horses in the Preakness than Lucas, with 48 since his debut in 1980 and won by Codex. He had two this time, with Just Steel finishing fifth, but Size The Gray – owned by the 2,570 involved in the MyresHorse team – delivered the win.

“I couldn’t be happier for each of them,” said MyRacehorse founder and CEO Michael Behrens. “We had some big expectations, but this exceeds those expectations.”

Paid $21.60 to win, $8.40 to place and $4.40 to show. Mystic Don paid $4.20 and $2.80, and after finishing a head in front of third-placed Catching Freedom, he paid $3.20.

Baffert, who was looking to record a ninth Preakness victory, should have had two horses in the field, but the morning lineup was favored. The thorn was scratched Earlier in the week due to fever. Baffert’s Imagination finished seventh.

“He’s still learning,” Baffert said. “I think we’re learning his style. I saw a lot today that I can switch forward. I don’t think he wants to run like that. We didn’t really have a plan. We thought it was going to be Wayne or us.

Muth’s absence made Mystic Don the 2-1 favorite, but he and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. could not duplicate their perfect Derby outing to make that race’s first three-way photo win since 1947. Instead, Jaime Torres took the win for Size the Grey. In his first Triple Crown race, two years after starting to ride.

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“I have no words,” said Torres, who is from Puerto Rico. , helping me.”

It was The last prevarication It will host its 150th run midway through construction next year before demolition begins on the historic but deteriorating track at Pimlico Racecourse.

That process is already well under way at Belmont Park, which is why the final leg of the Triple Crown is being held at Saratoga for the first time and shortened to 1 1/4 miles due to the shape of the course. Kentucky Derby runner-up Sierra Leone, a half-length to win, is expected to head the field, though Lucas says he’s waiting to see Size the Gray run.

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