Mystik Dan – Kentucky Derby Context

April 16th, 2024

After racing on or close to the lead in his first four starts, Mystik Dan became more effective when switching to rating tactics two starts back, and the bay colt will look to make a serious impact from off the pace in the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1). He raced midpack in the Southwest (G3) over a muddy track at Oaklawn in early February, cutting the corner to strike the front and draw away to a stirring eight-length win, registering a commendable 102 Brisnet Speed rating for his initial stakes win. Mystik Dan raced farther back in the Arkansas Derby (G1), advancing wide on the far turn, and he got up late for third to earn the necessary points for a Kentucky Derby bid.

Owner: Owned by Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing (Brent Gasaway), and Valley View Farm, Mystik Dan will be the first Kentucky Derby starter for all parties.

Trainer: Raised in Lexington, Ky., Kenny McPeek will send out a Kentucky Derby runner for the third consecutive year. The 61-year-old finished second with his first starter, Tejano Run in 1995, and is unplaced from eight other starts. McPeek has captured the other two legs of the Triple Crown, taking the 2020 Preakness (G1) with the filly Swiss Skydiver and 2002 Belmont (G1) with Sarava.

Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr. made the first of four Kentucky Derby starts in 2016 and his best result is an eighth aboard McCraken in 2017. Named champion apprentice jockey in 2004, the Louisiana native counts 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Fort Larned among his best mounts.

Breeder/Sales:  A Kentucky-bred, Mystik Dan will be the first Kentucky Derby starter as a breeder for Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing (Brent Gasaway), and Daniel Hamby.

Sire: After winning the 2013 Santa Anita Derby (G1), Goldencents was unplaced in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (G1). He cut back in trip to win consecutive editions of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), earning more than $3 million, and Goldencents is by Into Mischief, a two-time Kentucky Derby-winning sire. His offspring have yet to make an impact in the Triple Crown, but Goldencents has shown versatility at stud while throwing a lot of winners. Mystik Dan is from his sixth crop.

Dam: Mystik Dan is the first foal for Ma’am, a daughter of multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Colonel John, who finished sixth in the 2008 Kentucky Derby. This is the immediate female family of Grade 1-winning juvenile Siphonic, who was on the 2002 Kentucky Derby trail before being sidelined after a third as the favorite in the San Felipe (G2).

Top Brisnet Speed: 101
Top Brisnet Late Pace: 112