Seize the Grey went wire to wire to win the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, giving 88-year-old Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas a seventh victory in the race and ending Mystik Dan’s Triple Crown bid.

The gray colt took advantage of the muddy track just like Lukas hoped he would, pulling off the upset in a second consecutive impressive start two weeks after romping in a race on the Derby undercard at Churchill Downs. Seize the Grey went off at 9-1, one of the longest shots on the board.

Mystik Dan finished second in the field of eight horses running in the $2 million, 1 3/16-mile race. After falling short of going back to back following his win by a nose in the Kentucky Derby, it would be a surprise if he runs in the Belmont Stakes on June 8 at Saratoga Race Course.

Seize the Grey was a surprise Preakness winner facing tougher competition than in the Pat Day Mile on May 4. Though given the Lukas connection, it should never be a surprise when one of his horses is covered in a blanket of Black-Eyed Susan flowers.

No one in the race’s 149-year history has saddled more horses in the Preakness than Lukas with 48 since debuting in 1980. He had two this time, with Just Steel finishing fifth.

Lukas has now won the Preakness seven times, one short of the record held by two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer and close friend Bob Baffert, whose Imagination finished seventh. Baffert was also supposed to have two horses in the field and arguably the best, but morning line favorite Muth was scratched earlier in the week because of a fever.

Muth’s absence made Mystik Dan the 2-1 favorite, but he and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. could not replicate their perfect Derby trip to win that race’s first three-way photo finish since 1947. Instead, Jaime Torres rode Seize the Grey to a win in his first Preakness.

This was the last Preakness held at Pimlico Race Course as it stands before demolition begins on the historic but deteriorating track, which will still hold the 150th running of it next year mid-construction.

That process is already well underway at Belmont Park, which is why the final leg of the Triple Crown is happening at Saratoga for the first time and is being shortened to 1 1/4 miles because of the shape of the course. Kentucky Derby second-place finisher Sierra Leone, a half step from winning, is expected to headline that field.

___

AP horse racing: https://apnews.com/hub/horse-racing



Source link