Can Mystik Dan Bust This Horse Racing Myth?

You'd be surprised by the number of horses who've won both the Derby and Preakness.

May 14, 2024 at 1:15 pm
Mystik Dan is headed to Preakness just two weeks after the Kentucky Derby.
Mystik Dan is headed to Preakness just two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs

Preakness is just around the corner on Saturday, May 18.

Many trainers and horse racing aficionados believe the 2 week window between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes isn't enough time for any winner to have a fair shot at the Triple Crown, an honor bestowed upon horses that win the Derby, Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.

Whether fact or fiction, many industry experts believe you need 5 weeks in between races to have a shot at victory.

After much deliberation, Mystik Dan’s trainer Kenny McPeek said he would be taking the horse to Baltimore to race for the Triple Crown dream alive.

Winning both the Derby and Preakness is a tough task. Since 1919 — which is when a Kentucky Derby winner first competed at the Preakness — only 36 horses have ever won both.

Including the Belmont Stakes, there have been 13 Triple Crown winners in history, those include:

  • Sir Barton, 1919
  • Gallant Fox, 1930
  • Omaha, 1935
  • War Admiral, 1937
  • Whirlaway, 1941
  • Count Fleet, 1943
  • Assault, 1946
  • Citation, 1948
  • Secretariat, 1973
  • Seattle Slew, 1977
  • Affirmed, 1978
  • American Pharoah, 2015
  • Justify, 2018

Are trainers justified in their belief that the Preakness Stakes are too close to the Derby each year?

Many horses who have worn the roses at Churchill Downs have finished at least in the top three in the middle jewel, the Preakness Stakes. Out of all the horses that have ever won at the Derby, 62 have placed in the top three, meaning nearly 74% of all Derby contenders have finished in a top Preakness spot.

These stats mean Mystik Dan has some pretty good odds at a win, place or show. Whether or he not he can pull off the Preakness win needed to secure the first Triple Crown victory since 2018 remains to be seen.