Belmont Stakes 2024: McPeek Will Run Mystik Dan

Belmont Stakes 2024: McPeek Will Run Mystik Dan  Trainer Kenny McPeek has decided to run Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan in the $2 million Belmont Stakes on June 8 at Saratoga. Mystik Dan will face off against Preakness winner Seize the Grey, marking the first meeting of Derby and Preakness winners since 2013. Sierra Leone will also be in the field, who has been one of the best horses this year and narrowly lost out to Mystik Dan in the Kentucky Derby by a nose.

McPeek Leaning Toward Running Mystik Dan

Trainer Kenny McPeek is cautiously optimistic about entering Kentucky Derby champion Mystik Dan at the prestigious $2 million Belmont Stakes on June 8 at Saratoga. During a national conference call last week, McPeek mentioned that the final decision hinged on Mystik Dan’s performance and recovery from a key workout session over the weekend.

“We’re going to get our horse ready, and assuming everything goes right over the next few days, through the weekend, we’re looking forward to being part of it,” McPeek stated. He expressed confidence about the weekend’s preparations but underlined the importance of meticulous attention to the horse’s condition. Mystik Dan is a unique character in McPeek’s stable. “He’s a little tricky in that he’s a quiet type, and we don’t want to miss anything,” the trainer noted, signaling his awareness of the horse’s nuances.

Mystik Dan did everything McPeek was looking for, and as a result, he was entered in this week’s Belmont Stakes. He’ll face a significant challenge in the form of Preakness winner Seize the Grey, setting the stage for the first encounter between the Derby and Preakness titlists since Orb and Oxbow in 2013. Additionally, Sierra Leone will be in the field along with Mindframe, both of whom lead the field as the favorites going into the weekend.

Fans and analysts alike keenly await the outcome, with high hopes for an exciting race when both top contenders meet on the track. For those looking to add an extra layer of excitement, it’s a great opportunity to bet on 2024 Belmont Stakes online.

Mystik Dan’s Road to the Belmont Stakes

Mystik Dan’s journey to the Belmont Stakes has been an exhilarating saga, capturing the attention of racing enthusiasts and analysts nationwide. His Kentucky Derby victory, achieved by a nose over Sierra Lone, demonstrated not just his speed but also his indomitable spirit. Sierra Leon’e sentry into the Belmont adds another layer of intrigue to the upcoming race as he figures to be the favorite come post-time.

In the Preakness, Mystik Dan finished a respectable second, trailing 2-1/4 lengths behind the formidable Seize the Grey. McPeek expressed his preference for the Belmont due to logistical reasons—remaining at Saratoga eliminates the need for shipping Mystik Dan to other races, like the Grade 1 Haskell on July 20 at Monmouth Park. McPeek sees this as a strategic advantage, allowing them to stay focused and conserve the horse’s energy for the Grade 1 Travers Stakes on August 24, also at Saratoga, and possibly the Pennsylvania Derby before setting sights on the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Both Mystik Dan and Thorpedo Anna were on a significant workout on Saturday morning over Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track. The two horses trained in conjunction, though not directly against each other, reflecting McPeek’s meticulous approach to their conditioning.

“We want to run, we do; we just got to make sure that all boxes are checked, t’s are crossed, and i’s are dotted,” McPeek remarked, underscoring the importance of thorough readiness.

The anticipation builds as the racing world watches McPeek’s next moves, hoping to see Mystik Dan strive for glory in the prestigious Belmont Stakes.

8 Reasons Why the Preakness Stakes is a Must-See Event for Every Sports Fan

8 Reasons Why the Preakness Stakes is a Must-See Event for Every Sports Fan  The Preakness Stakes is a climactic horse racing event, marking the second jewel of the esteemed Triple Crown. This race, steeped in deep tradition, occurs annually and follows the Kentucky Derby, setting the stage for potential Triple Crown contenders.

More than a test of speed, winning the Preakness is a huge honor, as it keeps the hope of achieving the Triple Crown alive. Its value extends beyond the race itself, offering sports fans a spectacle where tradition, skill, and the spirit of competition converge.

1. Rich History and Tradition

The Preakness Stakes, celebrated annually since 1873, is a hallmark of horse racing heritage. This event isn’t merely about the adrenaline of the race. It’s deeply rooted in traditions that evoke the sport’s rich history.

Among the most cherished is the victory tradition, where the winner is adorned with a blanket of Black-Eyed Susans, flowers that mirror Maryland’s state emblem, symbolizing not just triumph but the continuation of the legacy. This custom, like the anticipation surrounding the Preakness current 2024 odds, connects fans to the race’s storied past while adding depth to the excitement of the competition.

2. High-Stakes Competition

Winning the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown, carries immense prestige. This victory is a testament to a horse’s speed, stamina, and heart, setting the stage for a potential Triple Crown triumph.

The intense competition level attracts top horses, jockeys, and trainers worldwide. Each participant enters with hopes of etching their name into horse racing history. The anticipation and high stakes make the Preakness Stakes a centerpiece of global horse racing, watched by millions who admire the sport’s blend of tradition, skill, and fierce competitiveness.

3. The Atmosphere

The Preakness Stakes transforms into a festival of joy, showcasing events like the famous “InfieldFest,” where live bands perform, creating a concert vibe right in the heart of the racetrack.

Food stalls serve up Maryland’s best, from crab cakes to pit beef, offering a taste of local flavor. There’s also the vibrant parade of fashion where attendees don hats and attire that range from elegantly traditional to boldly modern.

There’s also the “Black-Eyed Susan Day” that celebrates women in racing, adding a touch of empowerment to the festivities. This blend of music, food, fashion, and racing joy lights up the atmosphere, making the Preakness a communal celebration of sport and culture.

4. World-Class Horses and Jockeys

The Preakness Stakes is known for showcasing world-class horses and jockeys, as well as legends like Secretariat and jockey Ron Turcotte, who have left an indelible mark. Behind every participant is a story of rigorous training and unwavering dedication.

These athletes, both human and equine, undergo extensive preparation, honing their speed, strength, and strategy to compete at this level. Their commitment is the backbone of their success, turning each race into a display of peak performance and deep passion for horse racing.

5. Betting Excitement

Betting adds extra excitement to the Preakness Stakes, with spectators eagerly placing wagers on their favorite horses. This thrill comes from the anticipation of picking the potential winner, creating a personal stake in the race’s outcome. For newcomers, it’s crucial to bet responsibly.

Start by setting a budget and sticking to it. Educate yourself on the horses’ past performances and jockey experience. Look for expert predictions and odds, but remember that horse racing always carries an element of unpredictability. Betting smartly enhances the fun without overshadowing the enjoyment of the event.

6. Fashion and Pageantry

Fashion and pageantry are at the heart of the Preakness Stakes, with attendees making bold statements through their choice of hats and attire. From extravagant, wide-brimmed hats adorned with feathers to elegant, sophisticated dresses and suits, fashion plays a key role in the day’s festivities.

This sartorial display fosters a vibrant social atmosphere where networking and camaraderie thrive among the well-dressed crowds. It’s a day where style meets tradition, and the racecourse becomes a runway, showcasing personal flair and the rich culture of horse racing.

7. Community Impact and Charitable Efforts

The Preakness Stakes celebrates horse racing and significantly impacts the surrounding community through various charitable efforts. Each year, a portion of the event’s proceeds is dedicated to local charities and educational programs, reinforcing its commitment to giving back. Initiatives like scholarship funds for students and support for equine health and welfare demonstrate how race extends its influence beyond the track.

These efforts foster a strong bond between the event and the local community, showcasing the Preakness Stakes as more than just a sporting event but a catalyst for positive change and community development.

8. Accessibility for Fans

Accessibility for fans is a priority for the Preakness Stakes, ensuring enthusiasts from around the globe can enjoy the race. For those attending in person, tickets are available across various seating categories, offering an unforgettable experience at the track.

Globally, fans can watch the race through broadcasting partnerships with major networks and streaming services, ensuring live coverage reaches every corner of the world. Additionally, online platforms offer real-time updates and exclusive content, making the race accessible to all, no matter where they are.

Wrapping Up

The Preakness Stakes stands out because it mixes old traditions with new ideas, making it interesting for both long-time fans and people new to horse racing. It’s a big celebration that honors great achievements and history and brings people together. Over the years, it has changed in good ways, ensuring it stays exciting and relevant.

Why don’t fillies run in the Derby?

The Derby, or the Derby Stakes, to give the race its full title, is run over a left-handed, undulating mile and a half at Epsom Downs in Surrey, South East England on the first Saturday in June. The race is open to three-year-old colts and fillies, with the latter receiving a 3lb weight allowance from their male counterparts. Despite that significant advantage, which effectively equates to a two-length ‘head start’ over the Derby distance, modern trainers are loath to pitch their fillies in against the colts.

Historically, six fillies have won the Derby, but none has done so since 1916 and none has even attempted to do so since Cape Verdi finished unplaced, as favourite, in 1998. Of course, colts are, on the whole, physically bigger and stronger than fillies, such that it takes an exceptional middle-distance filly to beat male opposition on the track, especially at the highest level. Fillies also have the option of running in their own Classic, the Oaks, which is run over the same course and distance as the Derby on the previous day. The Oaks is restricted exclusively to fillies, who compete at level weights and, despite offering far less guaranteed prize money than the Derby – £548,450 compared with £1,561,950 in 2023 – is evidently the preferred option for contemporary trainers.

Of course, in the racing industry, prize money is not the be-all and end-all, especially for powerhouse breeding operations, such as Coolmore, Godolphin and Juddmonte. A Derby-winning broodmare is all very well, but a Derby-winning stallion – who can cover hundreds of mares a year, as opposed to producing just a single foal – is an altogether different proposition, economically. The last Derby winner to be retired to stud, Masar, who is from the family of Sea The Stars, stands at the Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket for a relatively modest £14,000 per offspring, but Sea The Stars himself stands at Gilltown Stud in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare for an eye-watering €180,000 a time.

What’s the history of Royal Ascot?

What's the history of Royal Ascot?  Ascot Racecourse is, of course, situated in the Royal County of Berkshire, South East England, which is, in fact, the only English county to warrant the ‘Royal’ epithet. Berkshire has been closely associated with the British monarchy for nearly a millenium, not least because of the presence of Windsor Castle, originally constructed by William I, a.k.a. ‘William the Conqueror, in the late eleventh century and a royal residence pretty much ever since.

As far as Ascot Racecourse is concerned, the association with the British Royal Family is nowhere near so lengthy, but still dates back to the reign of the much-maligned Queen Anne, in the first half of the eighteenth century. In fact, three years before her death, aged 49, in 1714 – apparently, after succumbing to ‘gout, dropsy, hemorrhage and stroke’ – ‘Brandy Nan’, as she was known, identified Ascot Heath as a likely location for ‘horses to gallop at full stretch’. That they did, for the first time, on August 11, 1711, with the inaugural running of Her Majesty’s Plate, contested over three separate heats, of four miles apiece.

It was not until 1794, during the reign of King George III, that the first permanent building was raised on Ascot Heath, while the first reference to a Royal Stand, albeit temporary, also dates back to the same decade. However, the Royal Enclosure, which originally consisted of a two-storey, permanent grandstand surrounded by a lawn, was decreed by King George IV in 1822 and did not officially become known as such until 1845; by that stage, it had already been further developed for the inaugural visit of Tsar Nicholas I, as a guest of Queen Victoria, the previous summer.

King George IV also began the tradition of the Royal Parade, or the Royal Procession, as it is now known, in 1825. At two o’clock each afternoon, the reigning monarch and the Royal party arrive at the so-called Royal Gates, at the top of the Straight Mile, and process along the track in front of the racegoers, who can number up to 70,000, to the Royal Enclosure.

The Gold Cup, which, nowadays, forms the highlight of the third day of the Royal Meeting, a.k.a. Ladies’ Day, was inaugurated in 1807, making it the oldest surviving race of the week. Indeed, the Gold Cup, remains one of just three perpetual trophies presented during Royal Ascot.

Indeed, it was the establishment of the Gold Cup that, in many ways, laid the foundation for Royal Ascot as we know it today. The traditional, four-day, Tuesday to Friday format had been in place since 1768, but the meeting did not earn the ‘Royal’ epithet until 1911 and, until 1939, remained the only fixture of the year at the Berkshire track.

Fast forward to the early years of the twenty-first century and, in 2002, the four-day Royal Ascot meeting was extended to five days, by way of celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Hitherto, Royal Ascot had been immediately followed by a less formal fixture, without a Royal presence, on the Saturday. However, the new format proved hugely successful, such that the ‘Ascot Heath’ Meeting, as was, ceased to be and the Royal Meeting has continued as a five-day affair ever since.

In 2013, an unusual situation occurred insofar as the winner of the Gold Cup was owned by the late Queen Elizabeth II, who thereby became the first reigning monarch in history to win the ‘flagship’ race of the week. Obviously, Her Majesty could not present the Gold Cuo trophy to herself, so instead took delight in receiving it from her son Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

1 2 3 21