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Seize the Grey wins Preakness Stakes; Mystik Dan second

By Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer
Seize The Grey beats out Mystik Dan for the Preakness Stakes victory on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Photo courtesy of Pimlico Race Course
1 of 4 | Seize The Grey beats out Mystik Dan for the Preakness Stakes victory on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Photo courtesy of Pimlico Race Course

May 18 (UPI) -- On a gray day and over a muddy Pimlico Race Course track, Seize the Grey led all the way in Saturday's Preakness Stakes and held on at the finish to deny Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan a shot at the Triple Crown.

The victory paired 88-year-old trainer D. Wayne Lukas and 25-year-old jockey Jaime Torres, both in service of 2,570 owners comprising the My Racehorse partnership who each paid $127 for a "microshare" of the winner.

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Lukas' popularity was reflected in the crowd of competing owners and trainers slapping his back and shaking his hand after the race. Even Mystik Dan's trainer, Kenny McPeek, who saw his Triple Crown hopes dashed, joined the chorus of praise.

"He's a guy that I've always idolized," McPeek said of Lukas, "and over the years, I've been beat by him plenty of times."

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Seize the Grey, a son of Arrogate, came into the Preakness off a victory in the Pat Day Mile on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs but had no trouble going the additional 3/16 of a mile at Pimlico. Torres got him going right out of the gate and he was never in serious trouble at any point.

Mystik Dan saved ground along the rail and put in a bid turning for home but could never get up enough steam to threaten Seize the Grey, who got his fourth win from 10 starts, finishing in 1:56.82.

Mystik Dan was second, 2 1/4 lengths back. Catching Freedom, who reported fourth in the Kentucky Derby, finished third, another 2 1/4 lengths in arrears. Tuscan Gold was fourth.

Torres, a product of the Puerto Rico Jockey Academy riding in his first Triple Crown race, said, "I have no words. This horse, he's the best."

Lukas said he wasn't surprised Seize the Grey kept running to the finish.

"I thought his action down the backstretch was beautiful and I knew that he was handling the track," he said. "I said, 'Look out! He's not going to quit."

Although his previous victory was at a straight mile, Seize the Grey's pedigree certainly qualified him to go longer. Arrogate's remarkable seven-race winning streak in 2016-17 included the Travers Stakes, Breeders' Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup, all at 1 1/4 miles.

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Seize the Grey was Lukas's seventh Preakness winner and his 15th in Triple Crown competition. The massive ownership group put a new spin on things, even for the veteran trainer.

"Can you imagine how many people are going to relish in this and enjoy it?" Lukas said. "I don't even know how many people own this horse. Two thousand or something. It's a lot of people, I know that.

The popular trainer was swamped with congratulations from his competitors and commented, "That makes it special. I think they're trying to get rid of me. They probably want me to retire. I don't think that'll happen.

"But it never gets old at this level. I love the competition. I love being in here with the rest of them. It's unfortunate we can't all win."

The outcome means there will be no 14th Triple Crown champion this year. The last was Justify in 2018. The series, nonetheless, moves on to Saratoga Racecourse in three weeks' time for the third leg, the Belmont Stakes.

McPeek was philosophical in defeat.

"We anticipated that Seize the Grey was going to go and, honestly, I didn't think he'd stay after going [as quickly as he did through the first half mile]. But Wayne's an amazing guy.

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"But look, that's why horse racing is so hard," McPeek said. "There's no givens. And he brings a horse off of two weeks [rest] that won the Pat Day Mile. "You've got to give it to him."

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