Brian Hernandez, Jr., atop Mystik Dan, looks on after finishing...

Brian Hernandez, Jr., atop Mystik Dan, looks on after finishing second in the running of the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Baltimore. Credit: AP/Julia Nikhinson

BALTIMORE — The Preakness has turned into a quite a spoiler lately on the road to the Triple Crown.

Mystik Dan's 2 1/4-length defeat Saturday marked the sixth consecutive year the Kentucky Derby winner failed to win the Preakness. This time it was Seize the Grey and Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas who beat the Derby winner in the Triple Crown's middle race at Pimlico.

Mystik Dan finished a solid second, but couldn't catch the front-running Seize the Grey, who led wire to wire.

"I’m proud of my entire team. I’ve got people everywhere that are working their tail off that aren’t here, and this game, it’s a team effort," said Kenny McPeek, Mystik Dan's trainer. “My colt’s a fantastic colt and proud of him. It just wasn’t his day, but he’ll live to race again.”

After a dramatic Derby win in a three-horse photo finish, Mystik Dan was the Preakness favorite after Muth was scratched earlier in the week. Mystik Dan went off at 2-1 odds, but Seize the Grey seized the lead quickly and wasn't under much pressure while running the first quarter-mile in 24.04 seconds. He finished a half-mile in 47.33, but with Mystik Dan positioned nicely near the rail, McPeek had reason to be hopeful.

“We anticipated that Seize the Grey was going to go, and honestly I didn’t think he’d stay after going 47 and (1/5) or 47 and (2/5)," McPeek said. “But Wayne’s an amazing guy. He’s a guy that I’ve always idolized, and if I’m going to get beat, it’s fine to get beat by him. Over the years, I’ve been beat by him plenty of times.”

Mystik Dan made up ground on the leader and moved to the outside of Seize the Grey for the stretch, but Lukas' horse had plenty left and gave the trainer his seventh Preakness victory. Mystik Dan barely held off Catching Freedom for second.

Jaime Torres, left, atop Seize The Grey, crosses the finish...

Jaime Torres, left, atop Seize The Grey, crosses the finish line in front of Flavien Prat, center, atop Catching Freedom, and Brian Hernandez, Jr., atop Mystik Dan, while winning the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Baltimore. Credit: AP/Julio Cortez

When Justify won the Triple Crown in 2018, it was the 11th time in 22 years that the same horse won the Derby and Preakness. But since then, no horse has done it.

The six straight years in which the Derby winner has failed to win the Preakness is the longest draught since it happened seven times in a row from 1990-96.

The muddy track Saturday seemed to be another factor in Mystik Dan's favor since he'd won by eight lengths in the mud in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park in February.

“I thought the gods of racing were helping him,” Lukas said.

Brian Hernandez, Jr., right, atop Mystik Dan, and Flavien Prat,...

Brian Hernandez, Jr., right, atop Mystik Dan, and Flavien Prat, atop Catching Freedom, finish the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course in second place and third place, respectively, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Baltimore. Credit: AP/Julio Cortez

Brian Hernandez Jr., Mystik Dan's jockey, felt good before Seize the Grey found a second wind.

“I’m like, ‘OK, here we go. We’re just going to cruise to him and we’ll be able to run him down,’” Hernandez said. “But Lukas’ horse sprinted on again when he turned for home. Our horse was running, we just couldn’t run him down today.”

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