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Mystik Dan clings on for victory over Sierra Leone in Kentucky Derby thriller | Racing Information

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Mystik Dan simply held on by a nostril in a three-way photograph end to say Kentucky Derby glory for coach Kenny McPeek and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.

Sierra Leone got here dwelling strongly however could not fairly give his Coolmore house owners compensation for Metropolis Of Troy’s disappointing show within the 2000 Guineas, whereas Japanese raider Perpetually Younger was one other nostril again in third.

The a hundred and fiftieth ‘Run for the Roses’ befell on a 10-furlong filth observe described as operating quick after a wonderful day in Louisville had dried up Friday evening’s rain.

A crowd of 156,710 packed into Churchill Downs let loose an almighty roar, as Observe Phantom took an early lead, flanked by Simply Metal and the favorite Fierceness.

That trio held sway till the flip for dwelling, when Mystik Dan burst via on the within rail and rapidly stormed right into a three-length lead.

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Sierra Leone and Perpetually Younger fought onerous to claw again the deficit and have been closing in on the chief with each stride, however the ending line got here simply in time for Mystik Dan.

It accomplished a memorable double for the profitable coach and jockey, who had gained the Kentucky Oaks with Thorpedo Anna 24 hours earlier, and McPeek advised NBC Sports activities: “Brian simply did a tremendous job – only a sensible, sensible, sensible jockey and trip.

“The draw (stall three) helped us from the start however Brian is wonderful, in all probability one of the crucial underrated riders in racing, however not anymore, proper!”

Hernandez admitted the lengthy anticipate the end result to be confirmed was agonising, stating: “That is simply unbelievable, that was the longest couple of minutes I’ve ever felt in my life, ready for them to place that quantity up.

“It was thrilling after we hit the entrance however I wasn’t positive we had gained, so it was fairly a rush to remain there and anticipate it.

So shut! A prolonged photograph end on the Kentucky Derby (AP)

“This can be a lifetime achievement. This goes to our entire household, we have all labored all our lives for this and it is onerous to explain what sort of feeling that is.

“I all the time advised myself I used to be by no means going to step into the Derby winner’s circle till I can do it on the again of a horse, so to have the ability to dwell that dream from after I was a six-year-old child on my grandparents’ farm, telling all of them I used to be going to the Kentucky Derby in the future – and right here we’re.

“It certainly makes the final 20 years of getting up at 5 within the morning and discovering horses to trip and discovering individuals to offer us alternatives all come to fruition on days like yesterday and in the present day.

“It is onerous to place into phrases and it is in all probability going to take a couple of week to sink in earlier than we are saying hey, we gained the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks in the identical 12 months.”

Coach Chad Brown stated of runner-up Sierra Leone: “To get overwhelmed a nostril within the Kentucky Derby, it is a powerful one, however that is skilled sports activities and at this stage you are going to win some and lose some, and infrequently occasions it’ll come right down to a matter of inches.

“He is an amazing horse, he is almost undefeated and hasn’t misplaced by a lot in each of his defeats and I am simply so fortunate to have him and so happy with his effort in the present day.

“He did the whole lot we requested him to do and it got here up just a bit bit brief, however hats off to the winner, and Ken McPeek having the Derby and Oaks winners, to him and his staff, they actually did a wonderful job.

“The Derby gods could be merciless typically, making you wait, and a few trainers by no means have one, so if I am fortunate sufficient to be again in the identical place, I will be thankful for that.”

Ben Curtis, champion apprentice in Eire again in 2010, completed eighth on Honor Marie, whereas Frankie Dettori was sixteenth of the 20 runners on Society Man.

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