Who is Mystik Dan? What to know about the long-shot champion of Kentucky Derby 2024

Mystik Dan has won the 150th Kentucky Derby, a surprise to many given he was largely overlooked leading up to the race.

Along with offering an exhilarating by-a-nose photo finish, the horse also has a local tie in that he’s Kentucky bred and his trainer is a University of Kentucky graduate.

Here’s what you need to know about one dandy horse that claimed the blanket of red roses:

What were Mystik Dan’s odds?

Mystik Dan went off at 18-1 odds at post time, edging forward to win by a nose in an electrifying photo finish.

The bay colt was bred in Kentucky and earned little attention going into Saturday’s race. Most of the buzz centered on favorite Fierceness (3-1) and such top contenders as Sierra Leone (9/2), Forever Young (6-1), Catching Freedom (8-1) and others.

Still, Mystik Dan was not to be dismissed, previously excelling on a sloppy track when he won the Southwest Stakes in February. He earned his first career win at Churchill Downs last November.

What’s Mystik Dan’s pedigree?

Mystik Dan was sired by Goldenscents, the dual Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner. His dam is Ma’am by Colonel John.

Who is Mystik Dan’s jockey?

Prior to his Kentucky Derby win Saturday, 38-year-old Brian Hernandez was winless on four Derby starts. The Louisiana native’s best Derby finish was eighth on McCracken in 2017.

Moments after Mystik Dan nudged his nose across the finish line Saturday, a breathless Hernandez talked about the “rush” of his exhilarating win. Winning the Kentucky Derby has been his dream since childhood, the Eclipse Award-winning jockey said.

“When I was a 6-year-old kid riding my bike around my grandparents’ farm, telling them all I was going to win the Kentucky Derby one day, and here we are,” Hernandez said.

Who is Mystik Dan’s trainer?

Kenny McPeek, 61, is an Arkansas native with strong local ties: He’s a graduate of both Tates Creek High School and the University of Kentucky.

An accomplished trainer, McPeek won the Preakness Stakes in 2020 with Swiss Skydiver and the Belmont Stakes in 2002 with Sarava. He previously had nine Kentucky Derby starts, but finally captured his first Derby win Saturday.

Who are Mystik Dan’s owners?

Mystik Dan is owned by Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing (Brent Gasaway and Daniel Hamby.

Lance and Brent Gasaway are cousins and Daniel Hamby III is an Arkansas native owner.