Advertisement

Seize the Grey likely headed for Belmont Stakes. What horses might Preakness winner face?

BALTIMORE — The day after Seize the Grey wired the field on his way to winning the $2 million Preakness Stakes, seemingly none of the defeated connections could believe it.

Foremost, 88-year-old trainer D. Wayne Lukas had picked up his 15th victory in a Triple Crown race and seventh in the Preakness. It was his first since winning the Preakness with Oxbow in 2013.

“Unbelievable, amazing,” said Brad Cox, trainer of third-place Catching Freedom. “I’m half his age and still trying to get the Preakness for the first time at 44. … I joke with Wayne. I think he was 40 when he won his first Grade 1 race. It was the year I was born. It’s amazing.

“I said it before the Derby: ‘Triple Crown races are better when Wayne’s in them.’ I wish he hadn’t been in this one, though.”

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas picked up his 15th victory in a Triple Crown race and seventh in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. It was his first since winning the Preakness with Oxbow in 2013.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas picked up his 15th victory in a Triple Crown race and seventh in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. It was his first since winning the Preakness with Oxbow in 2013.

Seize the Grey’s performance — winning at 9-1 odds — was just as amazing.

“I did not think Seize the Grey was a horse that could beat us,” said Kenny McPeek, trainer of runner-up Mystik Dan. “He ran great. Even on the gallop out, no one could run him down.”

Opposing trainers have been trying to run down Lukas for decades. He won his first Preakness with Codex in 1980, and his 15 victories in Triple Crown races rank second all time behind Bob Baffert (17).

Lukas and Seize the Grey were soaking it all in Sunday morning at Pimlico Race Course.

“When he came out of the stall and went around here, he never walked,” Lukas said of his horse. “He was pretty proud of himself.”

Lukas said he’ll take some time to make a decision about Seize the Grey’s next race but said he’s likely to return for the third leg of the Triple Crown series — the Belmont Stakes on June 8.

Seize the Grey receives a kiss from jockey Jaime Torres in the winner's circle after the 149th Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
Seize the Grey receives a kiss from jockey Jaime Torres in the winner's circle after the 149th Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Because of construction at Belmont Park, the race will be held at Saratoga and contested at 1 ¼ miles instead of the traditional 1 ½ miles.

“The fact that it’s a mile and a quarter, I think it makes it more enticing,” Lukas said.

Perhaps the only bad news for Lukas this week was the status of his other Preakness starter. Just Steel ran well before fading to fifth place.

Lukas said Just Steel suffered a condylar fracture of his right foreleg.

“We’ve got to put a pin in it,” Lukas said. “He’ll be all right.”

McPeek said Mystik Dan, the Kentucky Derby winner, came out of the race well and likely will ship to Saratoga on Monday. Whether he’ll run in the Belmont remains to be seen.

Jockey Jaime Torres, aboard Seize the Grey, reacts after winning the 149th Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.
Jockey Jaime Torres, aboard Seize the Grey, reacts after winning the 149th Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.

Mystik Dan finished 2 ¼ lengths behind Seize the Grey on Saturday.

“It’s impossible to be disappointed about being involved with these kind of races and be competitive,” McPeek said. “One, they are hard races to get into. But to be competitive in them is a big deal. You just do your job and hope it’s your turn.”

Here’s a look at other horses Seize the Grey and Mystik Dan could face in the Belmont (trainers in parentheses):

Antiquarian (Todd Pletcher) — Won Peter Pan Stakes on May 11 at Aqueduct.

Corporate Power (Shug McGaughey) — Won Sir Barton Stakes on May 18 at Pimlico.

Dornoch (Danny Gargan) — Finished 10th in Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Fierceness (Todd Pletcher) — Finished 15th in Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Honor Marie (Whit Beckman) — Finished eighth in Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Imperial Gun (Steve Asmussen) — Finished third in Sir Barton on May 18 at Pimlico.

Mindframe (Todd Pletcher) — Won allowance optional claiming race May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Sierra Leone (Chad Brown) Finished second in Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

The Wine Steward (Mike Maker) Finished second in Peter Pan on May 11 at Aqueduct.

Thorpedo Anna (Kenny McPeek) — Won Kentucky Oaks on May 3 at Churchill Downs.

Tuscan Gold (Chad Brown) — Finished fourth in Preakness on May 18 at Pimlico.

More horse racing: Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas, other trainers revel in unique Preakness Stakes Barn

Jason Frakes: (502) 582-4046; jfrakes@courier-journal.com. Follow on X @KentuckyDerbyCJ.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Seize the Grey, Mystik Dan likely for Belmont. Here are other horses