Kentucky Derby

Mystik Dan wins the 150th Kentucky Derby in photo finish

Stewards took several minutes to look over the three-way finish before declaring a victor.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Mystik Dan won the 150th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, beating out the pack in a photo finish for the latest rendition of the most thrilling two minutes in sports.

The final margins of the race were nose-to-nose, with three horses galloping in for one of the closest finishes in Triple Crown history. Coming in second-place behind Mystik Dan was one of the race's favorites, Sierra Leone, with Forever Young coming in a close third-place finish.

Stewards took several minutes to look over the close finish before officially declaring Mystik Dan the winner.

“The longest few minutes of my life,” Mystik Dan's jockey, Brian Hernandez Jr., said of the wait to finally see his horse's name officially atop the leaderboard.

Here is the entire final leaderboard:

1. Mystik Dan

2. Sierra Leone

3. Forever Young

4. Catching Freedom

5. T O Password

6. Resilience

7. Stronghold

8. Honor Marie

9. Endlessly

10. Dornoch

11. Track Phantom

12. West Saratoga

13. Domestic Product

14. Epic Ride

15. Fierceness

16. Society Man

17. Just Steel

18. Grand Mo The First

19. Catalytic

20. Just a Touch

For Hernandez, it was his first Kentucky Derby win and his first win in the Triple Crown series of horse races. It was also his second win of the weekend, as Hernandez won the Kentucky Oaks horse race at Churchill Downs on Saturday while riding the horse Thorpedo Anna.

Mystik Dan's trainer, Ken McPeek, had nothing but praise for Hernandez after the race.

"Brian just did an amazing job," McPeek said. "Brian's amazing. Probably one of the most underrated riders in racing, but, not anymore, right?"

Mystik Dan's team will take home the top prize from a purse worth $2 million more than last year. Totaling $5 million, first-place Mystik Dan's team has earned $3.1 million, while second-place Sierra Leone will take home $1 million and third-place gets $500,000. Fourth-place will take home $250,000 and fifth-place earned $150,000.

The trainer and jockey typically earn 10% of the winnings each.

A total of 20 horses galloped down the iconic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday. Heading into the race, the horses with the best morning-line odds were Fierceness, who finished at a disappointing 15th-place, at 3-1, and then second-place Sierra Leone, at 9-2. Other horses with better odds included third-place Forever Young at 6-1 and fourth-place Catching Freedom at 8-1.

Mystik Dan came into the race with 18-1 odds, making his victory an upset. However, the 18-1 odds are no match for the Derby's largest upset in its history, when Donerail won the 39th Kentucky Derby in 1913 with 91-1 odds.

The second-largest upset in the Derby's history was in 2022, when Rich Strike won the race with 80-1 odds. And in 2019, the horse Country House won with 65-1 odds.

The Triple Crown calendar now moves on to the Preakness Stakes, set for Saturday, May 18, and then the Belmont Stakes on June 8.

Like the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes will air live on NBC and Peacock.

The 2024 Kentucky Derby is less than a week away. Join us as we delve into the rich history and fascinating details behind one of the most historic horse races.
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