Mystik Dan Wins 2024 Kentucky Derby in Stunning Three-Horse Photo Finish

The race was so close it took several minutes to determine a winner.
Mystik Dan, right, wins the Kentucky Derby in a photo finish on Saturday.
Mystik Dan, right, wins the Kentucky Derby in a photo finish on Saturday. / Michael Clevenger and Christopher

The 2024 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs came right down to the wire.

Mystik Dan edged Sierra Leone and Forever Young by a nose on Saturday, surging ahead on the final turn and barely holding on to secure an upset victory.

The race was so close it took officials several minutes to officially proclaim Mystik Dan as the winner.

Mystik Dan, guided by jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., previously finished third at the Arkansas Derby in March and won the Grade III Southwest Stakes in February.

"Brian just did an amazing job," Mystik Dan's trainer Ken McPeek said after the race. "Just a brilliant, brilliant jockey and ride."

McPeek completed a career Triple Crown as a trainer, previously winning the Preakness in 2020 with Swiss Skydiver and the 2002 Belmont Stakes with Sarava.

Mystik Dan will have a chance to notch the second title of a Triple Crown pursuit on May 18 at the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore.


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Tom Dierberger

TOM DIERBERGER

Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.