PREAKNESS: MYSTIC GUIDE UNDER CONSIDERATION

Mystic Guide
Mystic Guide won the Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga. Photo by Joe Labozzetta.

Godolphin’s Mystic Guide emerged from his triumph in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga in good order and shipped back to Fair Hill Training Center on Saturday evening, where trainer Michael Stidham is primarily stabled.

The sophomore Ghostzapper chestnut earned his first graded stakes victory in the 1 1/8-mile event over the Saratoga Race Course main track and arrived off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Peter Pan on July 16 to Country Grammer.

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Stidham said the Grade 1, $1 million Preakness Stakes on October 3 at Pimlico Race Course is a possibility for Mystic Guide.

“We’re going to look at it and see how he trains these next couple of weeks,” Stidham said. “He’s already back at Fair Hill and looked good this morning. He came out of the race in good shape.”

Never off the board in five career starts, Stidham said Mystic Guide had always touted himself as a horse with a bright future. Following a five-length maiden score at second asking in his two-turn debut in March at Fair Grounds, he finished third in a one-turn first level allowance race at Belmont Park which was won by Tap It to Win en route to the Peter Pan.

“He always showed us a lot of promise right from the beginning,” Stidham said. “We stayed patient with him. We didn’t put him in spots that he wasn’t ready for. We tried to do the right thing by the horse, and it paid off yesterday. There was temptation in thinking about the Derby, but he didn’t advance quickly enough to be in that picture.”

Following Saturday’s Grade 1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, which was won by Authentic who kept heavy favorite Tiz the Law at bay, Stidham said the 3-year-old division appears to be wide open.

“I don’t think that there’s a big difference in a lot of the three-year-olds,” Stidham said. “Tiz the Law was certainly the leader of the group, and then obviously he got beat yesterday. I think it opens the picture up and I think our horse is lightly raced and could be coming into his peak now and coming up to his best racing.”

A Kentucky homebred, Mystic Guide is out of the three-time Grade 1-winning A.P. Indy mare Music Note. Stidham currently has Mystic Guide’s half-brother Gershwin in his barn. The unraced 2-year-old son of Distorted Humor has been training forwardly at Fair Hill and Stidham said he could make his career debut soon.

“He’s showing some early promise. He hasn’t started yet but he’s had some nice works,” Stidham said. “There are a lot of similarities. They’re big, strong colts and Gershwin has shown some early talent. He’s another one that’s going to be a two turn horse. We aren’t in any rush with him. He’ll make his first start in the month to six weeks.”

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