If you’re going to make a run at the Triple Crown, you need your energy.

And that’s why trainer Kenny McPeek is a little more optimistic about Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan’s chances to make the trip to Pimlico Race Course, after he previously cast doubts about running his colt in the 149th Preakness Stakes on May 18. Mystik Dan ate all his food Sunday night.

“I’m big on that. I always believe the faster they eat, the faster they run,” McPeek told the Maryland Jockey Club. “You’ve got to keep them in the feed tub.”

Going off at odds of 18-1, Mystik Dan and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. used a ground-saving trip to get to the front of the 20-horse field with enough stamina for the stretch run to hold off late charges from closers Sierra Leone and Forever Young, winning by a nose.

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With the win, McPeek became the first trainer since Ben Jones in 1952 to take both the Derby and Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in the same year. He won the Friday showcase for 3-year-old fillies with Thorpedo Anna.

The morning after the Derby, McPeek said Mystik Dan’s team “was not committed to the Preakness, not yet,” noting “it completely backfired” the last time he ran the colt back on only two weeks’ rest. Mystik Dan broke his maiden at Churchill Downs last November and returned two weeks later in an allowance optional claiming race. He was the 2-1 favorite but finished fifth.

“We’ll let him tell us,” McPeek said Sunday. “If he’s not in the feed tub, he won’t run. And he ran hard yesterday. Like I said, we’ll let him tell us.”

McPeek said he canceled plans to travel to Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York and will keep Mystik Dan in Louisville, Kentucky, until a decision on Preakness has been made.

As of Monday, almost all of the connections for the 20 horses that ran in the Derby have indicated they will not run in the Preakness. Many are instead pointing to the Belmont Stakes, which this year will be held at Saratoga and, as a result, is being contested at 1 1/4 miles instead of the usual 1 1/2 miles.

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If Mystik Dan were to run, it would mark the second straight year where only the Derby winner continued on to the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Eight-time Preakness winner Bob Baffert has confirmed two of his trainees, Muth and Imagination, will be in the Preakness starting gate.

D. Wayne Lukas, a six-time Preakness winner, plans to bring Seize the Grey, winner of the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on Saturday, and is also considering Just Steel, who finished 17th in the Derby. Prior to the Derby, the colt finished second in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, two lengths behind Muth.

Other potential options include Chad Brown trainee Tuscan Gold, the third-place finisher in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby; Informed Patriot, the Steve Asmussen colt who earned an automatic bid by winning the Bathhouse Row Stakes at Oaklawn Park; and Copper Tax, Maryland trainer Gary Capuano’s colt who’s two-for-two this year in Laurel Parks stakes races and earned a spot by winning the Federico Tesio Stakes.

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