Mystik Dan wins 150th Kentucky Derby in photo finish

It was a photo finish to decide the winner of the 150th Kentucky Derby.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mystik Dan won the 150th Kentucky Derby in a three-horse photo finish, edging out Sierra Leone by a nose with Forever Young third in the tightest finish since 1996 on Saturday.

Sent off at 18-1 odds, Mystik Dan and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. rode the rail down the stretch with a short lead. Sierra Leona, the second choice at 9-2 odds, and Forever Young from Japan gave chase and pressured the leader to the wire in front of 156,710 at Churchill Downs.

The crowd waited several minutes before the result was reviewed by the stewards and declared official.

“The longest few minutes of my life,” Hernandez said, after he and bay colt walked in circles while the stunning result was settled.

Fierceness, the 3-1 favorite, finished 15th in the field of 20 3-year-olds.

Hernandez and trainer Kenny McPeek had teamed for a wire-to-wire win in the Kentucky Oaks for fillies on Friday with Thorpedo Anna.

Mystik Dan ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.34 and paid $39.22, $16.32 and $10.

Sierra Leone returned $6.54 and $4.64. Forever Young was another nose back in third and paid $5.58 to show.

Sierra Leone lugged in and bumped Forever Young three times in the stretch, but jockey Ryusei Sakai didn’t claim foul.

More than 156,000 fans were in attendance to watch “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” at Churchill Downs. 

Gloomy skies and occasional rain drops gave way to blue skies and sunshine. The dirt surface was upgraded to fast a couple hours before the race after being muddy to start the day’s card.

The costliest colt in the 20-horse field was Sierra Leone at $2.3 million.

The Kentucky Derby winner earns $3.1 million from the record purse of $5 million.

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