May 25, 2024

Lance Gasaway had a goal in mind before leaving Arkansas for Louisville to witness his horse compete in the Kentucky Derby 150 at Churchill Downs.

Gasaway paused and placed a Kentucky Derby flag at the grave of his father, Clint Gasaway, who died at the age of 85 on May 4, 2023.

Exactly one year later, Gasaway’s Mystik Dan won the “Run for the Roses” by a nose in a thrilling three-horse photo finish, defeating Sierra Leone and Forever Young in front of an announced crowd of 156,710 at the Louisville track.

Gasaway owns Mystik Dan alongside Brent and Sharilyn Gasaway of 4 G Racing (Brent and Lance are first cousins), Daniel Hamby III, and Valley View Farm. Mystik Dan, sired by Goldencents and out of the Colonel John mare Ma’am, was bred by Hamby and Lance Gasaway together. Clint Gasaway, however, introduced his son to racing by driving Lance two hours from their hometown of Gould, Arkansas, to Hot Springs for the Oaklawn meets.

 

“To me, this is for him,” Lance Gasaway explained. “Dad would have loved it.” “He enjoyed the game.” Lance Gasaway, a Hall of Fame wide receiver from Arkansas-Monticello, now lives in Star City. He oversees an 18,000-acre farm in Utah, owns an agricultural aviation service in Arkansas, and operates two enterprises in Pine Bluff. Gasaway became a thoroughbred owner in 2012, and he co-owned Wells Bayou with his father, Madaket Stables, and Wonder Stables. Wells Bayou won the Louisiana Derby in 2020 but did not compete in the Kentucky Derby. Wells Bayou won three of eleven starts and retired with $935,303 in earnings.

Gasaway and winning trainer Kenny McPeek have had an on-and-off relationship that was disrupted when McPeek began racing horses at Gulfstream Park rather than Arkansas. When the Lexington-based trainer returned to Oaklawn, he resumed his relationship with Gasaway.

 

Mystik Dan wins 150th Kentucky Derby in insane photo finish

 

“Three or four years after I got into the business, I met Kenny,” Lance Gasaway stated. “We started with a few horses and concluded with Ma’am. This was a private buy. We even split. He became irritable on several occasions. We always remained pals. Every time I came to Kentucky, I would see him and visit (McPeek’s farm) Magdalena.” Mystik Dan was actually born in Magdalena. After finishing fifth in the Smarty Jones, the horse surged ahead to win the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes by eight lengths on a muddy track at Oaklawn on February 3. His third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby on March 30 did not discourage the owners from coming on to Kentucky.

“I’m pinching myself, wondering if this is real,” Lance Gasaway admitted. “You’ve just won the largest horse race in America. Who would have thought that a little horse, Ma’am, a little filly, could be raced, bred to a $10,000 stud fee, and win the Kentucky Derby? It’s simply so surreal.” “It is surreal, for sure,” Sharilyn Gasaway said. “We feel like we’re just ordinary people and we’ve got an amazing horse that God gave us.”I feel like this horse — Kenny calls him an ancient soul because he’s so relaxed. And if you saw him walk over to the pasture, he seemed so relaxed. Nothing frightens this horse.

“Lance and Sharilyn have been wonderful people to have involved here,” McPeek stated. “They came in and decided to absorb it all and enjoy it.” There was nothing more enjoyable than the Kentucky Derby 150. Lance Gasaway stated, “This is a special day.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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