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Preakness Stakes News | Mugatu Confirmed To Run
Mugatu (Candice Chavez/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Preakness Stakes News | Mugatu Confirmed To Run

Average Joe Racing Stables Ltd. and Dan Wells’ Mugatu, most recently fifth in the April 6 Blue Grass (G1), will return in the $2 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course May 18, trainer Jeff Engler reported Tuesday.

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Mugatu rallied from last in the 10-horse Blue Grass field to finish fifth behind Sierra Leone, Just a Touch, Epic Ride and Dornoch, all of whom went on to run in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs.

Seize the Grey, who finished seventh in the Blue Grass, went on to win the Pat Day Mile (G2) on the Derby undercard.

Mugatu, a son of Blofeld, broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park by 3 ¼ lengths Nov. 18 and had run four times over Turfway Park’s synthetic surface without success prior to the Blue Grass at Keeneland.

“He’s getting better,” Engler said. “He really moved up on the dirt. His numbers proved it. Seize the Grey, who won the Pat Day Mile, we finished in front of him in the Blue Grass. I heard Seize the Grey is going in the Preakness, so it’s a logical spot. We were a little frustrated we didn’t get into the Derby. We feel the more distance, the better for this horse. I do like the mile and three-sixteenths, so we’re going to head up.”

Mugatu is scheduled to breeze five furlongs Saturday before shipping to Pimlico.   

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Horsemen will be offered $7.5 million in bonus opportunities as well as two qualifiers for races at Newmarket and Deauville come Preakness Day May 18 at legendary Pimlico Race Course.

In addition to their respective purses, a $5 million bonus awaits the owner or owners of the horse who wins the $2 million Preakness (G1), the $1 million California Crown (G1) Sept. 28 at Santa Anita, and the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park in 2025.

Meanwhile, a $2.5 million bonus awaits the owner or owners of the horse who wins Pimlico’s $500,000 Dinner Party (G3), the $750,000 California Crown John Henry Turf (G2), and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1).

In addition, the winner of the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint will receive an automatic entry and travel incentive to run in the July Cup Stakes (G1) at Newmarket on July 13, while the winner of the Gallorette Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares on the turf will receive an automatic entry and travel incentive to run in the Sumbe Prix Jean Romanet (G1) at Deauville Aug. 18.

The Maryland Jockey Club will also offer bonus money totaling $100,000 bonus to trainers who run a minimum of five horses in the stakes races during Preakness weekend, and another $50,000 bonus for trainers with the most points in non-stakes during the weekend.