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Preakness Stakes News | Mugatu Visits Track For 1st Time
Mugatu (Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Preakness Stakes News | Mugatu Visits Track For 1st Time

Average Joe Racing Stables LLC and Dan Wells’ Preakness Stakes (G1) contender Mugatu visited the Pimlico Race Course track for the first time at 7:30 Thursday morning.

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He galloped 1 ½ miles under former jockey Robby Albarado, who was aboard Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mystik Dan for a morning gallop an hour later.

“Robby said he felt great. He looked great,” trainer Jeff Engler said. “The track was still a little bit sloppy, and Robby said he handled it perfectly. He said if the track is sloppy on Saturday, you won’t have a problem.”

Mugatu enters Saturday’s Preakness coming off a fifth-place finish in the April 6 Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland, where he rallied from 10th.

“I’m pretty high on him, to be honest,” Engler said. “This horse just keeps getting better. He’s fresh. Coming off that race in the Blue Grass, if he improves off that race, he’ll be right there.”

Joe Bravo, who was aboard Mugatu’s maiden victory at Gulfstream in November the only time he has ridden the son of Blofeld, has the call for the Preakness.

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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.

The field for making Preakness Stakes picks, with riders and morning line odds from the rail out: