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Preakness Stakes News | Muth, Imagination To Breeze This Weekend
Imagination (Lindsay Affleck)

Preakness Stakes News | Muth, Imagination To Breeze This Weekend

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday morning that his Preakness Stakes (G1) candidates, Muth and Imagination, will breeze at Santa Anita Park this weekend and ship to Baltimore Tuesday, May 14.

The colts worked in tandem May 4 at Santa Anita, covering six furlongs in 1:11.40, the fastest time at the distance that morning.

Baffert, 71, is seeking his record-extending ninth victory in the Preakness. He earned his first Preakness win in 1997 with Silver Charm and secured the eighth last year with National Treasure.

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Muth, owned by Zedan Racing Stables, won the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park in his most recent start March 30. The son of Good Magic was purchased for $2 million as a 2-year-old at the 2023 OBS March sale. He has four wins – two of them in Grade 1 races – and two seconds in six starts and has earned $1,504,100 in purse money. 

Jockey Juan Hernandez, who has been aboard Muth in each of his starts, will ride the colt in the Preakness, said Baffert.

Imagination was second by a neck to Stronghold in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 6 and has breezed three times since. He picked up his first stakes victory in the San Felipe (G2) March 3. The partnership of SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Dianne Bashor, Robert Masterson, Waves Edge Capital LLC, Catherine Donovan and Tom Ryan purchased Imagination for $1,050,000 as a yearling at Keeneland in 2022. The Into Mischief colt has a record of 2-4-0 in six starts and earnings of $406,800.

Jockey Frankie Dettori has ridden Imagination in his last two starts and Baffert said Dettori will be back aboard for what will the international standout’s first appearance in 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.