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Preakness Stakes News | Uncle Heavy Gets Positive Report
Uncle Heavy (Susie Raisher / NYRA)

Preakness Stakes News | Uncle Heavy Gets Positive Report

Trainer Butch Reid Jr. served up a very positive report on Uncle Heavy Sunday on the morning after he worked a half-mile in in 47.34 seconds at Parx in preparation for the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course Saturday. 

“The horse is good. Came out of his breeze great,” Reid said. “Ate everything and was sharp this morning. I’m very happy with him.”

The Pennsylvania-bred will likely gallop Monday morning, Reid said, and jog on Tuesday before being shipped from Parx to Pimlico Race Course.

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Reid welcomed the addition of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mystik Dan to the Preakness field. 

“It’s OK. We’ve got to take them all on,” Reid said.  “We had an idea that some of them might show up. He’s got to come back in two weeks and ship halfway across the country. It’s not an easy task that he’s cut out for that horse.”

Besides his impossible-to-ignore name, Reid said that Uncle Heavy is a cool horse to deal with. 

“He’s very laid back. He’s got a tremendous attitude about him,” Reid said. “He’s a big, giant guy that probably weighs over 1,200 pounds, I’m sure, but I’ve never weighed him. He’s just a big, gentle giant. Very easy to train in the morning. Doesn’t worry about anything. When he comes back from training he lays down and takes a nice long snooze right after training. He’s not worried about it. We’re way more worried about it than he is.”

Uncle Heavy will be Reid’s first starter in the Preakness. He stepped onto the Road to the Triple Crown with a victory in the Withers (G3) Feb. 3 at Aqueduct. He ended up fifth in the Wood Memorial (G2) on April 6, and Reid figured that he did not have enough qualifying points to secure a berth in the Kentucky Derby. After a pair of solid works at Parx, Reid decided to enter Uncle Heavy in the Preakness rather than Saturday’s $200,000 Peter Pan (G3) at Aqueduct.

Michael Milam and Glenn Bennett’s LC Racing LLC, the partners in the colt, are both longtime clients of Reid’s stable. The colt is named for Reid’s older brother, Mark, a retired trainer and bloodstock agent, and was bred by Mark’s wife, Barbara.

Five-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride Uncle Heavy 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.