Mark Reid, the original Uncle Heavy, did more than just give his nickname to the Preakness Stakes (G1) runner trained by his younger brother, Butch Reid, Jr.

Now mostly retired from a long career as a trainer and bloodstock agent, Mark Reid is directly responsible for the breeding of the colt, who has won three of five career starts, including the Withers Stakes (G3).

In December 2020, Mark Reid was following the wishes of a client who wanted to get out of the broodmare business. Reid was told that he did not have to set a reserve, or minimum, price. However, he did have a $2,000 reserve on Expect Wonderful, by Tiz Wonderful.

“I always loved this mare,” Mark Reid said. “He said, ‘Let them all go.’ When she went through, I just couldn’t do it.”

Bidding stopped at $1,700 and Reid and his wife acquired the mare, then in foal to Social Inclusion, for their 80-acre Pennsylvania farm. About five months later, she dropped a foal who was named Uncle Heavy. The colt is co-owned by longtime clients of the Reid brothers, Michael Milam and LC Racing LLC.

Expect Wonderful’s first foal, who arrived several months before the sale, was by The Factor. After the mare delivered Uncle Heavy by Social Inclusion, she was bred back to Pennsylvania stallion Peace and Justice. That 2-year-old is named Beyond Expectations and is co-owned by Mark Reid and Dan Ryan. He will be trained by Butch Reid.

“He’s just like Heavy, a big, strong, physical colt. We have high hopes for him,” Mark Reid said.

Now that his $1,700 mare is a graded-stakes producer with a son that is going to run in the Preakness, Mark Reid changed his approach.

“This year when Uncle Heavy came around, I decided to upgrade her, so we bred her to Omaha Beach, who stands at Spendthrift,” he said. “She’s in foal to him. We think we will keep her around.”

The 10-year-old Expect Wonderful is the only horse on Mark and Barbara Reid’s farm. Barbara is listed as the breeder of Uncle Heavy.

“She’s been a joy. You wouldn’t even know she’s around,” Mark Reid said. “She only drops big, strong colts.”

During his very successful run as a bloodstock agent, among the horses Mark Reid purchased for the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel were Medaglia d’Oro and You. He managed Horse of the Year Saint Liam for William K. and Suzanne Warren and later purchased City of Light for the Warrens. Reid’s eye and experience that served him well in his bloodstock business made him keep Expect Wonderful, who has produced Uncle Heavy from a $5,000 cover by a local stallion.

“We came up with a big, nice horse,” Mark Reid said. “He always was a big, nice horse. He was kind of gawky and lazy as a young horse, but Butch said that as soon as he got to the racetrack he switched on.”

Mark Reid won the Atlantic Coast Conference heavyweight wrestling title in 1972 while a student at the University of Maryland. When he went to work for trainer Dickie Dutrow, the grooms started calling him “Heavy” and the nickname stuck. It changed a bit in the Reid family when the next generation came along and started calling him Uncle Heavy.

Uncle Heavy was shipped from Parx to Pimlico on Tuesday and went to the track for his exercise Wednesday morning.

Original source credited to

Cover Photo Credit to Maryland Jockey Club

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