Look out Preakness Stakes! It’s about to get ‘Heavy’!
The Butch Reid-trained Pennsylvania bred colt Uncle Heavy (Social Inclusion – Expect Wonderful by Tiz Wonderful) is primed and ready to contest the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the 149th Preakness Stakes, on Saturday, May 18 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Owned by Milam, Michael, and LLC Racing, Uncle Heavy was bred by Barbara Reid, and was named for Butch’s brother Mark, a retired trainer.
The field of nine for the Preakness includes Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan; Arkansas Derby winner Muth, trained by Bob Baffert; Seize The Grey, winner of the Pat Day Mile on Kentucky Derby Day; Catching Freedom (4th in the Kentucky Derby); and Just Steel (15th in the Kentucky Derby).
“We know most of the names that will be going there,” Butch said during a press event held at Parx Racetrack on Monday. “We went in there with our eyes wide open knowing who was going to be there. So we know we are a little bit of a price, but the horse couldn’t be training any better. He’s coming up to it extremely well. The last two breezes were just outta sight! So we’re looking forward to the opportunity, and we think we can be competitive in there.”
Butch announced that Eclipse-Award winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount. “He’s one of the best riders in the world, so I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”
“That’s why you go with a guy like Irad. Taking nothing away from Mychel Sanchez, who did a great job with this horse, but we thought that Irad has more experience in these kind of races. He will know when to step on the gas and when to press the right button. We have complete confidence in Irad.”
Uncle Heavy didn’t start in the Kentucky Derby, as had been planned earlier in the season. He continued training, and Butch tossed a few other ideas around for his next start first, but ultimately, came back to the Preakness.
“We gave some thought last week to the Peter Pan Stakes (Grade III, Aqueduct Racetrack) but the way he’s coming up to this, he hasn’t missed an oat, he hasn’t missed a day of training, his breeze the other day was just sensational. The boy who gets on him every day came back shaking his head, he couldn’t believe it. That’s the best he ever breezed. So I think we’re coming up to this race just the way we want to be.”
His wife, Virginia, is already on her way to Pimlico to set up the stalls and get ready for the big weekend of racing. “I think we will be running five horses over the weekend down there, all PA breds, so it’s no small task getting everybody together, getting our help together, getting arrangements made, and getting everybody down there.”
Uncle Heavy has already shipped to Pimlico from his home base, and Butch is looking forward to seeing him get his hooves firmly on the surface. “It’s a matter of just getting him down there, give him a chance to look around, and get used to the surroundings for a couple of days, and he should be fine.”
Drawing post 2 for the race, morning line odds have been set at 20/1.
Have the nerves set in yet for the race for Butch and his team?
“We’re more worried about it than he (Uncle Heavy) is,” Butch confided. “He’s calm and relaxed and he’s ready to go! We’re looking forward to the weekend!”
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.