2024 Preakness Stakes at a Glance

Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, Triple Crown, Eclipse Sportswire, Mystik Dan
The Preakness runners race along the backstretch during the 2022 edition of the race at Pimlico. (Eclipse Sportswire)

After a relatively quiet Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve in terms of scratches, the bug has popped up at the Preakness Stakes. A fever knocked morning-line favorite Muth out of the second jewel of the Triple Crown on Wednesday, enhancing the chances of Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan. Though with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, an eight-time winner of the Preakness, still having a starter in Imagination, the path to a sweep with be adventurous to say the least.

Preakness Stakes

Racetrack: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore

Date: May 18

Purse: $2 million 

Distance: 1 3/16 miles 

Race: 13

Post Time: 7:01 p.m. ET

Notable winners: Swiss Skydiver (2020), Justify (2018), American Pharoah (2015), California Chrome (2014), Rachel Alexandra (2009), Curlin (2007), Afleet Alex (2005), Smarty Jones (2004), Point Given (2001), Silver Charm (1997), Sunday Silence (1989), Risen Star (1988), Alysheba (1987), Spectacular Bid (1979), Affirmed (1978), Seattle Slew (1977), Secretariat (1973), Riva Ridge (1972), Canonero II (1971), Majestic Prince (1969), Damascus (1967), Northern Dancer (1964), Carry Back (1961), Nashua (1955), Native Dancer (1953), Citation (1948), Assault (1946), Count Fleet (1943), Whirlaway (1941), War Admiral (1937), Omaha (1935), Gallant Fox (1930), Man o’ War (1920), and Sir Barton (1919).

First held: 1873

1. Mugatu (20-1 morning-line odds): Was no factor in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and has never been better than fourth in a stakes. Seem like the connections are overreaching here.

JOCKEY: Joe Bravo; TRAINER: Jeff Engler

2. Uncle Heavy (20-1): Looked good closing quickly in the final yards to win the 1 1/8-mile Withers Stakes back in February. Did not have the best trips from post-position 12 when fifth in the Wood Memorial. He should like the added distance and getting jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. is a major plus. Chances are he can turn in an improved effort and be a factor here.

JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz Jr.; TRAINER: Butch Reid

3. Catching Freedom (7-2): Closed with some energy to finish fourth in the Kentucky Derby after winning the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby in a highly impressive effort. Will be closing nicely at the end, but that style does not usually win the Preakness.

JOCKEY: Flavien Prat; TRAINER: Brad Cox


5. Mystik Dan (8-5): Won the Kentucky Derby with a dream trip along the rail. The big concern is the two-week turnaround after a tough race, but a big plus could be Mother Nature with a chance of rain in the forecast. There are plenty of reasons to believe there could be a Triple Crown on the line in the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets at Saratoga.

JOCKEY: Brian Hernandez Jr.; TRAINER: Ken McPeek

6. Seize the Grey (12-1): Looked good in winning the Pat Day Mile Stakes Presented by SAP for The Coach, D. Wayne Lukas. He did lose by nearly 11 lengths in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes so there’s skepticism about his chances around two turns. He’ll certainly have no shortage of support as he owned by MyRacehorse, which offers microshare ownership of racehorses to hundreds of people.

JOCKEY: Jaime Torres; TRAINER: D. Wayne Lukas

7. Just Steel (12-1): Was a disappointing 17th in the Kentucky Derby when he contested a fast pace. Was a good second to Muth in the Arkansas Derby before that. A repeat of that performance will make him a serious threat but there should be some fatigue from the run for the roses.

JOCKEY: Joel Rosario; TRAINER: D. Wayne Lukas

Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, Tuscan Gold
Tuscan Gold at Pimlico (Eclipse Sportswire)

8. Tuscan Gold (9-2): Follows a similar path as the Chad Brown-trained Blazing Sevens who dropped a desperate stretch battle with National Treasure in last year’s race and settled for second. Give Brown a talented horse who is fresh and rested and you can count on a big effort. Should be right there at the finish.

JOCKEY: Tyler Gaffalione; TRAINER: Chad Brown

9. Imagination (3-1): He’s Baffert’s lone hope after the scratch of Muth. Was second in the Santa Anita Derby and Baffert won last year’s Preakness with National Treasure, who was fourth in Santa Anita’s premier Derby prep. Has the proper running style for a Preakness winner and will be very tough to handle here. Would also be neat to see Frankie Dettori win a Triple Crown race.

JOCKEY: Frankie Dettori; TRAINER: Bob Baffert

THE PICK: Imagination



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