2024 Preakness Contenders: MUGATU

The 149th Preakness (G1) is this Saturday, May 18, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The 1 3/16-mile race is the second leg of the Triple Crown. usracing.com is publishing profiles of the contenders.

2024 Preakness Stakes Contender MUGATU

Mugatu is a longshot for the Preakness Stakes

Mugatu was the bad guy in the comedy film “Zoolander,” and this colt’s sire, Blofeld, was named after a James Bond villain. Appropriately, Mugatu victimizes horseplayers. He’s won once in 12 starts and lost his last seven by a combined 43 lengths, which makes you wonder what he’s doing in a classic.

He needed one more defection to scratch into the Kentucky Derby field, and fortunately he didn’t. His “best” race was his last one, when he went from last to fifth at 181-1 odds in the Blue Grass Stakes. Mugatu was never a factor, passing five tiring horses while getting his final furlong in a plodding 14 seconds.

Besides winner Sierra Leone, second by a nose in the Derby, the others who outran Mugatu in the Blue Grass – Just a Touch, Epic Ride and Dornoch – were 20th, 14th and 10th, respectively, at Churchill Downs. Mugatu did beat Seize the Grey, who won the Pat Day Mile on the Derby undercard, giving trainer Jeff Engel hope.

“He’s getting better,” Engel said. “He really moved up on the dirt. His numbers prove it. He’s just peaking right now. We feel the more distance the better for this horse.”

2024 Preakness Stakes Contenders, Odds, and Post Positions: Mugatu

Betting advice: He belongs in a non-winners-of-1 allowance, not a Grade 1. No chance.

Post position: 1

Odds: 20/1

Jockey: Joe Bravo

Trainer: Jeff Engel

Owners: Average Joe Racing Stables, Dan Wells

Career record: 12-1-1-3

Career earnings: $80,570

Most recent race: Blue Grass Stakes, April 6 (5th)

Top Equibase speed figure: 96

Pedigree: Blofeld-Union Way, by Union Rags

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker/closer

Notes: Mugatu has been a bargain for his owners if not for his bettors. He’s earned $66,570 more than his $14,000 price at a 2-year-old sale … His only win came last November at 1 1/16 miles on Gulfstream’s Tapeta surface. He’s 0-for-3 on dirt, 0-for-4 on grass and 1-for-5 on synthetic.


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