2024 Preakness Contenders: UNCLE HEAVY

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 UNCLE HEAVY

Uncle Heavy

The Sopranos had Uncle Junior, the de jure boss of the DiMeo crime family until 2006. The Addams Family was gloriously enriched by the presence of Uncle Fester (not)… Remember John Candy as Uncle Buck? “How would you like to spend the next several nights wondering if your crazy, out-of-work, bum uncle will shave your head while you sleep?” And who could forget … but we digress.

Uncle Heavy Carries a Special Name for his trainer Butch Reid

Which leads us back to Preakness contender Uncle Heavy, who stands well over 16 hands and weighs in at about 1,200 pounds.

As you might imagine, the bay colt hasn’t missed an oat in his life, much like his namesake. That would be Mark Reid, older brother of trainer Butch Reid, a man of impressive intellect, humor, and size. A member of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame as a trainer as well as the bloodstock agent responsible for buying and selling horses like Medaglia d’Oro and St. Liam, the elder Reid – who was a champion heavyweight wrestler in high school – worked for Dick Dutrow in the 1970’s, and the groom started calling him “Heavy.”

So, when Butch’s kids were born, he became “Uncle Heavy,” which is where the horse’s name comes from.

It’s a fitting moniker, says Butch.

“His sire, Social Inclusion, was reportedly almost too big for the startinggates.”

Despite his stature, Uncle Heavy (the horse) demonstrated considerable athleticism from the start. After winning his first race, he spotted the field a dozen lengths before rallying to finish fifth in the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes as the (cough, cough) heavy favorite, then closed out the year with a rousing come-from-behind win in the Wait for It.

Venturing outside Pennsylvania for the first time in 2024, Uncle Heavy put himself on the road to the Kentucky Derby with a relentless late charge in winning the Withers (G3) at the Big A, but lacked the needed response to close in on Resilience and finished fifth in the Wood Memorial at the Big A.

Reid instead pointed the colt to the May 11 Peter Pan in New York, but he was doing so well it was decided to run in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.

In the end it was the horse that prevailed,” Reid said. “There’s a fair amount of speed in there, and he’s a closer, so we decided to go ahead and take a shot with him.”

2024 Preakness Stakes Contenders, Odds, and Post Positions: Uncle Heavy

Betting advice: Uncle Heavy might be biting off more than he could chew with this field. Skip.

Post position: 2

Odds: 20-1

Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Trainer: Butch Reid

Owners: Michael Milam, LC Racing LLC

Career record: 5-3-0-0

Career earnings: $323,580

Most recent race: Wood Memorial (G2), April 6 (5th)

Top Equibase speed figure: 95

Pedigree: Social Inclusion-Expect Wonderful, by Tiz Wonderful

Color: Bay

Running style: Late runner

Notes:   Reid, 67, is based at Parx in Philadelphia and will be making his first start in the Preakness … Reid has named five-time Eclipse winner Irad Ortiz, Jr. To ride the late-running bay colt. “You couldn’t ask for better than Irad,” Reid said. “Irad and I have had some success over the years, so we have a good relationship. I feel very good going into the race” … This will be Ortiz’s sixth mount in the Preakness; he was second aboard Midnight Bourbon in 2021 and Blazing Sevens last year.



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