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Maryland Jockey Club Press Release
Updated: May 13, 2024

149th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico

** UPDATE ** Muth Declared Out of Saturday's Preakness (G1)

May 15 - Preakness (G1) morning line favorite Muth has been declared out of Saturday's race after spiking a temperature after arriving at Pimlico late Tuesday night.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said the Arkansas Derby (G1) winner spiked a temperature of 103 and he had no choice but to scratch.

"We are sick about this. The horse had been doing really well," Baffert said. "But we have to do what's right by the horse."

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mystik Dan is expected to become the betting favorite for Saturday's 149th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course with morning-line choice Muth's withdrawal.


Mystik Dan Revised Morning-Line Favorite for Preakness 149

May 16 - Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Mystik Dan has been installed as the 8-5 favorite on the revised morning line for Saturday's 149th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

Mystik Dan, who scored an 18-1 upset victory at Churchill Downs May 4, had been rated second at 5-2 behind 8-5 favorite Muth on the original morning line set by Maryland Jockey Club handicapper Brian Nadeau after entries were taken Monday for the $2 million Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Thursday's revised morning line was made necessary following the Tuesday morning scratch of Bob Baffert-trained Muth, who was discovered to have an elevated temperature.

Kenny McPeek-trained Mystik Dan, who is owned by the Arkansas partnership of Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing LLC, Daniel Hamby III and Valley View Farm LLC, will face seven 3-year-olds in his bid to add the 1 3/16-mile Preakness to his 2024 Triple Crown resume.

SF Racing LLC and partners' Imagination, who finished a close-up second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), is rated second at 3-1. The son of Into Mischief is trained by Hall of Famer Baffert, who will seek a record-extending ninth Preakness victory., who will seek a record-extending ninth Preakness victory.

Albaugh Family Stables LLC's Catching Freedom, who closed from 15th to finish fourth in the Kentucky Derby, is rated third at 7-2, followed by William Lawrence, Walmac Farm and Stonestreet Stables LLC's Tuscan Gold (9-2), MyRacehorse's Seize the Grey and BC Stables LLC and Henry Schmueckle's Just Steel (12-1), Average Joe Racing Stables LLC and Dan Wells' Mugatu and Michael Milam and LC Racing LLC's Uncle Heavy (20-1).

2024 Preakness Stakes Field & Odds

Race 13 at Pimlico on Saturday, May 18 - Post 7:01 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Mugatu 20-1 Joe Bravo
Jeff Engler
2 Uncle Heavy 20-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Robert E. Reid Jr.
3 Catching Freedom 7-2 Flavien Prat
Brad H. Cox
4 Muth 8-5 Juan Hernandez
Bob Baffert
5 Mystik Dan 8-5 Brain Hernandez Jr.
Kenneth G. McPeek
6 Seize The Grey 12-1 Jaime Torres
D. Wayne Lukas
7 Just Steel 12-1 Joel Rosario
D. Wayne Lukas
8 Tuscan Gold 9-2 Tyler Gaffalione
Chad C. Brown
9 Imagination 3-1 Frankie Dettori
Bob Baffert

May 13 - Muth, winner of the Arkansas Derby (G1), was installed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the $2 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 18.

Kentucky Derby (G1) victor Mystik Dan was rated second at 5-2 by Maryland Jockey Club linemaker Brian Nadeau after drawing Post 5 for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Should Muth go to post as the favorite for the 149th running of the Preakness, it would be the first time that a Kentucky Derby winner wasn't the starting favorite since 2012, when I'll Have Another (3-1) followed up his Derby score with a victory in the Preakness by a neck over 17-10 favorite Bodemeister.

Muth, who drew Post 4 for the Preakness, is one of two horses trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert in a nine-horse field entered Monday. Baffert is also scheduled to saddle Imagination, the Santa Anita Derby (G1) runner-up who is rated third at 6-1, along with Derby fourth-place finisher Catching Freedom.

"Muth was a pretty easy morning-line favorite to come up with for a few different reasons. First, he comfortably beat Mystik Dan in the Arkansas Derby. Second, with all the success Bob Baffert has had in the Preakness and the name recognition he brings as well, it all adds up to Muth being a pretty solid favorite," Nadeau said. "And lastly, Mystik Dan was 18-1 in the Derby, and when a longshot wins, sometimes the betting public is a bit slow to come around or believe."

Zedan Racing Stables Inc.'s Muth won by three lengths in the March 30 Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn Park's Kentucky Derby prep in which Mystik Dan finished a rallying third, 6 ½ lengths behind the winner.

Baffert will be shooting for his record-extending ninth Preakness Stakes victory Saturday with Muth and Imagination, who were ineligible to run in the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby May 4.

On Muth drawing Post 4, one stall inside Mystik Dan, and Imagination drawing Post 9:

"I think it's fine. Nine horses. That's manageable. It's a very competitive field. I'd like to have drawn a little closer with Imagination. Whatever, he can work a trip.," said Baffert, whose eight Preakness winners include Triple Crown champions American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018).

"(Muth) is a nice horse. He won his last out (Arkansas Derby). At the end of the day, Mystik Dan is going to get a lot of support. Just being there with two nice horses, to me, with a competitive field, it's going to be a good race," he added.

Juan Hernandez, who has been aboard Muth in all of his six starts, has the return mount on the son of Good Magic. International riding star Frankie Dettori returns aboard SF Racing and partners' Imagination in the 1 3/16-mile spring classic.

Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing LLC, Daniel Hamby III and Valley View Farm LLC's Mystik Dan, who won the Southwest (G2) by eight lengths over a muddy Oaklawn track before finishing third in the Arkansas Derby, prevailed by a nose over Sierra Leone in a blanket finish with Forever Young in the Kentucky Derby. The son of Goldencents is trained by Kenny McPeek, who saddled filly Swiss Skydiver for a win over Kentucky Derby winner Authentic in the 2020 Preakness.

"I thought it was perfect. Right next to Muth. Perfect. Hopefully, we leave there clean and get a little better trip than we did last time (when third in Arkansas Derby). I think it's a very level playing field," McPeek said. "I think we could stalk right behind (Muth) or be off of him. We will leave that up to Brian. He knows the horse really well. We are excited to be part of another historic race."

Horse Racing Rebates

Brian Hernandez Jr., who provided Mystik Dan with a well-judged, ground-saving ride in the Kentucky Derby, has the return call Saturday.

Albaugh Family Stables LLC's Catching Freedom, who captured the Louisiana Derby (G2) prior to his late-rallying fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, drew Post 3 Monday. The Brad Cox-trained son of Constitution will be ridden back by Flavien Prat.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has saddled six Preakness winners, will be represented in the field by BC Stables LLC and Henry Schmueckle's Just Steel, the Arkansas Derby runner-up who finished 17th in the Derby, and MyRacehorse's Seize the Grey, who captured the Pat Day Mile (G2) on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Just Steel, who drew Post 7 and Seize the Grey, who will break from Post 6, are both rated at 15-1 on the morning line.

Joel Rosario, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, will ride Just Steel for the first time in the Preakness. Jaime Torres has the return mount aboard Seize the Grey.

William Lawrence, Walmac Farm and Stonestreet Stables LLC's Tuscan Gold, who finished third behind Catching Freedom in the Louisiana Derby (G2) last time out, was rated at 8-1 on the morning line after drawing Post 8. Trainer Chad Brown, who saddled Cloud Computing (2017) and Early Voting (2022) for Preakness victories, has named Tyler Gaffalione for the return mount on the son of Medaglia d'Oro.

Michael Milam and LC Racing's Uncle Heavy, who won the Withers (G3) prior to finishing off the board in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct, drew Post 2. Average Joe Racing Stables LLC and Dan Wells' Mugatu, who is coming off a fifth-place finish in the Blue Grass, drew Post 1. Uncle Heavy, who will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., and Mugatu, who will be ridden by Joe Bravo, are both rated at 20-1 on the morning line.

2024 Preakness Pre-Draw News

The 149th Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, with an with an increased purse of $2 million, will run at the legendary Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 18.

The 2024 Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing and takes place on Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. The winner of the 2024 Kentucky Derby (Mystik Dan) will most likely be a strong favorite in the Preakness.

Kentucky Derby Winner Mystik Dan Confirmed for Preakness 149

May 11 - 2024 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner winner Mystik Dan will run in the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1) on May 18 at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course, trainer Kenny McPeek announced Saturday morning.

"All systems go," McPeek said. "He'll ship out in the morning."

Mystik Dan had a routine 1 1/2-mile gallop at Churchill Downs under retired jockey Robby Albarado, who will be part of the Derby winner's travel team to Baltimore, much as he was in 2020 when he rode the filly Swiss Skydiver to victory for McPeek. The difference this time is that Brian Hernandez Jr. rides Mystik Dan in his races.

Mystik Dan underwent an endoscopic exam and had bloodwork analyzed just to ensure everything was normal. When everything came back clean, he confirmed everything was a go for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

"The horse is doing fantastic," he said after Mystik Dan trained. "I've already kind of arranged the logistics of it all."

Mystik Dan will get a rematch in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness with Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Muth. Mystik Dan finished third that day, his first race in seven weeks after he was a romping winner of Oaklawn Park's Southwest Stakes (G3) in the slop.

"He was ready for the Arkansas Derby," McPeek said. "I'm not going to use that as an excuse. But he did get turned sideways in that turn, and Brian felt that cost him three or four lengths. But the horse fought back, fortunately.... I'm optimistic we can give (Muth) another run."

Catching Freedom Confirmed for Preakness 149

May 12 - Albaugh Family Stables' Catching Freedom, the Kentucky Derby (G1) fourth-place finisher, will run in Saturday's $2 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, trainer Brad Cox said Sunday morning.

Cox's initial reaction was not to run Catching Freedom back in two weeks after the hard race the Louisiana Derby winner had in the Kentucky Derby, in which he finished less than two lengths behind victorious Mystik Dan. But Catching Freedom has been training so well at Churchill Downs that Cox felt the colt deserved another chance at a Triple Crown race.

Flavien Prat, aboard for the Louisiana Derby and the Kentucky Derby, has the mount.

"Obviously we like how he's doing," Cox said. "It's just eight days after the Derby. It's very important to watch the horse. He has been galloping well. I'm happy with the way he's moving. Tomorrow (Monday) is entry day, and we are going to ship tomorrow. We need to get our ducks in a row, and we feel he's shown us enough.

"It's not ideal to run back in two weeks at this level, but that's the way the schedule is. This race provides an opportunity to be very competitive in a Grade 1. We don't want to miss that opportunity as long as he's doing well. The Preakness is a very prestigious race. It's not only a Grade 1 but a classic."

Cox has participated in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown only once before, finishing third with Owendale and fourth with Warrior's Charge in the 2019, neither of whom ran in the Derby. He had one of the Preakness favorites last year in multiple graded-stakes winner First Mission, only to have that horse scratched the day before the race.

"We put a lot of focus on the Kentucky Derby, and that obviously does take away from Preakness a little bit," the lifelong Louisvillian said. "It's just not as common to run these horses back in two weeks as maybe it used to be. It basically comes down to how the horse is doing, and we're happy with the way he's training. Based off who we hear is running, he stacks up with that group of horses - bottom line."

Cox said Catching Freedom will leave for Baltimore after training Monday morning. His son, assistant trainer Blake Cox, will oversee Catching Freedom's preparations at Pimlico.

Mugatu Confirmed for Preakness Stakes 149

May 7 - Average Joe Racing Stables Ltd. and Dan Wells' Mugatu, most recently fifth in the April 6 Blue Grass (G1), will return in the $2 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course May 18, trainer Jeff Engler reported Tuesday.

Mugatu rallied from last in the 10-horse Blue Grass field to finish fifth behind Sierra Leone, Just a Touch, Epic Ride and Dornoch, all of whom went on to run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs. Seize the Grey, who finished seventh in the Blue Grass, went on to win the Pat Day Mile (G2) on the Derby undercard.

The son of Blofeld, who broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park by 3 ¼ lengths Nov. 18, had run four times over Turfway Park's synthetic surface without success prior to the Blue Grass at Keeneland.

"He's getting better. He really moved up on the dirt. His numbers proved it. Seize the Grey, who won the Pat Day Mile, we finished in front of him in the Blue Grass. I heard Seize the Grey is going in the Preakness, so it's a logical spot," Engler said. "We were a little frustrated we didn't get into the Derby. We feel the more distance the better for this horse. I do like the mile and three-sixteenths, so we're going to head up."

Mugatu is scheduled to breeze five furlongs Saturday before shipping to Pimlico.

Seize the Grey and Just Steel eye 2024 Preakness

May 7 - It's a rare spring that Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas misses out on Preakness Weekend at Pimlico, but the spring of 2023 was one. However, the transformative trainer will be back this year with two horses in the 149th Preakness (G1) May 18, one in the 100th Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies and possibly others for undercard stakes.

The Churchill Downs-based Lukas expects to run both his Pat Day Mile (G2) winner Seize the Grey and Just Steel, who was part of a strong pace in the Kentucky Derby (G1) before weakening to 17th, in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness. He said Lemon Muffin, winner of Oaklawn Park's Honeybee (G3) earlier in the year, is on course to run back in the $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan on Preakness Eve.

Greyhound Betting

"It's a wonderful, wonderful event," Lukas said of the stakes-packed weekend at Old Hilltop. "Really, of all of them (Triple Crown races), it's probably the most enjoyable. Not as pressure-packed. Everything about it is nice."

MyRacehorse's Seize the Grey earned his first stakes victory with a stalking, 1 ¼-length victory over favored Nash in Saturday's Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs. Just Steel earned his Kentucky Derby berth with a second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1) behind the Bob Baffert-trained probable Preakness favorite Muth, with Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan finishing third that day.

"I don't think any the less of him off his last race," Lukas said of Just Steel, who is owned by BC Stables LLC and Henry Schmueckle. "Seize the Grey obviously was impressive. The other horse went way too quick the first half-mile, the first quarter, actually. I think you've got to give him another chance and look at (the Preakness). I'm counting on getting a good race out of him. The favorite is probably going to be Baffert's horse, and we were very contentious with him the last time. We can't be too far off a good effort."

He said running back in two weeks is not ideal but the risk/reward ratio makes sense for a horse that is doing well.

"It depends on the horse, his physical status, of course, and the way they respond to a two-week rest," Lukas said. "None of us as trainers think the two weeks (spacing) is perfect. I've had good luck with it in the past. My horses have responded well, and I see no reason why these two won't either."

Five of Lukas' six Preakness winners ran in the Derby, the most recent Oxbow, who was sixth at Churchill Downs in 2013. His only Preakness winner who didn't contest the Derby was his first, Codex, in 1980. Back then, each Triple Crown race had its own nominating procedures, and Codex was not nominated to the Derby.

Lemon Muffin finished eighth over a sloppy, sealed track in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) after breaking last in the 14-horse field.

"We're going to try to get a real positive trip like we got in the Honeybee," Lukas said. "I don't think she cared for the racetrack, frankly. You try to find a reason why they don't run to your expectations and you try to analyze it and don't penalize them for a bad race here and there when the track was like that. I thought we'd give her another chance."

Kentucky Derby Winner Mystik Dan Will Decide His Preakness Future

May 5 - Trainer Kenny McPeek said Sunday morning (May 5) that the ultimate decision on running Mystik Dan in the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18 at Pimlico Race Course depends on the newly crowned Kentucky Derby (G1) winner.

"We're not committed to the Preakness. No, not yet," McPeek said Sunday morning outside his Churchill Downs barn. "I ran him back once in two weeks and it completely backfired on me. We skipped the Rebel (because it was) back too quick as well. So we'll just watch him over the next week. We'll probably take it up to the last minute. But we'll see. We'll let him tell us. If he's not in the feed tub, he won't run. And he ran hard yesterday. Like I said, we'll let him tell us."

McPeek won the COVID-delayed Preakness in 2020 with the filly Swiss Skydiver. He said he'll talk to co-owners Lance Gasaway and Sharilyn Gasaway (who is married to Lance's first cousin Brent Gasaway) "and the team here. If I don't think he's right and ready, we'll just wait for the Belmont."

In his second start on Nov. 12, Mystik Dan won by 7 ¾ lengths at Churchill Downs. McPeek then ran him 13 days later in an entry-level allowance race, with the colt finishing fifth by a total of eight lengths.

Greyhound Betting

Asked if Mystik Dan was different now, McPeek said, "Horses sometimes pop back quickly and sometimes they don't. We'll just have to take that as it comes. It's too early to tell."

Mystik Dan finished third in the March 30 Arkansas Derby (G1) after taking Oaklawn Park's Feb. 3 Southwest Stakes (G3) by eight lengths in the slop.

McPeek said Mystik Dan likely would return to the track on Wednesday at Churchill Downs, but he could soon thereafter relocate to Saratoga, where the trainer will have a division.

"I think we're going to go to Saratoga tomorrow (Monday)," he said, referring to his wife, "Sherri and I have a home up there. I'm going to get the stable set up. Better than average chance we'll send him and some others straight to Saratoga."

McPeek had said Saturday morning Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Thorpedo Anna could be a long-shot possibility to run in the Preakness, but he took that off the table Sunday. The filly would have to be supplemented into the Preakness for $200,000 because she's not nominated to the Triple Crown.

Brian Hernandez Jr. has ridden in the Preakness Stakes four times, most recently finishing third in 2022 on the McPeek-trained Creative Minister.

"It's definitely going to be a different situation," Hernandez, who earned his first Triple Crown race victory in the Derby, said of riding Mystik Dan in the Preakness, should it be his next race. "We have two weeks going into Baltimore with the Derby winner. So I guess we'll have a little more press on us than we normally do. We've ridden the Preakness four or five times, but have never gone in with the Derby winner, of course. Going in with Mystik Dan this year, it will be a little different, but we're excited for it."

Lance Gasaway said that if Mystik Dan comes out of the race well, "we'd love to" go to the Preakness.

"It's all about the horse," he said. "We'll see how the horse comes out of the race. Let's give him two or three days. If he comes out of it good, we'll look at it. If not, we're worried about the horse more than anything.

"No. 1 - if we go into the race, we want to win. I'm pretty sure (Bob) Baffert is going to have (Arkansas Derby (G1) winner) Muth in there," he added. "You take those horses in there at full speed, who have been off a month and a half and we're coming in off two weeks, that's a big ask of this horse. Let's see how he comes out of the race."

Baffert Confirms Muth, Imagination for Triple Crown's Middle Jewel

May 5 - Zedan Racing Stables Inc.'s Muth and SF Racing LLC and partners' Imagination will ship to Pimlico Race Course for the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert confirmed Saturday night.

Muth most recently captured the March 30 Arkansas Derby (G1), in which Saturday's Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mystik Dan finished third. Imagination finished second behind Stronghold in the April 6 Santa Anita Derby (G1).

Baffert has saddled eight Preakness winners, including Triple Crown champions American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018), as well as National Treasure last year.

Muth, a son of Good Magic, and Imagination, a son of Into Mischief, breezed in company at Santa Anita Saturday, both timed in 1:11.40 for six furlongs. The Baffert trainees are tentatively scheduled to ship from Southern California to Baltimore May 14.

Lukas 'Strongly' Considering Seize the Gray for Preakness

May 5 - Myracehorse's Seize the Grey will be "strongly, strongly" considered for the May 18 Preakness at Pimlico Race Course, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said following his triumph in the Pat Day Mile (G2) on Saturday's Kentucky Derby (G1) undercard. Jaime Torres was aboard for Seize the Grey's 1 ¼-length victory at 9-1 odds over favored Nash.

"I think the 680 people will want to vote for that," Lukas joked of Myracehorse, which provides the opportunity for people to buy fractional ownership in horses with the goal of being in the sport's biggest races. "My vote will be the one that counts, but I'll vote with them. We have nothing to lose. He earned his way to run in the Preakness. He's qualified for it. He's nominated for it. So why wouldn't we give those people that opportunity? That's what we're getting paid for, to make that many people happy.

"If he pulls up well and everything is good tomorrow and the next day, we'll strongly, strongly consider the Preakness," he added.

Lukas has won the Preakness Stakes six times, most recently in 2013 with Calumet Farm's Oxbow.

Brown Will Look at the Preakness for Tuscan Gold

May 5 - Chad Brown ruled out the May 18 Preakness (G1) for Sierra Leone, who rallied to finish second by a nose in Saturday's Kentucky Derby (G1). However, he said the 1 3/16-mile classic could be an option for Tuscan Gold, the third-place finisher in the Louisiana Derby (G2) in his third career start off of a maiden race.

"I'm going to take a look at that horse training up until the Peter Pan," Brown said of Saturday's $200,000, 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan (G3) at the Belmont at the Big A meet. "See how the race comes up, see where he draws, because it's likely to be a big field, I'm hearing. Keep an eye on that Preakness, and sort of go from there."

Brown has won the Preakness twice, in his 2017 debut with Cloud Computing and in 2022 with Early Voting. Neither horse raced in the Kentucky Derby. He nearly won a third last year, with Blazing Sevens coming a head shy of wearing down triumphant National Treasure.

Horse Racing Rebates

Trainer Steve Asmussen said via text that he is considering the Preakness with Informed Patriot, who earned a fees-paid spot in the Preakness by winning Oaklawn Park's April 20 Bathhouse Row Stakes. Informed Patriot finished fifth in the Arkansas Derby (G1) in which Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan was third. The winner that day was likely Preakness favorite Muth, trained by Bob Baffert.

Asmussen won the Preakness in 2007 with Horse of the Year Curlin and in 2009 with Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra.

Robert Reid Jr.-trained Uncle Heavy is under consideration for the Preakness. Owned by Michael Milam and LC Racing LLC, the son of Social Inclusion captured the Withers (G3) before finishing fifth in the April 6 Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct.

`Win & In' Qualifier Copper Tax Possible for Preakness

April 21 - Copper Tax, trained by Laurel Park-based Gary Capuano for Rose Petal Stables, is possible for the Preakness. Copper Tax earned an automatic berth to the race by virtue of his three-quarter-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio April 20 at Laurel.

Capuano, who ran third in the 1997 Preakness with Kentucky Derby runner-up Captain Bodgit, said while a decision will be made in the coming days, Mystik Dan's upset of favorites Fierceness and Sierra Leone may play a factor.

"It might thin the [Preakness] field out a little bit. We'll see how it is in the next few days and see how things shake out," Capuano said. "The door's not closed yet. It actually opened up a little bit.

"Baffert is going to come with a couple real good horses and he'll be the factor in there, obviously. The Derby winner, he got a great trip. He put himself in a good position," he added. "[Copper Tax] is in good shape. Everything looks good with him. We're still a little bit up in the air trying to figure things out."

Purchased for just $45,000 as a yearling in 2022, Copper Tax has run 10 times with seven wins, four in stakes, including back-to-back victories in the Tesio and March 23 Private Terms, both going two turns at Laurel, where he also captured the seven-furlong James F. Lewis III last fall.

Copper Tax has yet to breeze back since the Tesio, delayed over the weekend by rainy weather.

"I did let him stretch his legs and gallop on pretty strong [Saturday] and he loved it out there," Capuano said. "He's doing good. We'll see how this week goes, how the weather and the track holds up and how much I can do with him between now and probably the end of the week and go from there."

Muth Favored Over Fierceness and Sierra Leone in Preakness Future Wager

Apr 25 - Kentucky Derby (G1) favorites Fierceness and Sierra Leone will open as the second and third choices respectively in the Preakness Future Wager when the final pool opens Friday, April 26.

Fierceness, who won the Florida Derby (G1) by a record-setting 13 ½ lengths, is 9-2 in the Future Wager while Sierra Leone, winner of the Blue Grass (G1), opens at 6-1.

The Preakness Future Wager favorite is Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Muth, listed at 3-1 after opening at 19-1 in the first Preakness Future Wager, while stablemate and Santa Anita Derby (G1) runner-up Imagination is 12-1. Muth and Imagination will not run in the Kentucky Derby.

There are 31 individual entries and a pari-mutuel field of "all other 3-year-olds." The field is 20-1.

The Preakness Future Wager has a $2 minimum and 18 percent takeout. The second and final Preakness pool runs until Saturday, May 4 at 6 p.m. HorseRacingNation is presenting sponsor of the Field and morning line odds.

Three horses are listed at 15-1: Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Catching Freedom, Japan's undefeated UAE Derby (G2) winner Forever Young, and Blue Grass runner-up Just a Touch.

Three horses who have won 'Win & In' races for the Preakness are listed in the Preakness Future Wager. Copper Tax, winner of the Federico Tesio at Laurel Park, and Informed Patriot, winner of the Bath House Row at Oaklawn Park, are listed at 20-1 while Endlessly, winner of the El Camino Real at Golden Gate Fields, is 50-1.

Fountain of Youth (G2) and Remsen (G2) winner Dornoch and Louisiana Derby runner-up Honor Marie are 40-1 and Tampa Bay Derby (G3) winner Domestic Product is 50-1.

Preakness 'A Consideration' for Multiple Stakes Winner Copper Tax

The 149th Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, will be part of the conversation when the connections of $125,000 Federico Tesio winner Copper Tax discuss future plans for the multiple stakes-winning 3-year-old.

Rose Petal Stable's Copper Tax earned an automatic berth to the $1.5 million Preakness May 18 at historic Pimlico Race Course by virtue of his workmanlike victory in Saturday's 1 1/8-mile Tesio at Laurel Park, where he is based with trainer Gary Capuano. It was the second straight stakes win, third at his home track and fourth overall for the bay son of Copper Bullet.

Capuano is no stranger to the Preakness, having run third by two heads with Florida Derby (G1) winner and Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Captain Bodgit in 1997 and eighth in 2003 with Cherokee's Boy, whose 14 career stakes included the Tesio.

"Obviously [the Preakness] is a consideration. It wasn't my real goal going in, I was just hoping he ran a really good race and showed himself again, which he did. He really ran tremendous," trainer Gary Capuano said. "We will take a look and see how things shape up and how he bounces back and how he trains in the next week or two. We'll look at who might be coming and who might not. [We] probably won't make any decision until after the [May 4] Derby. We'll let him tell us. It's not out of the question, but it's kind of still a longshot. We'll see how it goes.

"He's not a real big horse. He's kind of a little on the light side," he added. "Best case scenario is if I could try to get some weight on him, but it's kind of hard when you're trying to get him to a race like that to try and put some substance on him. He just seems to get it done, so that's a good thing. We'll see how the race is shaping up and how he comes out of this last one. We'll make that decision later."

Named for the noted Italian breeder, owner and trainer whose homebreds Nearco and Ribot dominate Thoroughbred bloodlines around the world, the Tesio for a ninth straight year serves as a 'Win and In' qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated 3-year-olds to the 149th Preakness Stakes May 18 at historic Pimlico Race Course.

A total of 23 Tesio winners have gone on to run in the Preakness, Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, including last year's winner, Perform, trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey. Maryland-bred Deputed Testamony, in 1983, is the lone horse to sweep both the Tesio and Preakness, while Tesio runners-up Ruler On Ice (2011) and Monday Morning Qb (2020) respectively went on to capture the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Maryland Million Classic.

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