Uncle Heavy posts final pre-Preakness move

Michael Milam and LC Racing LLC’s Uncle Heavy received a very positive review from trainer Butch Reid Jr. Saturday morning after turning in his final breeze for the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico May 18. Under his regular exercise rider Jose Castro, Uncle Heavy covered four furlongs in 47.34 seconds at Parx in suburban Philadelphia. It was the third-fastest time of 34 breezes at the distance at the track.

“He just worked great,” Reid said. “The track was a little bit faster up here today than it’s been because of all the moisture that we had all week. With that said, he did it very well under control. We just let him run a little bit the last eighth of a mile. He finished up there in 47 and change and came back and couldn’t blow out of match and barely took a couple of sips of water. It was just what we were looking for and he galloped out good and strong.”

Pennsylvania-bred Uncle Heavy, making his first start since finishing fifth after a troubled trip in the Wood Memorial (G2) on April 6 at Aqueduct Racetrack, has worked three times since the Wood.

Five-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride Uncle Heavy in the Preakness, replacing Mychel J. Sanchez. He will be Ortiz’ sixth Preakness mount. Ortiz has a pair of second-place finishes in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown: 2021 on Midnight Bourbon and last year with Blazing Sevens.

“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.”

Uncle Heavy is scheduled to ship to Pimlico Race Course on Tuesday.