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Posted 2024-05-14 04:05:10  
Muth Favoured in Preakness

In the upcoming Preakness Stakes (G1), the focus shifts to a fresh contender, despite familiar faces from the Kentucky Derby (G1) lining up. Mystik Dan, the surprise 18-1 winner of the Kentucky Derby, aims to keep the Triple Crown dream alive at Pimlico Race Course on May 18. However, it's Bob Baffert's Muth who has caught the oddsmakers' attention, being installed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite from Post 4. Mystik Dan, drawing Post 5, stands at 5-2 odds.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, with Just Steel (Post 7, 15-1) and Seize the Grey (Post 6, 15-1), comments, "I am not surprised that Bob's horse is the favorite."

Muth, owned by Zedan Racing Stables, boasts an impressive record under Baffert's guidance, with never finishing worse than second in six career starts. His recent victory in the Arkansas Derby (G1), where he beat Just Steel and Mystik Dan, solidifies his position as a formidable contender.

Baffert, aiming for his record-extending ninth Preakness win, expresses confidence in Muth's abilities, stating, "He shows up, he runs his race every time, first or second. He has so much quality." Muth, a Good Magic colt, was purchased for $2 million at the Ocala Breeders' Sales March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

Baffert's arsenal also includes Imagination (Post 9, 6-1), owned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Stonestreet Stables, Dianne Bashor, Robert Masterson, Waves Edge Capital, Catherine Donovan, and Tom Ryan. The $1.05 million buy at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale finished second by a neck in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and aims to follow in the footsteps of Baffert's 2023 Preakness winner, National Treasure.

"This race has been our target," stated Ryan, head of SF Racing and SF Bloodstock, expressing confidence in Imagination's readiness for the Preakness. Reflecting on the horse's progress since the Santa Anita Derby, Ryan noted, "We felt we learned a lot about him, just like we did last year when National Treasure was fourth in that race. He's developed physically, mentally, and athletically. He's gotten fitter and tighter. He's been immature at times, but he continues to impress."

Imagination, a son of Into Mischief, will make his Preakness debut with renowned European jockey Frankie Dettori in the saddle.

Trainer Ken McPeek cautiously assessed Mystik Dan's readiness for the Preakness after his narrow victory in the Kentucky Derby, stating, "The horse is doing good. He's galloped well. He's been eating well. There's a lot of positives right now." Mystik Dan, bred by Gasaway, Hamby, and 4 G Racing, has won three of his seven starts.

Brad Cox, trainer of Catching Freedom, sees the Preakness as a significant opportunity despite the quick turnaround from the Kentucky Derby. Catching Freedom, son of Constitution, finished fourth in the Derby and will tackle the Preakness with determination.

Trainer Chad Brown, opting for a strategy that proved successful in the past, brings Tuscan Gold to the Preakness despite not qualifying for the Kentucky Derby. Brown expressed satisfaction with Tuscan Gold's preparation and is optimistic about his chances in the race.

D. Wayne Lukas, trainer of Seize the Grey and Just Steel, acknowledges the challenges his horses faced in the Kentucky Derby but remains hopeful for their performance in the Preakness. Lukas aims to adjust tactics for Just Steel, ensuring he doesn't get caught up in a speed duel.

Butch Reid, trainer of Uncle Heavy, believes his horse is ready for the challenge of the Preakness, despite missing out on the Kentucky Derby due to a troubled trip in the Wood Memorial. Reid sees Uncle Heavy as a strong contender with the potential to make an impact if conditions favor his running style.

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