Trends & Features

An Insider’s Look at the 2024 Preakness Field

The 149th Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, is set to take place on Saturday, May 18, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. This year’s field is exciting, featuring three Kentucky Derby horses and six Triple Crown trail newcomers. 

With a mix of seasoned competitors and fresh faces, the stage is set for an unforgettable race. Join us as we delve into an insider’s look at the 2024 Preakness Stakes field, examining each contender’s background, performances, and potential.


Trained by Jeff Engler and ridden by Joe Bravo, Mugatu has a record of 12 races with only a single maiden victory on a synthetic surface. His three attempts in stakes races have not been promising, with his best finish being fourth place at Turfway Park. Recently, he finished fifth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes on April 6 at Keeneland. With a modest track record and limited success, Mugatu appears to be a long shot in this competitive field.

Uncle Heavy

Under the guidance of trainer Robert Reid Jr. and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., Uncle Heavy has shown promise with three wins out of five starts, amassing $323,580 in earnings. Despite a lackluster performance in the Wood Memorial (G2), his trainer, Reid, is confident in his fitness and readiness. Known for his strong work ethic and impressive recent breeze, Uncle Heavy has the potential to surprise due to his back-of-the-pack racing style and jockey skill.

Catching Freedom 

Catching Freedom is trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Flavien Prat. With three wins out of six starts, he has earned $1,127,350. In the Kentucky Derby, Catching Freedom finished fourth, showing his ability to come from far back in the field.

Catching Freedom’s style is to start slow and make a strong push at the end. While the Preakness is usually more challenging for horses with this approach, his consistent performance makes him a strong contender.

Brad Cox has prepared Catching Freedom well, focusing on his stamina and speed. Jockey Flavien Prat is skilled at positioning horses for a strong finish, perfectly fitting Catching Freedom’s style. If Catching Freedom can navigate through the pack and make his usual late run, he could be a significant contender in the Preakness.


The 2024 Preakness bets favorite in this race, Muth, is trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Juan Hernandez. With a record of four wins in six starts and $1,504,100 in earnings, Muth’s pedigree and performance are impressive. Purchased for $2 million as a 2-year-old, Muth recently won the San Vicente (G2) and the Arkansas Derby (G1), defeating Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan. With Baffert’s eight previous Preakness victories, Muth is a formidable contender. 

Mystik Dan 

Mystik Dan, trained by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., won the Kentucky Derby with a thrilling finish. With a record of three wins in seven starts and $3,741,360 in earnings, Mystik Dan’s recent performance in the Arkansas Derby, despite a rough start, shows his resilience. Historically, Derby winners have fared well in the Preakness, making Mystik Dan a strong contender.

Seize the Grey 

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Jaime Torres, Seize the Grey has a record of three wins in nine starts and $619,938 in earnings. He recently secured his first stakes victory in the Pat Day Mile (G2). However, with limited success at longer distances, Seize the Grey may struggle to keep up in this race, making him an unlikely contender.

Just Steel 

Also trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Joel Rosario, Just Steel has two wins in 12 starts with $724,545 in earnings. His recent performance in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished 17th, raises doubts about his potential in the Preakness. Given his recent form, Just Steel is not expected to be a strong competitor in this field.

Tuscan Gold 

Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Tuscan Gold has one win in three starts and $147,100 in earnings. He recently finished third in the Louisiana Derby (G2). Despite being overshadowed by his stablemate, Tuscan Gold’s recent solid performance and Brown’s history of Preakness victories make him a top choice for this race.


Imagination, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Frankie Dettori, has a record of two wins in six starts and $406,800 in earnings. Often in the shadow of his stablemate Muth, Imagination has consistently performed well, never finishing worse than second. With a victory in the San Felipe (G2) and a close second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), Imagination’s top speed figures make him a strong win contender.


As we approach the 2024 Preakness Stakes, the field is filled with promising contenders, each with strengths and weaknesses. Make sure to tune in and cheer for your favorites as these magnificent horses compete for the coveted title in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

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