Uncle Heavy Enjoys a Little Splash on the Track

May 16, 2024

Uncle Heavy. (Anika Miskar/Past The Wire)

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

BALTIMORE, Md. – Since his colt, Uncle Heavy, is 2-for-2 on off tracks, trainer Butch Reid Jr. is just fine with the forecast for rain Saturday for the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1). 

Michael Milam and LC Racing LLC’s colt jogged and then galloped over the sloppy track at Pimlico Race Course Thursday morning and Reid liked what he saw.

“I’m hoping for a track similar to this one on Saturday because he loved it, really relished it,” he said. “Had a good, aggressive gallop and was getting over it really well.” 

However, the prospect of a bit more moisture in the track made Reid smile.    

“Well, that’s what I’m hoping for, a little wet-fast,” Reid said. “He really likes that.” 

Uncle Heavy will try to become the first Pennsylvania-bred to win the historic Preakness since Smarty Jones in 2004. He showed that he was Triple Crown series-capable with his victory in the Withers (G3) over a muddy, sealed track at Aqueduct Racetrack on Feb. 3.  Some six weeks before the Withers, he won the Wait For It Stakes at Parx over a sealed track rated as “good.” 

Uncle Heavy gets in a lilting gallop on the Pimlico Aqua Firma. (Anika Miskar/Past The Wire)
Uncle Heavy gets in a lilting gallop on the Pimlico Aqua Firma. (Anika Miskar/Past The Wire)

Reid, 67, said he does not know why Uncle Heavy has done well when the going is wet.

“He’s a big horse and sometimes they don’t, but he’s a very sure-footed horse, has a perfect way of going,” Reid said. “Big guys like him sometimes don’t like a breaking-away racetrack where they don’t feel it underneath them. I think most of them prefer it where they could feel the track underneath them.” 

The Uncle Heavy story is a family affair. Reid’s older brother, Mark, a retired trainer and bloodstock agent, owns the mare with this wife, Barbara, who is the breeder. The colt’s name is Mark Reid’s family nickname. Neither of the Reid brothers has had a Triple Crown series runner, and now they are in it together. 

“It’s really been great,” Butch Reid said. “We’ve all been kind of in the business but in separate aspects of it, so for this to come together like this is really something special.” 

Five-time Eclipse Award winner Irad Ortiz Jr. has picked up the mount on Uncle Heavy. They will leave from Post 2.  

Uncle Heavy at his post-work bath. (Anika Miskar/Past The Wire)
Uncle Heavy at his post-work bath. (Anika Miskar/Past The Wire)

This is so beautifully written; You bought a horse and took him to a farm moved me. Bless You.

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