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Muth, Imagination Breeze in Company for Preakness

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s candidates for the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18 at Pimlico Race Course, Muth  and Imagination , had their final timed workouts May 10 in preparation for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. The colts covered six furlongs in tandem in 1:11 4/5 at Santa Anita Park.   

“They went five-eighths and they went out three-quarters and they look good,” Baffert said. “They stayed together like last week. It was a nice, workmanlike work, and I was happy with it.” 

Of the two, Imagination came under more encouragement from his rider.

Muth, owned by Zedan Racing Stables, secured his second top-level stakes victory in the March 30 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, beating Just Steel  and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mystik Dan , both of whom could run in the Preakness.

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Imagination competes for the partnership of SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Stonestreet Stables, Dianne Bashor, Robert Masterson, Waves Edge Capital, Catherine Donovan, and Tom Ryan. In his most recent race, he was second by a neck to Stronghold  in the April 6 Santa Anita Derby (G1). 

Baffert is the most successful trainer in Preakness history with eight victories in 25 starts. Five of those wins came with horses that won the Kentucky Derby and continued on to Baltimore.

Baffert did not participate in this year’s Derby. He remains banned from competition at Churchill Downs Inc. tracks, a private party suspension that began after his trainee, Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit, tested positive for a prohibited race day medication after crossing the wire first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1).

Amid this ban, National Treasure , in 2023, was Baffert’s first Preakness winner who did not run in the Derby. Owing to the CDI ban, Muth and Imagination are new shooters to the Triple Crown, too.

Muth and Imagination are scheduled to ship to Pimlico May 14. Juan Hernandez, Muth’s regular rider, will have the mount in the Preakness. The son of Good Magic   will provide Hernandez with his first ride in a Triple Crown race.

International star Frankie Dettori will ride Imagination in the third consecutive race. 

Imagination wins the San Felipe Stakes on Sunday, March 3, 2024 at Santa Anita Park
Photo: Benoit Photo

Co-owner Tom Ryan leads Imagination into the winner’s circle after the colt’s triumph in the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Muth closed as the 7-2 favorite in the latest Preakness Stakes Future Wager. He is also expected to be favored in betting on race day. Imagination closed at 17-1 in the most recent Preakness Stakes Future Wager.

Prior to the Santa Anita Derby, Imagination, a son of Into Mischief  , won the San Felipe Stakes (G2) March 3 at Santa Anita. 

The post position draw for the Preakness will be May 13 at 5:30 p.m. ET. Post time for the second jewel of the Triple Crown May 18 is set for 6:50 p.m. ET.

This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.

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