HomeWashington Twp. News'It's been a cool journey'

‘It’s been a cool journey’

Township rallies around Uncle Heavy ahead of its Preakness Stakes run

Courtesy of Washington Township
Chris Milam said his thoroughbred Uncle Heavy has “exceeded all our expectations.” The horse’s owners received a proclamation from township council three days before the Preakness Stakes.

Washington Township rallied behind Uncle Heavy before the horse debuted on May 18 at the 149th Preakness Stakes against the likes of Mystik Dan, the eventual winner of the 150th Kentucky Derby.

Ahead of the race for the Woodlawn Vase trophy, Mayor Laurie Burns and council recognized Uncle Heavy and presented owners Mike and Chris Milam with a proclamation at a May 15 meeting.

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“Our very own Washington Township residents, Mike and Chris Milam, will witness their horse, Uncle Heavy, compete in the Prestigious Preakness race,” Burns said. “It’s a testament to their dedication and passion for horse racing.

“Let’s rally behind Uncle Heavy as he races for glory carrying the spirit of our township with him.”

Uncle Heavy’s jockey is Irad Ortiz Jr. and his trainer is Robert Reid Jr. Milam shared the horse’s back story at the meeting.

“Our original trainer, Mark Reid, was a heavyweight wrester at West Deptford High School,” he noted. “All his nieces and nephews called him Uncle Heavy. We bought a horse and we thought Uncle Heavy was a great name.”

Milam said Uncle Heavy has “exceeded all our expectations” by running against million-dollar horses.

“Uncle Heavy was a discount at $12,000,” he recalled. “We’re playing with the proverbial house money at this point. We’re just blessed to be in this race and we’re thankful for the entire township to be behind us …

“It’s been a cool journey.”

Uncle Heavy received a complete police escort from Philadelphia to the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Ultimately, Seize the Grey won the 149th Preakness Stakes, Mystik Dan came in second. Uncle Heavy came in sixth.

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