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National Treasure Wins Preakness Stakes


National Treasure, right, with jockey John Velazquez, edges out Blazing Sevens, with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., to win the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, May 20, 2023, in Baltimore, Maryland.

National Treasure won the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert a record-breaking eighth win in the middle jewel of U.S. thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.

With John Velazquez aboard, National Treasure held off a late charge from Blazing Sevens. Kentucky Derby winner Mage finished third, meaning the chestnut colt will not have a shot at becoming U.S. thoroughbred racing's 13th Triple Crown winner.

The win capped an emotional day for Baffert, whose colt Havnameltdown was euthanized on the track earlier on Saturday after going down with an injury during a race at Pimlico.

"Losing that horse today really hurt but I am happy for Johnny, he got the win," Baffert said fighting back tears, referring to the jockey. "It's been a very emotional day."

For Baffert, one of the sport's best-known figures, the Preakness marked his first Triple Crown race in two years due to a lengthy suspension after one of his horses, Medina Spirit, tested positive for a banned substance and was stripped of the Kentucky Derby title in 2021.

National Treasure, second from right, with jockey John Velazquez, edges out Blazing Sevens, with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., left, to win the148th running of the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, May 20, 2023, in Baltimore, Maryland.
National Treasure, second from right, with jockey John Velazquez, edges out Blazing Sevens, with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., left, to win the148th running of the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, May 20, 2023, in Baltimore, Maryland.
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