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Sunday, June 16, 2024

National Treasure Takes Preakness, Giving Baffert A Grand Return

  • The famed trainer's victory marred as one of his horses was euthanized after the sixth race.
  • Kentucky Derby winner Mage finishes in third place.
Bob Baffert gets eighth Preakness Stakes.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Famed trainer Bob Baffert returned triumphantly to the Triple Crown stage as his horse National Treasure captured the Preakness Stakes, hours after the trainer saw one of his horses get euthanized after an earlier race at Pimlico Park.

Kentucky Derby winner, Mage, finished third after a slow pace controlled by National Treasure.

Earlier on Saturday, on the undercard of the second leg of the Triple Crown, favorite Havnameltdown buckled forward, threw jockey Luis Saez off his back during the sixth race, and continued running around the final turn in some pain.

The 3-year-old colt was looked at by doctors and others, who determined the injury to his left front leg was inoperable and decided the horse should be put down, according to a statement from 1/ST Racing, which owns and operates the track.

The tragic side of horse racing’s $400 billion industry has been front-and-center since seven horses died leading up to the Derby, while a ninth horse died at Churchill Downs Saturday.  

Baffert returned from a two-year suspension and earned a record-breaking 17 Triple Crown victory. He also earned his eighth Preakness Stakes victory.

Mage, the lone Kentucky Derby entrant racing Saturday, was favored with 8-5 odds to win the Preakness. The horse’s ownership group includes the fractional sports investment app Commonwealth, whose $170,000 stake in Mage could rise to $25 million had he won the Triple Crown.

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