In a surprising turn of events at the 2023 Preakness Stakes, Mage’s quest for the Triple Crown was thwarted as National Treasure emerged as the unexpected victor. Despite entering the race as the pre-race favorite, Mage faced a setback at Pimlico on Saturday.
National Treasure Steals the Show
National Treasure, a horse with 5-2 odds, secured a remarkable victory with a finishing time of 1:55.12. Coming in a close second, Blazing Sevens narrowly missed out on the win by a head. Mage, on the other hand, settled for third place in the race.
Trained by the legendary trainer Bob Baffert, National Treasure established an early lead and maintained it for the majority of the race. Mage, reminiscent of its performance in the Kentucky Derby, attempted to mount a comeback from an outside position during the final stretch. However, the race evolved into a thrilling battle between National Treasure and Blazing Sevens, with the former emerging as the ultimate victor.
Baffert Continues Reign
Bob Baffert’s victory with National Treasure at the 2023 Preakness Stakes marked a significant milestone for the renowned trainer. It was Baffert’s record-breaking eighth win at the Preakness and his 17th triumph at a Triple Crown race. The achievement further solidifies his status as one of the most successful trainers in horse racing history.
For Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, the Preakness victory held special significance. At the age of 51, Velazquez secured his first-ever win in the Preakness, a remarkable feat considering it was his 13th appearance in the race. The win served as a testament to Velazquez’s enduring skill and resilience throughout his illustrious career.
Derby Winners Continue to Struggle
The outcome of the Preakness continued a recent trend where the Kentucky Derby winner has failed to clinch victory in the subsequent Preakness Stakes. This marks the fifth consecutive year that the Derby winner has fallen short at Pimlico. The last horse to achieve back-to-back victories in both races was Justify, the Triple Crown winner in 2018.
For bettors, the race yielded varying returns. A $1 exacta bet would have resulted in a payout of $15.90, while a trifecta bet would have delivered $24.20. Those who placed a superfecta bet and correctly predicted Coffeewithchris finishing in fourth place would have earned a payout of $72.40.