National Treasure won the 2023 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore Saturday evening.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert picked up the win, just hours after another of his horses was euthanized following an earlier race. The win made Baffert the winningest trainer in Preakness Stakes history and the only trainer to have eight horses win the race.
Blazing Sevens placed second, and prerace favorite and Kentucky Derby winner Mage placed third in the seven-horse field. The win means no horse will take home the coveted Triple Crown this year, achieved when a horse wins the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in one year.
National Treasure was ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who tallied his first win at the Preakness Stakes.
The three-year-old colt entered the race at 3-1 odds.
National Treasure’s win marks a triumphant return for 70-year-old Baffert. Baffert’s horse Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby in 2021, but it was later revealed the horse had tested positive for elevated levels of betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory medication.
In response, the two-time Triple Crown winner received a two-year suspension from Churchill Downs, a one-year suspension from the New York Racing Association, and was suspended from last year’s Preakness Stakes.
An emotional Baffert described himself as “totally wiped out after that horse got hurt” in a post-race interview, referring to the euthanization of his horse Havnameltdown earlier Saturday.
“The emotions of this game. There’s so many responsibilities a trainer has,” he said. “To win this, losing that horse today really hurt, but I’m happy for [jockey] Johnny [Velasquez], he got the win. I have a great team, I got my boys with me. I’m sorry but it’s been a very emotional day.”
In addition to the horse injured at Pimlico today, seven horses died at Churchill Downs in the lead-up to the Kentucky Derby, and an eighth last Sunday. One trainer, Saffie Joseph Jr., was suspended by Churchill Downs due to the “highly unusual” deaths of two of his horses.
Churchill Downs has said it will collaborate with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to investigate each death.
CNN’s Ben Church and Wayne Sterling contributed to this report.