National Treasure emerged victorious in the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the esteemed Triple Crown horse racing event.

The triumph marked a historic moment for trainer Bob Baffert, who had to confront the heartbreaking loss of another horse earlier that day. Furthermore, Baffert’s return to the race after being banned last year added an additional layer of significance to the occasion.

Taking place at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course, National Treasure entered the race as the second-favorite, with Mage, the surprise winner of the Kentucky Derby, leading the odds. However, in a tightly contested finish, Blazing Sevens secured the runner-up position, while Mage settled for third place.

This victory not only secured jockey John Velazquez his first-ever Preakness win but also marked a record-breaking eighth Preakness win for trainer Bob Baffert. Reflecting on the triumph, Baffert expressed his belief that National Treasure was a deserving champion, emphasizing the horse’s talent and potential.

Sadly, the joy of the Preakness Stakes was overshadowed by a series of recent horse fatalities, casting a dark cloud over the Triple Crown races. In the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby, seven horses tragically lost their lives at Churchill Downs, fueling renewed scrutiny and concern for the welfare of racehorses.

Prior to the Preakness Stakes, tragedy struck once again as Havnameltdown, a horse trained by Bob Baffert, suffered a severe ankle injury during an earlier race. Regrettably, the 3-year-old colt’s injuries were so severe that euthanization was the only humane option. The incident deeply affected Baffert and his team, who expressed their devastation and pledged to cooperate fully with investigations into the accident. Meanwhile, jockey Luis Sáez, who was thrown off the horse, was taken to a nearby hospital due to leg pain.

For Baffert, this race marked his return to the Triple Crown after a year of suspensions resulting from the disqualification of his Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, due to a failed drug test.

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