2023 Preakness Stakes winner: National Treasure (5-2) wins the 148th Preakness

May 21st, 2023

The old phrase “pace makes the race” rang true in Saturday’s 148th running of the $1.5 million Preakness S. (G1) at Pimlico. A slow pace in a small field helped National Treasure spring a gate-to-wire upset over Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mage.

Only seven horses faced the starter in the second leg of the Triple Crown, with Mage favored at 7-5 off his stretch-running triumph in a fast-paced Derby. But the pace complexion was vastly different in the Preakness, with National Treasure—adding blinkers and breaking from the rail—making the lead through pedestrian splits of :23.95, :48.92, and 1:13.49 while pursued by Coffeewithchris and Blazing Sevens.

Mage was content to race a few lengths off the lead for much of the race, eventually shifting to the far outside for racing room. But the slow pace left National Treasure and Blazing Sevens with plenty of energy for the homestretch drive. Mage tried to mount a challenge but could never reach even terms, staying on for third place as National Treasure and Blazing Sevens battled for top honors.

Blazing Sevens struggled to maintain a straight course in the drive, drifting inward and bumping National Treasure on multiple occasions. But the pacesetter proved unwavering in his determination, hanging tough to prevail by a head in 1:55.12.

Red Route One, Chase the Chaos, Perform, and Coffeewithchris completed the order of finish.

National Treasure was ridden to victory by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who secured his first Preakness win from 13 rides. For Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, the victory marked a record-extending eighth triumph in the Triple Crown’s second jewel.

A son of four-time Grade 1 winner Quality Road out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Treasure, National Treasure is owned by the partnership of SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, and Catherine Donovan.

The Preakness marked a career-best performance from National Treasure, who placed in the American Pharoah (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at age two. He arrived at Pimlico off a fourth-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), which marked his first start since missing some training with a foot issue.

National Treasure started as the 5-2 second choice and returned $7.80 to win, $4.00 to place, and $2.60 to show. Blazing Sevens paid $5.00 to place and $2.80 to show, while Mage triggered a $2.40 show payoff. (All payoffs based on $2 wagers.)

The $1 exacta returned $15.90, the $1 trifecta $24.20, the $1 superfecta $72.40, and the $1 Super High 5 $164.90.