National Treasure

National Treasure on Track for Belmont

National Treasure (Quality Road) turned in his first work since winning the May 20 GI Preakness S., going four furlongs in :50.62 (9/15) at Belmont Park Tuesday as he continues preparations for the June 10 GI Belmont S. With jockey John Velazquez up for trainer Bob Baffert, National Treasure was caught by New York Racing Association clockers in a swift opening split of :23 2/5. Velazquez had the colt under a hold down the lane before letting the talented bay gallop out strongly. "I wanted to jog him to the...

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This Side Up: Why The Long Face?

As and when he finally quits riding the kids to sleep, at least John Velazquez doesn't have to worry about a next career. Because what he did in Baltimore last week showed him to have everything it takes to lead a cortege. Not just the restrained tempo, but also the way he reliably maintained all dignity and decorum while Irad Ortiz Jr. came lurching out of the procession in his usual unruly fashion. True, Velazquez wouldn't last the first week if he were to lead a funeral at the same...

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National Treasure Jogs At Belmont; Taiba To Met Mile

National Treasure (Quality Road), winner of last Saturday's GI Preakness S., has made his way to Belmont Park for a potential start in the GI Belmont Stakes June 10. Bob Baffert said National Treasure got a feel for the Belmont Park main track Thursday with a light jog. "He's going well. We're going to get him up there, train him and see how he's doing," Baffert said. He added National Treasure will have one work at Belmont before a decision is made whether to test the 1 1/2-mile race. "When...

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Blum Treasures National Impact Of Genetic 'Mono'-Poly

Even in the heyday of the great owner-breeders, it would have been remarkable for a Classic winner to represent the seventh generation of a single program. In the commercial era, it is beyond extraordinary. Yet in the long, tenuous line linking GI Preakness S. winner National Treasure (Quality Road) to his foundation mare Mono, only once did Peter Blum come close to letting it break. That was when a Mt. Livermore filly named Proposal was sold as a 2-year-old at Keeneland in 1999, for $375,000. "I sold her to John...

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John Velazquez Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Hall of Fame jockey Johnny Velazquez earned his first Preakness victory aboard National Treasure over the weekend and he joined this week's TDN Writers' Room to discuss the big win.

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John Velazquez Joins TDN Writers' Room Podcast

The credit for the win in the GI Preakness S. goes to National Treasure (Quality Road), but the assist goes to Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. Able to get to the lead and then slow the pace down to a crawl, Velazquez put in a perfect ride on his way to his first ever win in the Preakness. Fresh off his victory, Velazquez joined this week's TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland. He was this week's Green Group Guest of the Week. "It was just one of those...

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The Week In Review: So Many Storylines On Preakness Day But None Bigger Than Another Tragedy

There was an exciting race, a thrilling stretch duel between winner National Treasure (Quality Road) and runner-up Blazing Sevens (Good Magic), and the first-ever win in the GI Preakness S. by classy Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. And think what you want of Bob Baffert, but his winning the first Triple Crown race he entered since the suspensions and bans had ended was a compelling chapter to this story. The man sure can train a race horse. But those stories will start to drift away as we head to...

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Preakness Runners Plan Next Steps; Mage To Target Travers

Following his win the in GI Preakness S. Saturday, trainer Bob Baffert said that National Treasure (Quality Road) and Sir Barton S. winner Arabian Lion (Justify) would stay at Pimlico for a few more days this week and may go on to New York for races on the Belmont S. program June 10. Though he did not rule out Arabian Lion, he said National Treasure was a more likely candidate for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont S. Baffert said he did not want to send the colts back to his base...

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Baffert Earns Record Eighth Preakness With Emotionally Charged Win

BALTIMORE, MD--The ABC Wide World of Sports telecast used to kick off with legendary TV host and personality Jim McKay uttering "The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat." And never were those atipodal points more evident than they were for trainer Bob Baffert on Pimlico's Preakness Day card. His first runner on the card, Arabian Lion (Justify) strode to a four-length victory in the Sir Barton S., getting the Baffert team off to a fast start. However, the celebration was short lived. Two races later, 4-5 choice Havnameltdown (Uncaptured)...

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Preakness 148: Could It Be Magic?

Continuing on the heels of a stacked card Friday, Pimlico offers a robust eight-stakes offering Saturday, led by the $1.5 million GI Preakness S. With GI Kentucky Derby winning Mage (Good Magic) looming as the one to beat, the race suffered a notable blow Friday with the defection of Godolphin's 'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense), shaving the field back to seven. Having not only showed a recency in form but also the ability to win at the highest level, none of the chestnut's rivals can really make the...

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This Side Up: How To Make The Crown Fit Again

Nostalgia, they say, isn't quite what it used to be. In times past, it was not so much a wistful state of mind as an outright medical condition. The Union Army in the first two years of the Civil War reported precisely 2,588 cases, no fewer than 13 of which proved fatal. And I must admit to some concern that this may in fact be the version to which I am destined to succumb, nailed into the same coffin as the five-week Triple Crown. The whole premise of nostalgia is...

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Preakness Preview: Mage Evolves From Underdog To Target

Onward to Baltimore! Here are the GI Preakness S. entrants listed in "likeliest winner" order. 1) Mage GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage won't be a heavy favorite on Saturday. In fact, he projects as the possible second choice in the betting based on the "fresh competition" angle in a Preakness that will feature no other starters who ran in the 18-horse Derby. Pari-mutuel value notwithstanding, a Preakness victory is within the grasp of this white-blazed, chestnut son of Good Magic ($235,000 KEESEP; $290,000 EASMAY). He's a lighter-framed colt who might...

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