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Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will try to use a different formula for success Saturday as he seeks his record-breaking eighth victory in the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course with National Treasure.
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Each of Baffert’s seven Preakness winners had previously competed in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
National Treasure, a son of Quality Road, finished fourth in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and did not go on to the Kentucky Derby.
He drew the rail in the eight-horse 148th Preakness and will wear blinkers for the third time in what will be his sixth career start.
Baffert is tied for the lead in victories with 19th century trainer R. Wyndham Walden.
Five of Baffert’s seven Preakness winners came to Baltimore off victories in the first leg of the Triple Crown at Churchill Downs. Two others, both Derby favorites, Point Given in 2001 and Lookin At Lucky (2010), prevailed at Pimlico after failing to finish in the top three in the Derby.
Baffert’s first three Derby-Preakness winners, Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002) were unable to complete the Triple Crown sweep at Belmont Park. The last two with the Derby-Preakness double, American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018, swept the Triple Crown.
Baffert’s assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said that National Treasure, co-owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madakat Stables LLC, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC and Catherine Donovan, had a routine gallop at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.
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