Bob Baffert’s national treasure crossed the finish line first in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, ending Mage’s Triple Crown bid on Trainer’s Return from Suspension – and just hours after another 3-year-old horse was euthanized on the track.
Baffert headed into the winner’s circle the same day his Havnameltdown colt fell with a fatal injury to his left leg in an undercard race. Baffert said he and his team were shocked.
It was another dark moment for a sport already reeling from the deaths of seven horses at Churchill Downs in the 10-day period before the Kentucky Derby.
Derby winner Mage finished third in the Preakness. His defeat meant that there would be no Triple Crown winner for the fifth year in a row.
Earlier in the day, Mage was declared fine in the race after hitting his head in his stall and getting a few stitches to close a cut above his right eye.
co-owner said Ramiro Restrepo, blood stock agent Kentucky Derby winner He hit his head on Thursday, causing a superficial cut and receiving treatment from state veterinarians. Restrepo confirmed in a text message to the Associated Press on Saturday that the Mage has resumed training without any interruption.
Mage and the other six Preakness horses were checked and cleared by vets to compete in the $1.65 million race later Saturday. increased pre-screening in Maryland, Including checking every horse in the biggest stakes races by Stronach Group Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Dion Benson.
First Mission, another top Preakness contender, Scratched on Friday On the advice of vets who were concerned about his left hind ankle. Five horses were scratched In the run-up to the derby two weeks ago, Including my favorite Forte.
Back for more on the evolution story.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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