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National Treasure crowned winner of 148th Preakness Stakes

National Treasure crowned winner of 148th Preakness Stakes originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The second jewel of the Triple Crown has been won by National Treasure.

National Treasure won the 148th Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., edging second-place Blazing Sevens and third-place Mage.

National Treasure, beginning from post position No. 1, essentially led the entire 1 3/16 miles of the race, with Blazing Sevens (post position No. 7 and 9-2 odds) making it interesting during the final push. Both horses made even contact at the end in a final bid to gain leverage, but National Treasure held off the competition for the win.

Jockey John Velazquez -- a Puerto Rico native -- will collect $990,000 for the win, with the total purse being $1.5 million. For comparison's sake, the total purse from the Kentucky Derby was $3 million. The win also marked Velazquez's first win in the Preakness. The Hall of Fame jockey has previously won three Kentucky Derbies and two Belmont Stakes.

Trainer Bob Baffert also recorded his eighth Preakness win, his last since 2018. It's also his 17th total in the Triple Crown series.

Mage, winner of the 2023 Kentucky Derby, entered Saturday's race as the favorite, but finished third after failing to cover any ground during the key pushes around the track, particularly the final one that saw Mage and jockey Javier Castellano win at Churchill Downs.

Following the Preakness is the Belmont Stakes, which will take place on June 10 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The Belmont is the third and final jewel of the Triple Crown series and measures a mile and a half, the longest of the trio.