Summer Racing Highlights: National Treasure Aim

National Treasure Targets Whitney and Pacific Classic

National Treasure, the 2023 Preakness Stakes victor, is set for a busy summer horse racing schedule with potential races including the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga or the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. 

The horse’s connections are considering options, with these races key to preparing for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

 

Rising Star National Treasure

Preakness Stakes Winner National TreasureNational Treasure, trained by Bob Baffert and owned by “The Avengers” (including SF Racing and Starlight Racing), is in top form. After a decisive win in the Metropolitan Handicap, the son of Quality Road has solidified his status as a premier contender.

Tom Ryan of SF Racing highlighted the importance of choosing the right next race. “The next start could be anything from the Whitney to the Pacific Classic,” he said. Saratoga will host the Whitney Stakes, a nine-furlong race, on August 3, while Del Mar will feature the Pacific Classic, a ten-furlong race, on August 31.

The choice between these races could influence horse racing odds and National Treasure’s preparation for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will also be held at Del Mar.

People interested in offtrack betting should know that National Treasure’s versatility is one of his greatest strengths. He has proven himself over various distances, winning the 1 3/16-mile Preakness and the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes. “We know he’s not limited to a mile,” Ryan said. “The question is: Do we stretch him out?”

Baffert’s decision will depend on how National Treasure trains leading up to the races. “He’s a healthy, sound horse, and we have lots of options,” Ryan noted. Whether he heads east for the Whitney or stays in California for the Pacific Classic, the team is confident in his abilities.

National Treasure aims for a third consecutive Breeders’ Cup, a rare feat for a dirt horse. With three Grade 1 wins and $5.3 million in earnings, he is a top contender for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

 

Prince of Monaco’s Return

While National Treasure’s future looks bright, the connections faced a setback with the Prince of Monaco. The Grade 1 winner finished second in the Woody Stephens Stakes after a challenging start. Despite the disappointment, Ryan remains optimistic about Prince of Monaco’s potential.

“Prince of Monaco showed he’s top class,” Ryan said. The horse, who finished fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, will return to Saratoga for the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes on August 24.

 

Jackstown’s Gradual Comeback

Another horse to watch is Jackstown, a 4-year-old son of Speightstown. Jackstown successfully returned to racing with a win in an allowance optional claimer at Santa Anita after being sidelined for nearly two years due to ankle surgery.

Ryan expressed hope for Jackstown’s future, stating, “Jackstown can be a good one.” The team plans to ease him into graded stakes competition, ensuring he is ready for future challenges.

 

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