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HomeHorse RacingPreaknessBaffert Returns to the Triple Crown at Preakness

Baffert Returns to the Triple Crown at Preakness

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Bob Baffert, the white-haired Hall of Fame trainer and a recognizable face in horse racing, has always been a larger-than-life figure in the industry, etching his name in history by training not one, but two Triple Crown winners, American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018. The 70-year-old Arizona-born trainer is back in the limelight and under the stakes barn at Pimlico Race Course for this year’s Preakness Stakes, marking his return to the Triple Crown races after a two-year hiatus.

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The previous years haven’t been smooth sailing for Baffert, who was handed a lengthy suspension from the sport. The ban came after his horse, Medina Spirit, tested positive for betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug, last year. This led to Baffert being prohibited from participating in all three Triple Crown races, a hard pill to swallow for a trainer who has dedicated his life to the sport.

This year, however, marks a significant comeback for Baffert. After nearly two years without a starter in a Triple Crown race, he returns to Preakness Stakes with a horse aptly named National Treasure. As we all know, horse racing is a sport where reputation and past victories matter, and with Baffert’s record-breaking resume, eyes will undoubtedly be on National Treasure.

Baffert’s return to the Triple Crown circuit isn’t just a story of personal redemption; it also speaks volumes about the resilience and tenacity required in horse racing, both for the horses and their trainers. His suspension undoubtedly served as a reminder of the importance of upholding the highest standards of integrity in the sport. It’s a challenging balancing act, ensuring that competitive drive does not overshadow the welfare of the horses.

There’s no denying that Baffert’s return to Pimlico and his reentry into the Triple Crown races signal a new chapter in his illustrious career. What remains to be seen, however, is how this chapter unfolds. Will he add another feather to his cap with National Treasure, or will this be a period of rebuilding and reestablishing trust?

One thing is certain, though. Baffert’s return has added an extra layer of intrigue to the 148th Preakness Stakes. The sport’s fans, fellow trainers, and even the horses themselves might have missed his white hair and familiar figure in the paddock. After all, his storied career and indisputable knowledge of the sport make him an undeniable part of horse racing’s identity.

Whether you see him as a symbol of excellence in horse training or as a controversial figure who has had to face the music for his actions, Baffert’s story serves as a reminder of horse racing’s inherent unpredictability, its highs and lows, and its capacity for redemption.

So, as the 2023 Preakness Stakes unfolds, keep your eyes on Bob Baffert and National Treasure. Regardless of the outcome, it promises to be an exciting race and a significant moment in the career of one of horse racing’s most prominent figures.

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