National Treasure Romps to Victory in Met Mile (G1)
RSS Feeds Wednesday, June 12, 2024

It was a second Grade 1 victory of the year for 2023 Preakness Stakes (G1) winner National Treasure, when the Eddie Woods training grad won Saturday’s $1 million Metropolitan Handicap (G1).

Returning to a mile for the first time since losing the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) by just a nose in November, National Treasure immediately headed to the lead. Hoist The Gold attempted to keep pace with the leader through a half mile in :45.75 with the rest of the pack over five lengths behind the battle up front.

It was almost an exact reversal of the Pegasus World Cup (G1) when National Treasure had pushed Hoist the Gold around the track with Hoist the Gold now taking up that duty in this spot. Flavien Prat looked confident in his mount at the quarter pole and started some light hand urging turning into the stretch. That was all National Treasure needed to bolt home and after a few taps, Prat put the whip away to let the 4-year-old cruise to a 6 ¼ length victory.

“He’s royally bred and a beautiful horse, but it’s about the excitement of winning these big races for these clients. That’s why they’re in the business – to play on the big stage. The stallion part of it he’ll have to prove down the road, but we know he’s a tremendous racehorse,” said trainer Bob Baffert.

Now the winner of three Grade 1s with placings in three others at the level, he is owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC & Catherine Donovan. Also finishing fourth last out in the $10 million Saudi Cup (G1), his earnings now sit at $5,372,000 with a record of 4-2-2 in 13 starts.

“This is the most satisfying result. We have never won the Met Mile before and for him to come out and do this—he’s a brilliant horse. He has that early speed and put them to the sword early and just kept traveling. He’s a superstar,” said SF Bloodstock’s Tom Ryan.