How Preakness winner National Treasure, others fared in final Belmont workouts

How Preakness winner National Treasure, others fared in final Belmont workouts

Updated Jun. 6, 2023 12:09 p.m. ET

Preakness winner National Treasure breezed five furlongs Monday in his final workout for the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes this weekend.

Working on the main track at Belmont Park with exercise rider Erick Garcia aboard, National Treasure was timed in 59.55 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.20 and seven furlongs in 1:25.20. It was the second workout on the track for the Bob Baffert-trained colt, who also worked last Tuesday.

"He worked very well this morning," said Jimmy Barnes, Baffert’s top assistant. "It’s a big track, and you can find yourself lost out there. Erick did an excellent job working him, and now we’re just waiting for the race."

National Treasure was fourth in the Santa Anita Derby before the Preakness on May 20.


Trainer Steve Asmussen’s Red Route One also posted his final work for Saturday’s final jewel of the Triple Crown, breezing a half-mile in 50.20 seconds over Belmont Park’s dirt training track.

"I thought he went beautiful," said Toby Sheets, Asmussen’s Belmont-based assistant. "It was nice and fluid, and he came back with good energy. I’m very happy with him. We wanted to be out on the track before it got really busy."

Red Route One finished fourth in the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course, almost five lengths behind National Treasure.

Forte, the Kentucky Derby favorite who was scratched the morning of the race because of a foot injury, had his final workout Saturday.

With jockey Irad Ortiz Jr, riding, Forte went five furlongs in 59.67 seconds over a fast main track at Belmont Park. New York Racing Association clockers caught last year’s two-year-old champion galloping out six furlongs in 1:12 2/5.

"I thought it was a super good breeze," Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher said. "He went 59 and 3, and it looked like he was doing it well within himself, good gallop out. He came back and cooled out quickly. It was exactly what we were hoping for."

Forte won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park this season following his Eclipse Award-earning season. However, he missed the Derby and the Preakness because of his bruised right front foot and had to pass a veterinary inspection last week to get back on the track.

The Pletcher-trainer Tapit Trice also had his final workout for the Belmont, going a half-mile in 49.89 seconds and galloping out five-eighths in 1:02. The colt was seventh in the Derby.

Additional Belmont Stakes workouts on Saturday included the Brad Cox-trained trio of Angel of Empire, Hit Show and Tapit Shoes, who each covered five furlongs at Churchill Downs.

Arkansas Derby winner Angel of Empire posted the fastest work of the three, timed in 59.80 seconds. Tapit Shoes logged his exercise in 1:00.60 while Hit Show stopped the clock in 1:01.60.

The Antonio Sano-trained Belmont Stakes hopeful Il Miracolo recorded a five-eighths breeze on Friday at Gulfstream Park in 1:00.88.

Kentucky Derby winner Mage is not running in the Belmont Stakes.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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