Mage’s ascent continues despite falling short at Preakness Stakes. National Treasure wins
In the span of just a few weeks, Mage went from an underdog to Kentucky Derby winner to favorite at the 148th Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horse racing’s triple crown.
Although Mage ultimately fell short on Saturday at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course with a third-place finish, the colt with a South Florida connection continued to put on a good showing on a national stage.
National Treasure won the 1 3/16-mile race. Blazing Sevens finished runner-up. Mage, who entered the day as the betting favorite with 8-5 odds to win, rounded out the top three in a seven-horse field, the smallest field to compete in the Preakness since 1986.
Mage, the son of Good Magic (the 2018 Kentucky Derby runner-up), is part-owned by 44-year-old Ramiro Restrepo, a University of Miami alumnus who comes from a family of horse racing enthusiasts. Restrepo and South Florida-based Gustavo Delgado Jr. each retained a 25 percent stake in Mage.
Restrepo told the Herald in the days after the Kentucky Derby that the win felt like “you’re floating out of body. It’s like you’re Mick Jagger. We’re being feted like we’re celebrities. I’ve never had that happen to me.”
A similar celebration would have been welcomed on Saturday, but the owners are not hanging their heads just yet.
After all, Saturday was just Mage’s fifth career race.
Prior to winning the Kentucky Derby, Mage’s lone win was on Jan. 28 as part of the undercard of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup, the richest race in Florida. Mage won impressively, defeating a field of fellow “maidens” by nearly four lengths.
Five weeks later, Mage returned in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, a race for budding 3-year-old standouts, and finished fourth behind Forte.
After that, Mage finished as the runner-up in the Florida Derby on April 1 after falling to the back of the pack early in the race.
And then came the first two legs of the Triple Crown, with Mage pulling off an upset to win the Kentucky Derby but not being able to rally at the Preakness Stakes.
“We still won the Derby,” Delgado Jr. said in a post-race interview on NBC. “Nobody’s going to take that from us. The horse ran a huge race. The winner, congratulations. ... We ran a huge race. We still like the horse. We’re going to beat them later on.”
The final race of the triple crown, the Belmont Stakes, is June 10.