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Mo Donegal wins Belmont Stakes; Derby winner Rich Strike sixth | Sports News








APTOPIX Belmont Stakes Horse Racing

Mo Donegal, with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. up, crosses the end line to win the 154th operating of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Saturday at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.




NEW YORK (AP) — Mo Donegal received and filly Nest was second, giving coach Todd Pletcher a 1-2 end on the Belmont Stakes on Saturday for his sixth victory in a Triple Crown race.

Donegal rounded the 1 1/2-mile observe in 2 minutes, 28.28 seconds, forward of Nest and Skippylongstocking.

Pletcher received the Belmont Stakes for the fourth time, following Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2017.

Mo Donegal beat a wide-open, eight-horse area and not using a clear favourite — We the Individuals, a monster within the mud, opened at 2 to 1 amid a wet forecast however reached 7 to 2 by race time as showers held off.

Mo Donegal entered the gate the betting favourite at 5 to 2. We the Individuals led for a lot of the race, however Mo Donegal and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. took cost popping out of the ultimate flip.

“The one thing I told Irad is be patient,” Pletcher mentioned. “I think you have the best last quarter of any horse in the race.”

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Rich Strike, a surprising Kentucky Derby winner at 80-to-1 odds, was sixth after proprietor Rick Dawson and coach Eric Reed held him out of the Preakness with a watch on Belmont. Rich Strike was the primary wholesome Derby winner to skip Pimlico since 1985.

Reed mentioned the staff inspired jockey Sonny Leon to attempt pushing Rich Strike from the skin, however the horse stored making an attempt to get again inside — the place he made a late cost to win at Churchill Downs.

“I think we just made a tactical error,” Reed mentioned.

Similar to Rich Strike, Mo Donegal was in the back of the pack on the Derby, however the colt did not have sufficient kick at Churchill Downs. He discovered it Saturday, profitable the 154th operating of the $1.5 million race.

“To be honest with you, we were a little confident going into the race today,” Donegal Racing CEO Jerry Crawford mentioned. “When he turned for home, I was like, forget about it. I know Todd thought he could get a strong last quarter mile, and he sure did.”

It is the fourth straight yr the Triple Crown races have been received by three totally different horses, a primary for the game since 1926-29.

The race marked a return to type for Belmont itself after the 2020 Stakes have been closed to the general public as a result of pandemic and the 2021 occasion was restricted to 11,238 spectators by virus restrictions.

Capability was capped once more, this time at 50,000, due to congestion considerations stemming from the newly constructed enviornment subsequent door for the NHL’s New York Islanders. Nonetheless, followers crammed into automobiles on the Lengthy Island Rail Street and breathed life into the 117-year-old observe with floral headwear, pastel fits and the unmistakable musk of booze and cigars.

Nonetheless, the stands weren’t almost as packed as when the grounds hosted a 120,139 followers in 2004. Not a lot of a shock, given the shaky climate forecast and the shortage of a Triple Crown contender.

The sphere was sparse, too. No horse ran all three Triple Crown legs this yr, heightening concern that three races in 5 weeks could also be too tight a schedule to maintain the horses wholesome.

Preakness winner Early Voting was sidelined, more likely to put together for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 27. Epicenter, the runner-up on the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, additionally skipped.

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