MO DONEGAL PULLS OFF LATE STRIDE TO BEAT FAVORITE WE THE PEOPLE AT BELMONT STAKES.
This is the fourth consecutive time three different horses have won a leg of the Triple Crown.
Mo Donegal won the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday night, beating out Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike and closing out the third and final leg of the Triple Crown season.
We the People, whose ownership group includes celebrity chef Bobby Flay, was the favorite heading into the notoriously long race which tests competitors’ speed and endurance on the mile-and-a-half-long track, which has come to be known as the “test of a champion.”
After maintaining the lead for most of the race, We the People fell behind as Skippylongstocking and Mo Donegal began closing.
Mo Donegal finished the race in 2 minutes, 28.28 seconds, ahead of Nest and Skippylongstocking, giving trainer Todd Pletcher his sixth victory in the Triple Crown race and his fourth at the Belmont Stakes.
“The one thing I told Irad is be patient,” Pletcher said of jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. “I think you have the best last quarter of any horse in the race.”
Rich Strike stood a slim chance of winning the Belmont Stakes, even after skipping Preakness to rest up. Had he won, Rich Strike would’ve been the first horse since 1995 to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont but not the Preakness. He finished in sixth place.
“I think we just made a tactical error,” trainer Eric Reed said after the race.
Early Voting, the winner of the 2022 Preakness Stakes, did not compete in the eight-horse race.
Owner Seth Klarman and trainer Chad Brown announced last month that they would skip the Belmont with hopes of competing in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York on Aug. 27.
Saturday marks the fourth consecutive year when three different horses have won a race in the Triple Crown. The last time that happened was 1926 through 1929.