Photo credit: @BelmontStakes
By: Ana Kieu
The 151st running of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets was a Grade 1, $1.5 million race at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. on Saturday. Sir Winston won the Belmont Stakes, but the victory en route to the Triple Crown was crazy. Sir Winston held off the favored Tacitus by a length.
The win gave trainer Mark Casse the final two jewels in the showcase for three-year-old thoroughbreds. He won the Preakness with War of Will, who was expected to battle Tacitus in the 1 1/2 mile Belmont.
Instead, Casse’s other’s colt took the lead after a ground-saving ride by Joel Rosario.
However, it wasn’t really a shock to Casse.
“I said all week he was doing really well,” Casse told ESPN. “He had a race over the track. What can I say? It’s just exciting.”
Sir Winston, who made his Triple Crown debut, finished second in the Peter Pan Stakes, the traditional prep for the Belmont.
Rosario rode him for the first time in that race, and the two put on a show Saturday in front of a crowd of 56,217, earning $800,000 for owner Tracy Farmer.
Long-shot Joevia finished third and Tax was fourth.
The Triple Crown grind caught up to Preakness winner War of Will, who ran in all three races. He finished ninth in the 10-horse field.
“I could see where War of Will was struggling a little bit,” Casse told ESPN. “He looked like maybe he was a little flat today.”
The Belmont capped an entertaining Triple Crown highlighted by the disqualification of Maximum Security in the Kentucky Derby. It sparked interest in thoroughbred racing despite no possibility of the third Triple Crown winner in five years, coming on the heels of Justify in 2018 and American Pharoah in 2015.
Last but not least, the Belmont was a positive event with no tragedies on the track, and most importantly, no horse deaths.