Dornoch wins the Belmont Stakes, beating Derby and Preakness winners

by Admin
Dornoch wins the Belmont Stakes, beating Derby and Preakness winners

Dornoch won the Belmont Stakes Saturday evening, with the race held for the first time in New York’s Saratoga Springs, 200 miles north of Belmont Park, which is under renovation.

The Danny Gargan-trained horse broke late on the final turn to take the lead in the 10-horse field with Luis Saez aboard, besting the Kentucky Derby champion Mystik Dan and Preakness Stakes champion Seize The Grey, who were among the favorites for the final jewel in this year’s Triple Crown, along with post time favorite Sierra Leone, who finished third.

Dornoch, who entered the race at 17-1 odds, held off a late charge from Mindframe and Sierra Leone to pull off the upset victory in the Triple Crown’s third leg. Dornoch was neck-and-neck with Seize The Grey until the final turn, where he pulled away from the Preakness winner. Mindframe finished the race in second.

“It’s a huge race to win, I lost my voice a little bit, we were riding him down the lane pretty hard,” said trainer Danny Gargan after the race. “Speechless. He’s such a talented horse, we’ve thought so much of him all along. For him to get us here, and just be a part of it, it’s a special ride.”

The victory is the first for Gargan in any Triple Crown race and second for Jockey Luis Saez. Dornoch is co-owned by 2008 World Series champion Jayson Werth.

“I would put it right up there with winning on the biggest stage,” Werth said on the FOX broadcast. “Horse racing is the most underrated sport in the world, bar none. … This is as good as it gets in horse racing; this is as good as it gets in sports.”

Saturday marked the first time in the 156-year history of the Belmont Stakes the race was hosted at a different track. It won’t be held at Belmont Park until at least 2026.

No Triple Crown winner in 2024

It’s the sixth straight year a different horse has won each leg of the Triple Crown.

The surprise Kentucky Derby champion Mystik Dan failed to keep the possibility of a Triple Crown success alive after finishing second at the Preakness Stakes last month.

The race was won by Seize The Grey who held off Mystik Dan’s challenge on the home stretch.

Jockey Luis Saez raises the trophy after Dornoch wins the 156th running of the Belmont Stakes. – Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Despite the two champions lining up at the start on Saturday, the pre-race favorite for the Belmont Stakes was Sierra Leone.

The 3-year-old was one of the horses involved in the Derby’s dramatic photo-finish, finishing second behind Mystik Dan after eventually breaking free from a congested group.

The Derby, in a news release, said it was “the closest three-horse photo finish since 1947.”

“If (Sierra Leone) had kept a straight line, it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t have won,” trainer Chad Brown said, per the New York Post.

“But that’s horse racing, a nice consolation prize would be the Belmont.”

Sierra Leone was the pre-race favorite ahead of this year’s Belmont Stakes. – Julia Nikhinson/AP

The field of stellar candidates racing at Saratoga Springs on Saturday had to contend with the change of track and distance for this year’s race.

The Belmont Stakes has become known as “The Test of Champions” over the years, owing to the mile-and-a-half distance on the big sandy track at Belmont Park, but this year, however, the race was scaled back to a mile-and-a-quarter. The Saratoga Race Course is a shorter distance at 1-and-a-quarter miles, similar to the Kentucky Derby.

Belmont Stakes entrants

1. Seize the Grey (8-1)
2. Resilience (10-1)
3. Mystik Dan (5-1)
4. The Wine Steward (15-1)
5. Antiquarian (12-1)
6. Dornoch (15-1)
7. Protective (20-1)
8. Honor Marie (12-1)
9. Sierra Leone (9-5)
10. Mindframe (7-2)

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