Mo Donegal wins 2022 Belmont Stakes


Triple Crown veteran Todd Pletcher had easy recommendation Saturday for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. earlier than the Belmont Stakes.

“Be affected person,” Pletcher stated. “I believe you’ve gotten the perfect final quarter of any horse within the race.”

Typically, much less is Mo.

Mo Donegal pulled away down the house stretch and held off filly Nest to win the Belmont Stakes, giving Pletcher a 1-2 end and his sixth Triple Crown victory, together with 4 at this monitor on the outskirts of New York Metropolis.

“To be trustworthy with you, we had been somewhat assured going into the race right this moment,” Donegal Racing CEO and co-owner Jerry Crawford stated. “When he turned for residence, I used to be like, neglect about it. I do know Todd thought he may get a robust final quarter mile, and he certain did.”

Donegal rounded the 1 1/2-mile monitor in 2 minutes, 28.28 seconds, forward of Nest and Skippylongstocking. Pletcher, who lives on Lengthy Island, provides one other Belmont title following wins with Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2017.

Mo Donegal beat a wide-open, eight-horse area with no 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 Ortiz took cost popping out of the ultimate flip.

The three-year-old colt paid $7.20, $3.80 and $3. Nest — who almost turned Pletcher’s second filly to win Belmont after Rags to Riches — paid $5.30 and $4.10, and Skippylongstocking returned $5.60 to point out.

Wealthy 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. Wealthy Strike was the primary wholesome Derby winner to skip Pimlico since 1985.

Reed stated the workforce inspired jockey Sonny Leon to attempt pushing Wealthy Strike from the skin, however the horse saved attempting to get again inside — the place he made a late cost previous 19 horse to win at Churchill Downs.

“I believe we simply made a tactical error,” Reed stated.

Identical to Wealthy Strike, Mo Donegal was behind the pack on the Derby, however the colt did not have sufficient kick at Churchill Downs. He discovered it Saturday, successful the 154th working of the $1.5 million race.

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

The race marked a return to kind for Belmont itself after the 2020 Stakes had been closed to the general public because of the 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 issues stemming from the newly constructed area 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 monitor with floral headwear, pastel fits and the unmistakable musk of booze and cigars.

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, prone 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.

Within the $500,000 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies, Matareya romped to a 6 1/4-length victory. Favourite Echo Zulu scratched on the put up on the recommendation of the monitor veterinarian.

Skilled by Brad Cox and ridden by Flavien Prat, Matareya ($2.60) ran the mile in 1:35.77, successful for the fifth time in eight profession begins.

Closely favored Flightline received off a step sluggish, overcame an early visitors subject and cruised to a six-length victory within the $1 million Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Mile.

The victory saved the 4-year-old Tapit colt undefeated in 4 profession begins. This was the primary one he didn’t win by double-digit lengths.

Flightline ($2.90) was additionally ridden by Prat and skilled by John Sadler.

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