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Mo Donegal finishes 1st at Belmont, another Pletcher win

Mo Donegal finishes 1st at Belmont, another Pletcher win

NEW YORK (AP) — Triple Crown former soldierold hand Todd Pletcher had simple advice Saturday for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. earlier to the Belmont Stakes.

"Be patient," Pletcher said. "I exist convinced by you have the finest last quarter of some horse inside the race."

Sometimes, less is Mo.

Mo Donegal pulled away down the place of residence stretch accompanied by every one one other accompanied by held off filly Nest to go nearer earliest inside the Belmont Stakes, giving Pletcher a 1-2 complete accompanied by every one one other accompanied by his sixth Triple Crown victory, including quartet at this track on the outskirts of New York City.

"To exist morally correct accompanied by you, we were a little optimistic going into the competition today," Donegal Racing CEO accompanied by every one one other accompanied by co-owner Jerry Crawford said. "When he turned for home, I was like, fail to remember concerning it. I know Todd idea he could obtain a strong last quarter mile, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by he surely did."

Rich Strike, a stunning Kentucky Derby winner at 80-to-1 odds, was sixth.

Mo Donegal rounded the 1 1/2-mile distance inside 2 minutes, 28.28 seconds, trio lengths ahead of Nest — ridden by Ortiz's brother, José. Pletcher, who lives on Long Island, adds another Belmont title following wins accompanied by Rags to Riches inside 2007, Palace Malice inside 2013 accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Tapwrit inside 2017.

Mo Donegal hit an eight-horse meadow lacking a understandable favorite. We the People, a monster inside the mud, opened at 2 to 1 amid a rainy forecast nevertheless reached 7 to 2 by competition hour dated while showers held off.

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Mo Donegal entered the gate the betting favorite at 5 to 2. We the People led for a a large amount of of the race, nevertheless Mo Donegal accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Ortiz took inquire inside remittance coming not here of the final turn.

The 3-year-old colt paid $7.20, $3.80 accompanied by every one one other accompanied by $3. Nest — who almost became Pletcher's following filly to go nearer earliest inside Belmont following Rags to Riches — paid $5.30 accompanied by every one one other accompanied by $4.10. Skippylongstocking was third accompanied by every one one other accompanied by returned $5.60 to show. We the People finished fourth.

Rich Striker owner Rick Dawson accompanied by every one one other accompanied by trainer Eric Reed held the Kentucky Derby winner not here of the Preakness accompanied by an eye on Belmont, the earliest inside good physical condition horse to skip Pimlico following winning the Triple Crown's earliest flat since 1985.

Reed said the team encouraged jockey Sonny Leon to try pushing Rich Strike from the outside, nevertheless the horse kept trying to obtain spine inside — where he made a late inquire inside remittance past 19 horse to go nearer earliest inside at Churchill Downs. Rich Strike spent a a large amount of of the competition inside last place accompanied by every one one other accompanied by couldn't recover.

"I exist convinced by we fair made a tactical error," Reed said.

Just exist fond of Rich Strike, Mo Donegal was at the spine of the pack at the Derby, nevertheless the colt didn't have sufficient gumboot at Churchill Downs. He found it Saturday, winning the 154th running of the $1.5 million race.

Mo Donegal made a winner not here of co-owner Mike Repole, a local entrepreneur known around the track while "Mike from Queens." Repole excessively co-owns Nest.

"This is New York's biggest competition accompanied by every one one other accompanied by to go nearer earliest inside it here, accompanied by my family accompanied by every one one other accompanied by friends accompanied by every one one other accompanied by 70 people here, this will exist a large winner's circle," he said.

It's the fourth unswerving year the Triple Crown contests were won by trio different horses, a earliest for the (competitive) game(s) since 1926-29.

The competition marked a return to form for Belmont itself following the 2020 Stakes were closed to the condition due to the pandemic accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the 2021 event was restricted to 11,238 spectators by virus restrictions.

Capacity was capped again, this hour dated at 50,000, since of congestion concerns stemming from the newly built arena following door for the NHL's New York Islanders. Still, fans crammed into cars on the Long Island Rail Road accompanied by every one one other accompanied by breathed actuality into the 117-year-old track accompanied by floral headwear, pastel suits accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the unmistakable musk of booze accompanied by every one one other accompanied by cigars.

The reported attendance of 46,103 fell a lengthy way short of the grounds record 120,139 place inside 2004. Not a a large amount of of a surprise, specified the shaky weather forecast accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the lack of a Triple Crown contender.

The meadow was sparse, too. No horse ran all trio Triple Crown legs this year, heightening exist concerning that trio races inside five weeks may exist excessively firm a scheme to retain the horses healthy.

Preakness winner Early Voting was sidelined, probable to prepare for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 27. Epicenter, the runner-up at the Kentucky Derby accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Preakness, excessively skipped.

In the $500,000 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies, Matareya romped to a 6 1/4-length victory. Favorite Echo Zulu scratched at the pole on the advice of the track veterinarian.

Trained by Brad Cox accompanied by every one one other accompanied by ridden by Flavien Prat, Matareya ($2.60) ran the mile inside 1:35.77, winning for the fifth hour dated inside eight career starts.

Heavily favored Flightline got off a step slow, overcame an early vehicles matter accompanied by every one one other accompanied by cruised to a six-length victory inside the $1 million Hill 'N' Dale Metropolitan Mile.

The victory kept the 4-year-old Tapit colt undefeated inside quartet career starts. This was the earliest one he did not go nearer earliest inside by double-digit lengths. Flightline ($2.90) was excessively ridden by Prat accompanied by every one one other accompanied by trained by John Sadler.

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Mo Donegal finishes 1st at Belmont, another Pletcher win

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