In a thrilling three-horse showdown, Union Rags, Paynter and Atigun paid big dividends for those who bet on them at the 2012 Belmont Stakes.
Paynter was in control for the majority of the race, but Union Rags blazed past him on the home stretch. Atigun, who was facing 20-1 odds coming in, was also in contention late before finishing in a solid third place.
Here are the complete payouts from the race.
|1. Union Rags ||7.50||4.20||3.40|
|3. Atigun ||10.60|
Union Rags entered the Belmont as one of the favorites, so his late surge on the rail shouldn't come as a huge surprise. After a disappointing Kentucky Derby, this was the performance that we all knew the big horse was capable of.
Jockey John Velazquez did a great job of pushing Union Rags forward, taking advantage of Paynter and Mike Smith, who drifted from the rail during the most critical stretch of the race.
It was a third consecutive heartbreak for Paynter's trainer, Bob Baffert, who lost all three 2012 Triple Crown races in excruciating fashion. His prize horse Bodemeister was run down by I'll Have Another at both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
While it was another disappointing conclusion for Baffert, a second-place finish for his inexperienced horse should be viewed as a success.
Of course, the biggest surprise of the day was Atigun. Despite winning two races already this year, the scrappy horse received no love from the oddsmakers.
However, he was able to prove them wrong by sprinting to a respectable third-place finish, providing joy for his owners and some cold hard cash for those smart enough to bet on him.
Click here for the full 2012 Belmont Stakes results (via ESPN).