Union Rags finally showed off its talent and shot past Paynter to win the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes.
Here is how the payouts ended up, via the New York Racing association website:
|(3) Union Rags||$7.50||$4.30||$3.40|
These totals are the payoffs based a $2 wager.
The big winners were the lucky few who predicted the third-place finish of Atigun, who had a morning line of 15-1 heading into the race, according to BelmontStakes.com.
Those who had the incredible foresight to pick a winning trifecta and guess the top three finishers in order received a whopping $496 per $2 bet, as noted on the NYRA website.
Union Rags was one of the most hyped horses heading into the Triple Crown season, but he put on a lackluster performance at the Kentucky Derby.
Owner Phyllis Wyeth and trainer Michael Matz decided to hold Union Rags out of the Preakness Stakes and replace Julien Leparoux with John Velazquez as the jockey for the Belmont. Both decisions were vindicated, as their horse put on an excellent show, with a winning time of 2:30.42, as noted by ESPN.com
Matz is best known for training Barbaro, who won the Kentucky Derby in 2006 but suffered a tragic injury in the Preakness. Now, the trainer has another Triple Crown winner.
Velazquez pulled a daring and impressive move to get his horse into first. Union Rags was right up against the rail but still shot through the narrow opening to win the race.
As for second-place finisher Paynter, the horse led nearly the entire race before losing ground to Union Rags down the stretch. This caps off a painful Triple Crown season for Bob Baffert, whose other horse, Bodemeister, led the entire way at the first two legs before being overtaken by I’ll Have Another each time.
Leparoux did not let the slight by Matz and Wyeth affect him and took Atigun to a third-place finish.
This caps off a riveting Triple Crown season which featured come-from-behind victories in all three legs.
There may have been no chance at history without I’ll Have Another in the race, but there was no shortage drama, nonetheless.
It will difficult for next year’s season to equal the excitement these three race offered.