The 2013 Belmont Stakes is in the books, as Palace Malice shocked the world to beat 15/1 odds (via Bovada) and take home the gold. Trailing Palace Malice were Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow and Kentucky Derby victor Orb.
So how did Belmont's top three fare in Elmont, New York?
Palace Malice entered the race as a severe underdog, but with the tandem of jockey Mike Smith and Todd Pletcher, the odds proved to be meaningless. Rather than finish in the middle of the pack, Palace Malice blew the rest of the competition out of the water.
Oxbow and Orb simply looked to fend off the competition.
In the end, it was the sixth time in eight seasons that three separate horses have won the triple crown races. More significantly, it's the 35th consecutive year in which a horse has failed to win the triple crown.
It's only fitting that the three winners of the major races finished first, second and third at Belmont Park.
Palace Malice may have entered the race as an underdog, but when it was all said and done, he was the clear winner. In fact, Mike Smith and company won by such a significant margin that it was difficult to fit every horse into the screen.
Surprisingly, he did this after finishing outside of the top 10 at the Preakness Stakes.
Palace Malice: wins Belmont Stakes after 12th-place finish in Kentucky Derby. That is the 3rd-worst Derby Finish by a Belmont Stakes winner— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 8, 2013
See? Some form of history has been made.
Palace Malice started strong, but there was a group of horses competing for the top spot early on. In fact, the eventual winner was in third place more than three quarters of the way through the race.
And then he made his move.
Rounding the final turn, Palace Malice passed both Oxbow and Freedom Child to move into first place. With the finish line in sight, Smith led a furious charge, pulling away from every horse in the field and crossing with no other horse within a realistic distance.
Just like that, the stars were stunned by a surprise party.
Coming off a win at the 2013 Preakness Stakes, Oxbow was in prime position to close out the season with consecutive major victories. More than three quarters of the way through the race, Oxbow was in prime position to pull out the W.
It all fell apart down the final stretch.
Oxbow was in third coming out of the gates, trailing Frac Daddy and Freedom Child, respectively. Coming around the halfway mark, however, Oxbow passed both horses and thus thrust himself into first.
He and Freedom Child traded the lead momentarily, but Oxbow eventually pulled into a lock for first—until the final stretch.
As Palace Malice stepped up to make his move for the finish line, Oxbow simply ran out of gas. Fortunately, he was still strong enough to finish in second place.
A disappointing ending for the parties involved, but still one of impressive measures.
Orb won the 2013 Kentucky Derby and thus established himself as the favorite to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the triple crown. Unfortunately, Orb drew the rail at the 2013 Preakness Stakes and thus fell short.
A third-place finish at the Belmont Stakes solidifies his status as one of the best horses of the year, but a win was what Orb was looking for.
Throughout the majority of this race, it appeared as if Orb was going to be on the outside looking in. Coming off the far turn, however, he passed Freedom Child and thus moved into fourth place.
The push wasn't done.
Orb passed Revolutionary to enter third, and was just three lengths behind the leaders. While his comeback fell short, Orb did end up finishing in third place and closing out a strong season.
A triple crown was the goal, but finishing in a podium position is still rewarding.