Mor Spirit won the 2017 Metropolitan Handicap after pulling away from the field for a dominant victory Saturday.
The Met Mile is one of the biggest events of the season with a $1.2 million purse, and the No. 9 horse was able to run his way into the winner's circle.
Mor Spirit was the 5-2 favorite, per OffTrackBetting.com, and he lived up to expectations with his impressive victory.
Here are the final results from Belmont Park:
1. Mor Spirit (9)
2. Sharp Azteca (5)
3. Tommy Macho (11)
4. Awesome Slew (12)
The Belmont Stakes Twitter account captured the finish:
Belmont Stakes @BelmontStakes
MOR SPIRIT. MORE BIG MONEY MIKE. @mohegansun #MetMile #WinAndYoureIN https://t.co/v86FxSlYVq2017-6-10 20:52:27
Sharp Azteca looked like he would provide some competition with the early lead through the first couple of turns. However, Mor Spirit was right alongside him and waited until the homestretch to make his move.
By the time he got going, no one else had a chance, and it become only a race for second.
Tim Wilkin of the Albany Times Union noted how big the win was Saturday:
Tim Wilkin @tjwilkin
Mor Spirit won the Met Mile by a whopping 61/4 lengths.2017-6-10 20:50:17
Lane Gold of ESPN explained the difference in training helped the eventual winner:
Lane Gold @lanegold
Mor Spirit has been a different horse since Bob Baffert focused him on races around one mile. He's a perfect 3-for-3 at one mile.2017-6-10 20:51:09
Bettors weren't able to get a big payoff with the top two horses in the odds coming in first and second, but Tommy Macho was a relative underdog to help out anyone to nailed the trifecta.
Meanwhile, the win continued an incredible day for jockey Mike Smith and trainer Bob Baffert, as Beth Harris of the Associated Press noted:
Beth Harris @bethharrisap
#BobBaffert #MikeSmith are unbeatable. They win Met Mile with Mor Spirit. Baffert is 4 for 4 and Smith 5 for 5 on #Belmont undercard.2017-6-10 20:44:21
Baffert had never won this event in his storied career, however, while Smith hadn't won since 1994.
In addition to the prize money and glory that comes from this impressive win, the first-place finish clinches a spot for Mor Spirit in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in November.