Metropolitan Handicap 2017: Mor Spirit Dominates the Met Mile for Win

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2017

Jockey Mike Smith, riding Mor Spirit, crosses the finish line to win The Mohegan Sun Metropolitan, his fifth win of the day, at Belmont Park on Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)
Peter Morgan/Associated Press

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:

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:

Lane Gold of ESPN explained the difference in training helped the eventual winner:

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:

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.