Sir Winston was supposed to be the "other" horse that Mark Casse trained in the Belmont Stakes, but he is now the king of New York after winning Saturday's Run for the Carnations.
Most of the attention in this race was on Casse's Preakness winner, War of Will, and the favored Tacitus, but Sir Winston was able to save ground early in the race, make his move as the field finished the turn for home and take the lead in the stretch from long shot Joevia.
Tacitus made his move on the far outside and charged towards the front, but Sir Winston got to the wire first to give Casse his second victory in this year's Triple Crown season. Tacitus took second place, while Joevia held on for third place over fourth-placed finisher Tax.
Here are the results and the payoffs in the Belmont Stakes.
Finish: Horse; Jockey; Trainer (Payout)
1. Sir Winston; Joel Rosario; Mark Casse ($800,000)
2. Tacitus; Jose Ortiz; Bill Mott ($300,000)
3. Joevia; Jose Lezcano; Gregg Sasco ($165,000)
4. Tax; Irad Ortiz Jr.; Danny Gargan ($90,000)
5. Master Fencer; Julien Leparoux; Koichi Tsunoda ($45,000)
6. Spinoff; Javier Castellano; Todd Pletcher
7. Everfast; Luis Saez; Dale Romans
8. Intrepid Heart; John Velazquez; Todd Pletcher
9. War of Will; Tyler Gaffalione; Mark Casse
10. Bourbon War; Mike Smith; Mark Hennig
Betting Payouts (Win, Place, Show)
Sir Winston ($22.40, $8.80, $6.10)
Tacitus (N/A, $3.90, $3.20)
Joevia (N/A, N/A, $8.70)
$2.00 Exacta (7-10): $96.00
$1.00 Trifecta (7-10-1): $1,244.00
$1.00 Superfecta (7-10-1-4): $10,428.00
War of Will simply did not have his best stride after competing in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. When it was time for him to fire in the race, he couldn't and thus finished in ninth place.
Tacitus, starting from the No. 10 hole, could not save any ground during his run. He was either far on the outside of the other horses or in the middle of the pack, while Sir Winston did not have to run as far because he was on the rail until he made his big move during the stretch.
It was a strong tactical ride by Joel Rosario, who showed excellent patience in waiting for the right time to go for the lead. He appeared to get in the way of War of Will as he angled out to get a clear lane, but the Preakness winner was fading at the time and did not appear to have a chance to win.
NBC commentators Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss said the move was somewhat controversial but did not rise to the level of lighting up the inquiry sign on the infield tote board.
Moss added that there were no worries about War of Will jockey Tyler Gaffalione lodging an objection. "That's not going to happen because that would be one Casse horse filing an objection against another Casse horse," Moss said.
Casse told NBC interviewer Kenny Rice that he thought War of Will "didn't have it" when he needed to make his move.
Sir Winston finished the 1 ½-mile Test of Champions in 2:28.30 on a track that was labeled fast.
Rosario has two victories in eight attempts in the Belmont Stakes, also winning the race in 2014 aboard Tonalist. The 34-year-old Rosario demonstrated his familiarity with the race and the Belmont Park track by making his move at the right moment.
The three Triple Crown races produced three distinct winners, and while Kentucky Derby winner Country House, War of Will and Sir Winston have not yet established themselves as horse-of-the-year candidates, all three should have a chance to stake their claims in the summer and fall racing seasons, which will climax with the Breeders' Cup in November.