Mo Donegal Stretches Out to Win 154th Belmont Stakes in Style
We the People took the early lead, but Belmont Stakes post-time favorite Mo Donegal took over at the top of the lane and pulled away with jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. to give trainer Todd Pletcher his fourth Belmont Stakes victory.
Pletcher also trained the rallying runner-up, Nest, who was the first filly to run in the Triple Crown race since 2013.
"It was very special," Irad Ortiz, Jr. said after winning his second Belmont Stakes. His brother Jose Ortiz rode Nest, and gave him a high five as they past the finish line.
The win was special for New Yorker and co-owner Mike Repole, who also has an ownership interest in both Mo Donegal and Nest. The win was "a dream that I have had for 40 years," Repole said.
Belmont Stakes Order of Finish, Odds and Payouts
|1st - Mo Donegal (5/2) - $7.20, $3.80, $3.00|
|2nd- Nest (5/1) - $5.30, $4.10|
|3rd- Skippylongstocking (11/1) - $5.60|
|4th- We the People (9/2)|
|5th- Creative Minister (7/1)|
|6th- Rich Strike (4/1)|
|7th- Barber Road (8/1)|
|8th- Golden Glider (14/1)|
The “Test of the Champion” proved a perfect race for Mo Donegal, who completed the 1 1/2 miles in 2:28.28. He won the Wood Memorial in April with the fastest closing BRIS late pace figure of all Kentucky Derby runners. He rallied in the Derby to finish fifth but didn’t get the best trip in the 20 horse field.
The Belmont Stakes replay showed Mo Donegal was the best of the bunch Saturday and bred for the distance.
Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike was running last along the back stretch and never fired while finishing sixth.