Congratulations to Union Rags, 2012 Belmont Stakes Champion!
Crowd favorite Paynter stormed out of the gates running a solid first quarter, leading the field with a clear strategy of “win from the front”. Meanwhile, eventual winner Union Rags and third place finisher Atigun lurked in the lead pack, jockeying for position off Paynter’s draft. The pace settled in nicely about mid-way through the race and wasn’t too fast. This was optimal for the closer horses that counted on winning with big final kicks.
By all accounts, Paynter had the race won with 300 yards to go, hurtling down the homestretch about a length off the rail. Ideally, he should have flush to the rail to avoid exactly what happened: Union Rags was able to sneak up using the inside position, a bold move by initiated veteran jockey John Velazquez. Union Rags responded with vigor and pushed ahead of Paynter with just a few precious yards to go, winning by nearly a head, good enough to cash a $1,000,000 Belmont purse.
Paynter trainer Bob Baffert had to settle for second yet again, after watching his horse Bodemeister get edged out at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness by I’ll Have Another. If there was a Triple Crown for placing second, Baffert’s team earned it; unfortunately we go to the races to bet on winning horses, not necessarily who will end up at the bottom of the result card.
The race was an exciting finish to an anxious last 24 hours with the troubling news that Triple Crown hopeful I’ll Have Another would be retiring effective immediately due to tendinitis. No doubt, he’ll be collecting nice stud fees in the coming years.
2012 Belmont Stakes 144 Results and Payouts:
|Horse Number||Horse Name||Win||Place||Show|
2012 Belmont Stakes 144 Payouts: