Mo Donegal wins the Mont Stakes 2022

Triple Crown veteran Todd Pletcher received a little advice on Saturday for rider Irad Ortiz Jr. by Belmont Stakes.

“Be patient,” Bleacher said. “I think you have the best last quarter of any horse in the race.”

Sometimes, the lower is Mo.

Mo Donegal pulled away from his home ground and stopped Nest’s filly to win the Belmont Stakes, giving Bleacher a 1-2 win and his sixth Triple Crown win, including four at this track in suburban New York City.

β€œTo be honest with you, we were a little confident getting into the race today,” said Donegal Racing CEO and co-owner Jerry Crawford. “When he got home, I was like, ‘Forget it. I know Todd thought he could have a solid final quarter mile, and he definitely did.”

Donegal rounded out the one-and-a-half mile course in two minutes, 28.28 seconds, ahead of Nest and Skippylongstocking. Bleacher, who lives on Long Island, is adding another Belmont title after winning with Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013, and Tapwrit in 2017.

Mo Donegal overcame a wide-open field, with eight horses in it with no clear favorite – We the People, a monster in the mud, opening at 2 to 1 amid a rainy forecast but making it 7 to 2 by race time as showers stopped.

Mo Donegal entered the betting-favorite gate at 5 to 2. We the people led most of the race, but Mo Donegal and Ortiz took over to get out of the last round.

A 3-year-old colt paid $7.20, $3.80, and $3. Nest – who nearly became Pleacher’s second filly to win Belmont after Rags to Riches – paid $5.30 and $4.10, and Skippylongstocking returned $5.60 for the show.

Rich Strike, Amazing Kentucky Derby Award Winner At odds of 80 to 1, he was sixth after owner Rick Dawson and coach Eric Reed knocked him out of hardness With a focus on Belmont. Rich Strike was the first healthy derby winner to pass Pimlico since 1985.

Reed said the team encouraged jockey Sonny Leon to try to push Rich Strike on the outside, but the horse kept trying to get back inside β€” making a late charge after 19 horses to win at Churchill Downs.

“I think we made a tactical mistake,” Reed said.

Just like Rich Strike, Mo Donegal was at the back of the pack at the Derby, but the colt didn’t have enough kick at Churchill Downs. He found it on Saturday, winning 154th place out of the $1.5 million race.

It is the fourth year in a row that three different horses have won Triple Crown races, and the first for the sport since 1926-29.

The race marked a return to Belmont itself after the 2020 Stakes were closed to the public due to the pandemic, and the 2021 event was limited to 11,238 spectators due to virus restrictions.

Capacity has been restricted again, this time at 50,000, due to congestion concerns caused by the newly built arena adjacent to New Yorkers in the NHL. Still, fans packed cars onto the Long Island Railroad and breathed life into the 117-year-old track in floral hoods, pastel suits, and unmistakable booze and cigars.

The stands were not as packed as they were when the grounds hosted 120,139 fans in 2004. It wasn’t much of a surprise, given the shaky weather forecast and no contender for the Triple Crown.

The field was also scattered. No horse has pulled off all legs of the Triple Crown this year, raising concern that the three races in five weeks may be too tight on the schedule to keep the horses healthy.

The Preakness Early Voting winner has been sidelined, likely gearing up for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racing on Aug. 27. It also passed the Epicenter, runners-up in the Kentucky Derby and Prekness.

In the $500,000 oak game for 3-year-old fillies, Mataria took a 6 1/4 win. Scratch the Echo’s favorite Zulu in position on the advice of your vet.

Mataria ($2.60), coached by Brad Cox and ridden by Flavian Pratt, ran the mile in 1:35.77, winning for the fifth time in eight starts.

The hard-earned Flightline got a slow stride, overcame an early traffic issue and sprinted to a six-length victory on the million-dollar Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Mile.

The win kept 4-year-old Tabet’s colt undefeated in four career starts. This was the first time he hadn’t won double-digit lengths.

He also rode Pratt’s Flightline ($2.90) and was coached by John Sadler.

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