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HomeAllDornoch wins 156th Belmont Stakes, first time running at Saratoga

Dornoch wins 156th Belmont Stakes, first time running at Saratoga

Dornoch pulled off a major upset in the first Belmont Stakes at Saratoga, holding the railing and outlasting Mindframe to win the Triple Crown finale at odds of 17-1.

The horse co-owned by World Series champion Jason Werth won the Belmont after a troubled trip that saw him finish 10th five weeks ago. kentucky derbyThis time, Dornoch left the leader Seize the Grey, Preakness winners Stretch down and hold on.

It is the first win in any Triple Crown for trainer Danny Gargan, and the second win in the Belmont for jockey Luis Saez.

Belmont Stakes Horse Racing
Dornoch (6), with Luis Saez, crosses the finish line ahead of Mindframe (10), with Irad Ortiz Jr., to win the 156th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race on Saturday, June 8, 2024 in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Julia Nikhinson/AP

“He's one of the top 3-year-old horses in the country, and we've always thought so,” Gargan said. “We let him run his races and he won. If he gets to run, he's always going to be tough to beat.

This marked the sixth consecutive year that a different horse won each of the three Triple Crown races. Derby runner-up Sierra Leone, who went off as the favorite, finished third, and Honor Mary was fourth.

“When I rode this horse for the first time (July 29) at Saratoga, I told Danny, 'You're a Derby winner,'” Saez said. “Unfortunately, the Derby is a crazy race and we draw in the No. 1 hole. Today, we're very confident we can win this race.”

Although the race is not a Triple Crown event, it is historic for Belmont as it was the first time the race was held at Saratoga in the venue's 161-year history. The race will resume next year while Belmont Park undergoes a massive $455 million renovation and there are plans to bring the Triple Crown back to the New York track in 2026.

The Belmont was run at the iconic track in Saratoga Springs for the first time in its 161-year history. Saratoga has become an ideal venue for summer horse racing and was the natural choice to hold the Triple Crown finals in 2024 and 2025 while Belmont Park in New York undergoes a massive $455 million rebuilding project.

Holding it at Saratoga necessitated shortening the race from the usual “Champion's Trial” 1 1/2-mile distance to 1 1/4 miles, which has been the hallmark of the Belmont for nearly a century. This temporary change contributed to bringing more quality horses into the field who had previously raced in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness or both.


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