The winner of the 2012 Belmont Stakes is Union Rags, who was able to just pass Paynter on the inside to take the win in the closing stretch. Paynter had opened the race in front and remained there, with Optimizer and Unstoppable U behind him for much of the race. Around the midpoint of the 1.5 mile race Union Rags made his move, and in the final 100 meters he found himself squeezing between Paynter and the rail. Paynter finished second, followed by Atigun in third and Street Life in fourth.
Dullahan, who was the clear favorite following I'll Have Another's late scratch, was never a factor. The horse, who had never won on dirt, started the race towards the back of the pack and only made it to the middle of the pack around the midpoint, only to drift back in the closing stretch. Jockey John Velazquez rode Union Rags for the first time on Saturday, picking up his second Belmont Stakes win as he did it. The final odds for Union Rags were 5-2, and the winning time was 2:30:42.
The 2012 Belmont Stakes once had the billing of potentially seeing the first Triple Crown winner in 30+ years, but that is no longer the case with I'll Have Another scratched due to swelling in his legs. While the excitement level will not be quite as high this weekend, we still have a very strong field in the running for the large purse.
Here are the updated odds for the running of the Belmont Stakes.
1. Street Life (Jose Lezcano, 12-1) 2. Unstoppable U (Junior Alvarado, 30-1) 3. Union Rags (John Velazquez, 6-1) 4. Atigun (Julien Leparoux, 30-1) 5. Dullahan (Javier Castellano, 5-1) 6. Ravelo's Boy (Alex Solis, 50-1) 7. Five Sixteen (Rosie Napravnik, 50-1) 8. Guyana Star Dweej (Kent Desormeaux, 50-1) 9. Paynter (Mike Smith, 8-1) 10. Optimizer (Corey Nakatani, 20-1) I'll Have Another (Mario Gutierrez, 4-5) SCRATCHED 11. My Adonis (Ramon Dominguez, 20-1)
The post time for the race is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. PST.
For all of the latest news, updates and late-breaking stories from the Belmont Stakes and all of horse racing in general, make sure to visit SB Nation's horse racing blog,And Down The Stretch They Come.
On Saturday, the 2012 Belmont Stakes will take place. While the running of one of the three most famous thoroughbred races in the world is sure to be exciting, there will be no possibility of a Triple Crown Winner in 2012.
On Friday, for just the third time in history, a horse withdrew from the Belmont Stakes after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Trainer Doug O'Neill announced on the Dan Patrick Show early on Friday that I'll Have Another would be withdrawing from the race due to injury and would likely be retiring.
In the wake of I'll Have Another withdrawing from the race, Dullahan has become the new betting favorite.
Complete odds for the 2012 Belmont Stakes can be found below.
Even though things were setting up nicely for a possible Triple Crown winner, the horse favored to win the Belmont Stakes will not be racing as I'll Have Another, the winner of the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, has officially been scratched from Saturday's race, according to trainer Doug O'Neill.
O'Neill said, "We ain't taking any chances," and that the scratch "is a bummer, but far from tragic."
O'Neill also suggested that I'll Have Another has run his last race.
There were rumors of an injury before the announcement, but O'Neill did not mention anything specific in that regard. An official press conference has been scheduled for 1 p.m. ET to announce the decision.
As the world waits with faded breath to see in I'll Have Another can make history and control the triple crown of racing in 2012, the post positions for the Belmont Stakes have been released, leaving history's rooting chance in a tough spot to begin the race this weekend.
Towards the end of the line with the 11th post position, I'll Have Another will have an uphill battle to take the triple crown, while Street Life has drawn the rail. Fellow favorite Dullihan sits in the No. 5 post position.
Below is the complete list of the post positions for the 2012 Belmont Stakes
Guyana Star Dweej
I'll Have Another
For more in depth discussion, analysis, and predictions for the Belmont Stakes and all of horse racing in general, make sure to check out SB Nation's hopelessly devouted horse racing blog entitled And Down The Stretch They Come.
I'll Have Another's shot at horse racing history is only seven days away. The horse will go for the Triple Crown in next Saturday's running of the 2012 Belmont Stakes. Winning both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness is difficult enough, and no horse has managed to win all three races in more than 30 years. Affirmed was the last horse to managed the feat, in 1978.
Trainer Dough O'Neill liked how I'll Have Another looked Saturday morning as the horse went through his paces. Via Belmont Stakes:
As has been his routine, I’ll Have Another was accompanied to the track by his stable pony, Lava Man, with whom he jogged to the backstretch before breaking off for a one-mile gallop through the mud under exercise rider Jonny Garcia.
“During this whole Triple Crown run," O'Neill said, "he’s trained over a lot of sloppy tracks and he gets over it really well. I don’t think track surface will be an issue.”
I'll Have Another remains the heavy favorite with odds at 3-5, but Dullahan (5-1) and Union Rags (6-1) are both strong contenders to upset I'll Have Another's bid for the Triple Crown. We'll only have to wait a week to see whether the horse will make history or come up short.
Stick with this storystream for news and updates from the 2012 Belmont Stakes, and as always And Down The Stretch They Come has you covered for full time horse racing news and analysis. And don't miss the excellent 2012 Belmont Stakes preview from SB Nation Studios: