Mo Donegal takes first at Belmont, another Pletcher win

NEW YORK – Mo Donegal finished first and filly Nest second, giving trainer Todd Pletcher a 1-2 result for his sixth win in the Triple Crown race at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.

Donegal lapped the 1 1/2 mile course in 2 minutes and 28.28 seconds ahead of Nest and Skippylongstocking.

Pletcher won the Belmont Stakes for the fourth time, after Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2017.

Mo Donegal beat a wide eight-horse field without a clear favorite – We the People, a monster in the mud, opened 2-1 amid a rain forecast but was 7-2 at race time as the showers failed to materialise.

Mo Donegal became the betting favorite at 5 to 2. We the people led for much of the race but Mo Donegal took charge coming out of the last corner.

Rich Strike, an impressive 80-to-1 Kentucky Derby winner, finished sixth after owner Rick Dawson and trainer Eric Reed kept him out of the preakness with Belmont in mind. Rich Strike became the first healthy derby winner to skip Pimlico since 1985.


Like Rich Strike, Mo Donegal was down the field in the Derby but the colt didn’t have enough kick at Churchill Downs. He found it on Saturday and won the 154th heat of the $1.5 million race.


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Sarah Y. Kim

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