Belmont Stakes Results
The Belmont Stakes provided another surprise Saturday, as 10-1 shot Sir Winston held off the favorite Tacitus to win the “Test of the Champion” by one length.
At three wins for 10 career starts, the Sir Winston Churchill namesake scored his first graded stakes victory with an awesome effort. The winning run presented trainer Mark Casse with the second of the final two jewels of the Triple Crown, as stablemate War of Will won the Preakness Stakes. War of Will finished ninth in the 10-horse Belmont Stakes field.
“I said all week he was doing really well,” trainer Mark Casse said of Sir Winston. “He had a race over the track. What can I say? It’s just exciting.”
Sir Winston had finished 2nd in the Peter Pan Stakes May 11 at Belmont Park, the traditional prep for the Belmont Stakes. Just prior to his Peter Pan start, Sir Winston finished 5th at 46-1 odds in the 1 1/16 mile Kentucky Derby prep with the Tampa Bay Derby, won by Tacitus.
“We’re very proud of him,” 58-year-old Casse said. “He’s kind of what our operation represents. We develop horses. The first two times he ran, he got beat 10 or 20 lengths. I can remember having a conversation with Mr. Farmer (owner) up at Saratoga and I said ‘Don’t give up on him. It’s crazy, but I see something.”
The Belmont Race
Capping a magnificent day of racing, as the centerpiece of the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival in front of a crowd of 56,217 at Belmont Park, fans watched Joevia break to the lead. He set the pace through a :48.79 half mile and 1:38.27 mile as Tax tracked just a half-length behind.
Spinoff was next, before fading while approaching the mile and a quarter marker. Sir Winston was in seventh position at the mile marker and saving ground along the rail. Tacitus just behind him.
As Sir Winston accelerated, with encouragement from jockey Joel Rosario into the stretch, he grinded the lead away from Joevia inside the final furlong marker. Near the front was Tacitus as the herd entered the far turn and steadily gained ground steadily, but did not have enough to overtake Sir Winston.
“We did have a bit of a wide trip, which you never like,” said Tacitus trainer Bill Mott. “He came running and looked like he finished better than anybody. We planned to try and be in contention at the quarter pole, which he was. He just couldn’t get there.”
Sir Winston paid $22.40 as the winner, $8.80 to place and $6.10 to show with Tacitus returning $3.90 and $3.20 for second and third. Joevia paid $8.70 to show and the $1 exacta returned $48.00 and the .50 cent trifecta paid $622.00. Tax held on for 4th a head in front of Master Fencer and Spinoff, and a .10 superfecta paid $1,042.80.
The winning time was 2:28.30 on a fast track under sunny skies, and the $800,000 first place prize increased earnings for Sir Winston to 961,773.
"They all better watch out for Sir Winston, especially at 10 furlongs. He's a pretty serious horse," Casse said.
Below is the official order of finish for the 2019 Belmont Stakes:
- Sir Winston
- Master Fencer
- Intrepid Heart
- War of Will
- Bourbon War