Dear Mo Donegal wins Nest to win Belmont, giving coach Todd Pletcher a 1-2 finish

NEW YORK – Former Triple Crown veteran Todd Pletcher had a simple Saturday trick on jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. in front of the Belmont Stakes.

“Be patient,” Pletcher said. “I think you have a final share of every horse in the race.”

In some cases, the minority is Mo.

Mo Donegal left home and took Nest full to win the Belmont Stakes, giving Pletcher a 1-2 finish with his sixth Triple Crown victory, plus four on the way out of New York City.

“To be honest with you, we were a little too confident to compete today,” said Donegal Racing boss and owner Jerry Crawford. “When he turned around at home, I was like, I forgot about it. I know Todd thought he could find miles miles, and he did.”

Rich Strike, the incredible winner of the Kentucky Derby on 80-to-1 odds, was sixth.

Mo Donegal ran the 1 1/2-mile 2 minute, 28.28 seconds, three yards in front of the Nest – a rider with his Ortiz brother, José. Pletcher, who lives in Long Island, is adding another Belmont title following wins over Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2017.

Mo Donegal rode the part of eight horses without a fan. We People, the mud beast, opened at 2 to 1 am in the rain but we arrived at 7 to 2 during the race when the rain stopped.

Mo Donegal entered the favorite betting gate at 5 to 2. We the People led a lot of competition, but Mo Donegal and Ortiz took the lead out of the final.

The three-year-old donkey paid $ 7.20, $ 3.80 and $ 3. Nest – who almost finished second for Pletcher to win Belmont after the Rags to Riches – paid $ 5.30 and $ 4.10. Skippylongstocking was third with a return of $ 5.60 on display. We People finished fourth.

Rich Striker owner Rick Dawson and coach Eric Reed caught the Kentucky Derby winner from Preakness with an eye on Belmont, the first healthy horse to jump Pimlico after winning the first Triple Crown since 1985.

Reed said the team encouraged jockey Sonny Leon to try to push the Rich Strike out, but the horse tried to get back inside – where he paid a late 19 horse to win at Churchill Downs. Rich Strike sat in a lot of competition and failed.

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

Like the Rich Strike, Mo Donegal was in the back of the pack at Derby, but the donkey didn’t have enough push at Churchill Downs. He won on Saturday, winning 154th in the $ 1.5 million race.

Mo Donegal won from the owners of Mike Repole, a local businessman known as “Mike of Queens.” Repole also owns Nest.

“This is the biggest competition in New York and for me to win here, with my family and friends and 70 people here, this is going to be a very successful team,” he said.

For the fourth year in a row the Triple Crown race was won by three different horses, the first in the sport from 1926-29.

The contest featured a return to Belmont’s stand alone after the 2020 Stakes were closed to the public due to the epidemic and the 2021 event had only 11,238 spectators due to anti-virus.

The possibility was re-established, this time at 50,000, due to overcrowding from a newly built stadium near the New York Islanders NHL. However, fans filled the streets of Long Island Rail Road and breathed a sigh of relief at the 117-year-old with floral prints, pastel suits and an unmistakable musk of alcohol and cigarettes.

The attendance of 46,103 was significantly lower than the 120,139 in September 2004. It came as no surprise, given the severe weather and lack of Crown Triple fighters.

The field was small, too. No horse has ridden three Triple Crown legs this year, raising concerns that three races in five weeks could be too tight for horses to be healthy.

Winner Preakness Early Voting was suspended, possibly in preparation for the $ 1.25 million Travers Stakes at the Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 27. Epicenter, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, also jumped.

In the $ 500,000 three-year-old Acorn, Matareya won up to a 6 1/4 victory. Favorite Echo Zulu wrote in a post on the railway veterinarian’s advice.

Trained by Brad Cox and ridden with Flavien Prat, Matareya ($ 2.60) ran a distance of 1: 35.77, winning fifth in eight starts.

The highly acclaimed airplane slowly landed, overcoming the first car crash and traveling the six-mile long-awaited overnight ride on the Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Mile for $ 1 million.

The win left the 4-year-old Tapit unbeaten in four games. This was the first one that did not win with a two-digit margin. Flightline ($ 2.90) also rode with Prat and was coached by John Sadler.


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