Sir Winston was the first horse across the finish line on Saturday at the 151st running of the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, N.Y. Though this was the third leg of the sport’s yearly Triple Crown, there were no Triple Crown contenders at Belmont.
Sir Winston, ridden by Joel Rosario, was a 10-1 shot coming into Saturday’s race. The horse covered the 1 1/2 mile course in 2 minutes 28.3 seconds. Tacitus, one of the betting favorites, came in second and Joevia, who led for most of the race, finished third.
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“He seemed like he didn’t mind to be on the inside,” Rosario said of Sir Winston after the race. “For the distance, he rode pretty good.”
Indeed, this year’s Triple Crown was mired in controversy from the start. Maximum Security, the initial winner of the first of the three Triple Crown races — the Kentucky Derby — was disqualified for interfering in the paths of several horses. Country House, who was declared winner of the Derby, did not race Saturday.
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War of Will, the winner of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore last month, faded as the race went on and finished ninth in the 10-horse contest on Saturday.
“I could see where War of Will was struggling a little bit,” said Mark Casse, trainer for War of Will and Sir Winston. “He looked like maybe he was a little flat today.”
The last Triple Crown winner was Justify in 2018, coming three years after American Pharoah in 2015.