Mo Donegal is the winner of the 154th Belmont Stakes in an official time of 2: 28.28. This is Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher’s fourth time winning the Belmont.
Pletcher’s previous victories at Belmont Stakes were with Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwriting in 2017. Saturday was a terrific day at the racetrack for him, as his other trainee in the race, Nest, finished in second place.
“This is my Derby,” owner Mike Repole told NBA Sports after the race. “This has been a dream that I’ve had for 40 years. This is the biggest goal I had in my racing life, and I just accomplished it, and I ran 1-2.”
Repole, born and raised in New York, came close to winning a little more than a decade ago. He was emotional as he talked about finally achieved his dream.
“In 2011, I came in second with Stay Thirsty,” he said. “I watched the replay 150 times. I will no longer watch that replay.”
The odds were in Mo Donegal’s favor, as historically, the betting favorite had won the Belmont Stakes more than 42% of the time. He came into the race as the top pick with 5/2 odds and also had a solid resume in New York, as all three of his previous wins had happened there.
He also had a good teammate in Irad Ortiz. The 29-year-old Puerto Rican jockey has a solid reputation in the Empire State and had won the Belmont Stakes in 2016 with Creator. Ortiz is a three-time Eclipse Award winner, receiving the honor in three consecutive years from 2018 to 2020. Success runs in the family as his brother, Jose Ortiz, won this year’s Preakness Stakes with Early Voting, who did not compete this weekend.
No horses this year took part in all three legs of the Triple Crown. Mo Donegal finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby, but had a much better performance on Saturday. He was in the middle of the pack for a good part of the race, as We the People – the favorite when the morning line odds dropped – took an early lead. Skippylongstocking was in the second position and was trying to take over, but Mo Donegal came up from fifth place and began overtaking his competitors with a strong push toward the end.
“I’m always going to be Mike from Queens,” Repole said. “This is New York’s biggest race, and to win it here, with family, friends, I’m sort of overwhelmed.”
Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike finished sixth. This is the first time ever that three different horses have won the Triple Crown races in four consecutive years.
Belmont Stakes results, payouts
6 – Mo Donegal WIN: $ 7.20 PLACE: $ 3.80 SHOW: $ 3.00
3 – Nest PLACE: $ 5.30 SHOW: $ 4.10
2 – Skippylongstocking SHOW: $ 5.60
$ 2.00 Exacta 6-3 $ 27.60
$ 1.00 Trifecta 6-3-2 $ 187.50
$ 1.00 Superfecta 6-3-2-1 $ 692.00
Belmont Stakes order of finish
- Mo Donegal
- We the People
- Creative Minister
- Rich Strike
- Barber Road
- Golden Glider