Mo Donegal Belmont and Rich’s Strike finishes sixth

Mo Donegal won the 154th Belmont Stakes on Saturday, giving captain Todd Pletcher one two-goal at the Stable Nest in the 1 1/2 mile event, as Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike finished sixth.

Pletcher claimed his fourth Beaumont triumph after Rags Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2007.

For the fifth time in the Kentucky Derby, Mo Donegal went off as the 5-2 favorite when Irad Ortiz left the jail.

In an untimely pace, he rushed into us, unable to win the People and the Stretch.

Nest fillly, rode away from Irad’s brother Jose Ortiz, stumbles out of the gate, but is also locked up to go ahead with another giant Skippylongstocking.

“We were really fascinated by the way the horses were in training,” said Pletcher. “Yes, it was sort of deja vu when I next encountered, but I recovered and got in good condition and I both rode the entire road a great trip.”

The conciliation movement was for Mike Repole, a resident of New York, who co-owns both Mo Donegal and Nest.

“This is my derby,” Repole said. “This was the dream that I had for forty years ago. This is the biggest goal I have had in my career, and I have just finished running one and two.

“I used to drop out of school and it made me hung up. I’m a $20 bet and you had to pay a lot of pressure with my parents. I’m always going to be Mike Queens. This is New York’s biggest race and you win here, with family and friends 70 people here, this will be great the circle of the conqueror.’

We National, a US-founded French trainer Rodolphe Brisset, and riding French jockey Flavien Prat, broke from the front door sharply and pulled it about a mile before the finish line.

Rich Strikes, who ran the world with an 80-1 Kentucky Derby victory to get stunned by a long throw, could not regain the magic.

After breaking in fourth on the field when Venezuelan Sonny Leon was killed again, Rich hit the field for the first time and unlike at Churchill Downs five weeks ago could not find a way to finish sixth.

“I think we made a mistake by not putting him on the fence,” trainer Eric Reed said of the decision not to have Leo Rich hit the rail, hoping for “a good job to give him an open run where he could take it.”

Rich said Strike “isn’t aggressive” runs in the middle of the track and never gets into slow motion.

“I think we made a tactical mistake,” Reed said. “We need to teach him how to run around horses.”

After being beaten in the Kentucky Derby, Rich was hit in the Preakness Stakes, and was heavily favored by the Early Vote compared to Epicenter, neither of which ran against Belmont.


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