Sir Winston is the gutsy winner of the 2019 Belmont Stakes.
As many expected, Mark Casse was the trainer of the first place finisher. But it wasn’t second favorite Preakness winner War of Will as many anticipated. It was Casse’s other entrant, longshot Sir Winston, who crossed the finish line first and ended up in the winner’s circle.
Backers of the son of top sire Awesome Again took home— $22.40-$8.80-$6.10 — for win, place and show for each $2.00 wagered. The winner was assisted by a ground saving journey mostly along the rail under Joel Rosario to report home first in the 1 1/2 mile “Test of Champions.”
War of Will was the only horse to make appearances in all three Triple Crown events of 2019. It clearly took something out of him. His wide trip didn’t help matters on Saturday. 9/5 heavy favorite Tacitus also raced off the inside throughout, lacking sufficient late energy to overtake the winner, finishing second. War of Will was a disappointing ninth, beating only Bourbon War.
Rosario, aboard Sir Winston for only the second time told NBC on the way back to the winners’ circle”
“He’s a nice horse and he did the job.”
The victory makes Casse winner of two legs of the Triple Crown, with two different horses.
For the complete Belmont Stakes chart click here.
Mitole Scores in Contentious Met Mile
The Belmont Stakes undercard featuring seven top-level races did not disappoint with Mitole — ($9.00-$4.40-$$3.50) — digging in stoutly to garner the winners’ share of the $1.2 million purse in the Metropolitan Handicap, better known as the Met Mile.
Mitole is now the winner of seven straight but this is his first triumph at a mile. He’s part of the powerful Steve Asmussen barn and, as usual, the Hall of Fame trainer put his regular rider Ricardo Santana, Jr. in the irons. Mitole was just a 3/4 of a length better than favorite McKinzie, who was a neck ahead of Thunder Snow in third.
Jockey Mike Smith reserved 7/5 public choice McKinzie off the hot pace but failed to shake free from heavy traffic along the rail until the final 100 yards, too late to collar Mitole. The final time is a sparkling 1:32.75 for the one-turn event.
Next Stop Haskell at Monmouth or Travers at Saratoga
The 2019 Triple Crown is now history. Three different winners at the three different venues — Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Belmont and the three different distances 1 1/4 mile, 1 3/16 mile and 1 1/2 mile. Country House the Kentucky Derby winner via disqualification is just now resuming training after his Derby win and a brief training respite.
War of Will, the Preakness winner, is expected at Saratoga in Upstate New York for the Travers on Aug. 24. Maximum Security the first place finisher at Churchill Downs, set down for interference, is training at Monmouth and is likely to run in the Haskell Stakes on July 20 at the Oceanport, New Jersey oval.