Belmont Stakes 2012: Union Rags Passes Paynter Late For Win

I'll Have Another, the winner of this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, will not run in the Belmont Stakes, according to his trainer.

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2012 Belmont Stakes: Hall Of Fame Jockey Reacts To Victory

The people behind 2012 Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags will always the pull-out of potential Triple Crown winner I'll Have Another hanging over their title, but that didn't dampen their spirits after a race that was nonetheless thrilling. Union Rags, who skipped the Preakness after a seventh place finish in the Kentucky Derby, came from behind to overtake Paynter, who was one of the favorites going into the race.

Union Rags was manned by jockey John Velazquez, a racing Hall of Fame jockey who won the Belmont in 2007 atop Rags to Riches. After the race, Velazquez expressed how impressed and proud he was of his horse:

"I have to give it to the horse. He did it all for me. He just worked so unbelievable and I was just hoping he could put that work into today's race and he did," said Velazquez. "I was very proud of him."

(via ESPN)

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more, check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find a A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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Belmont Results 2012: Union Rags Closes Late For Win

Although this edition of the Belmont Stakes was overshadowed by the fact that Triple Crown threat I'll Have Another was a late scratch from the race, it didn't take away from the quality of the race. Union Rags pulled off a thrilling victory, closing on Paynter down the stretch to steal the Belmont right at the finish line.

Paynter led nearly the entire race, but couldn't hold off Union Rags, who emerged from the middle of the pack to make a late push in the latter half of the race. Despite the strong finish, the race wasn't decided until the finish line, where Union Rags narrowly edged Paynter by a nose.

With the second place finish by Paynter, Bob Baffert completed a rare feat, as he trained the second-place finisher in each of the three Triple Crown races. It was Bodemeister that saw his lead vanish down the stretch to I'll Have Another in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more, check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find a A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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Belmont Stakes 2012: Post Time, Live Stream, Odds And More

The 2012 Belmont Stakes was slated to be the biggest day in horse racing in recent memory, with I'll Have Another going for the sport's first Triple Crown since the 1970s. But I'll Have Another's trainers decided to pull the horse out of today's race due to a leg injury, rendering the Belmont to merely just another race. For the sport, it's a huge disappointment, but for the other favorites in the race— horses like Paynter and Dullahan— it represents a huge opportunity for both fame and fortune.

Here are post positions and odds for today's race:

1. Street Life, 8/1
2. Unstoppable U, 20/1
3. Union Rags, 3/1
4. Atigun, 15/1
5. Dullahan, 9/5
6. Ravelo's Boy, 30/1
7. Five Sixteen, 30/1
8. Guyana Star Dweej, 30/1
9. Paynter, 7/2
10. Optimizer, 15/1
11. I'll Have Another
12. My Adonis, 15/1

Race date/post time: Saturday, June 9, 5:30 p.m. CT

Race location: Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y.

TV: NBC

Streaming: belmontstakes.com

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more, check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find a A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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Belmont Stakes 2012: I'll Have Another's Day Off (Video)

I'll Have Another has been scratched from the 2012 Belmont Stakes because of an injury, which means horse racing's Triple Crown drought will extend for at least one more year. I'll Have Another's absence creates plenty of questions heading into the Stakes, including this one from SB Nation Studios: what would I'll Have Another -- and some other prominent horses -- do with a day off?

In the amusing video below, I'll Have Another and several other Belmont Stakes contenders cut loose in New York City and try to forget about the injury that ended I'll Have Another's promising run.

Related: I'll Have Another Officially Out Of 2012 Belmont Stakes, Says Trainer Doug O'Neill

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more, check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There you'll also find a A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Belmont Stakes 2012: SB Nation Examines I'll Have Another's Retirement

On Friday, I'll Have Another trainer Doug O'Neill announced that the horse would not run in the 2012 Belmont Stakes and pass up on a coveted opportunity to complete the Triple Crown. SB Nation studios has been providing plenty of race coverage this week, and they've also analyzed the surprising retirement of I'll Have Another and what it might mean for Saturday's race.

In the video playlist below, SB Nation takes you to Belmont and examines some of the challenges riders and horses face at the track. And SB Nation horse racing expert Matt Gardner discusses how I'll Have Another's absence might affect the odds.

Related: I'll Have Another Officially Out Of 2012 Belmont Stakes, Says Trainer Doug O'Neill

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more, check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find a A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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I'll Have Another Officially Out Of 2012 Belmont Stakes, Says Trainer Doug O'Neill

Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another is officially out of the 2012 Belmont Stakes, according to his trainer. Doug O'Neill announced "I'll Have Another is officially out of the Belmont" on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday morning. The New York Racing Association has scheduled a press conference for 12 p.m. CT. Here is the confirmation via the Dan Patrick Show Twitter account:

Dullahan is set to benefit from the most for this development, but NBC executives and horse racing fans everywhere are likely devastated by the news that Triple Crown hopes have been dashed before the race ever starts.

Belmontentries_medium

For more, check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find a A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary ofhorse racing terms.

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Belmont Stakes 2012: I'll Have Another Takes 11th Post Position

The Belmont Stakes is the longest of the three Triple Crown races, and as such starting position is seen as slightly less important than it is in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness. That said, every inch counts, and no jockey wants to start on the outside. Unfortunately for the team behind potential Triple Crown winner I'll Have Another, that's exactly where they will start.

In today's post position drawing for the 2012 Belmont Stakes, I'll Have Another drew the 11th position, which is the second furthest away from the rail. Dullahan, who is thought to be his biggest challenger, drew a solid spot at No. 5.

Here is the full list of the post positions:

  1. Street Life
  2. Unstoppable U
  3. Union Rags
  4. Atigun
  5. Dullahan
  6. Ravelo's Boy
  7. Five Sixteen
  8. Guyana Star Dweej
  9. Paynter
  10. Optimizer
  11. I'll Have Another
  12. My Adonis

For more on the Preakness Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find a A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.


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Belmont Stakes 2012: Detention Barn Causing Friction

The 2012 Belmont Stakes is getting plenty of attention with I'll Have Another's Triple Crown title hanging in the balance, and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board has taken additional steps to make sure the race is a clean one. That doesn't mean the race will be short on controversy. A strict drug enforcement policy has spawned a rule requiring all participating horses to spend the final three days before the running of the Belmont Stakes in a so-called detention barn.

Dale Romans, Dullahan's trainer, thinks the New York Racing Association has gone too far with the ruling:

"[The New York State Racing and Wagering Board] thinks we're all crooks," said Romans. "[Horses] are not cars that you can just go and move from one garage to the next.

(via the Associated Press).

In other news, the New York Racing Association announced Belmont runners will receive an exclusive training window from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. ET in addition to the regular training times as of Friday, after I'll Have Another nearly got clipped by a loose horse on Thursday.

For more on the Preakness Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find a A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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2012 Belmont Stakes: I'll Have Another Narrowly Avoids Training Disaster

I'll Have Another is the star of the 2012 Belmont Stakes because a Triple Crown title is within reach, so when a loose horse nearly clipped I'll Have Another during a training session on Thursday everyone held their breath. The Triple Crown hopeful has an interesting morning routine as it is, but this time a serious injury was narrowly avoided. A three-year old filly named Isleta dumped her rider and sprinted along the inside rail during training, but merely clipped the boots of exercise rider Jonny Garcia and did not injure I'll Have Another, according to an Associated Press report.

After the incident, the New York Racing Association announced Belmont runners will receive an exclusive training window from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. ET in addition to the regular training times as of Friday.

For more on the world of horse racing, visit And Down The Stretch They Come and stay tuned to the SB Nation StoryStream.

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2012 Belmont Stakes: With Triple Crown Hopes, NBC Looks For Big TV Ratings

The 2012 Belmont Stakes took on extra significance when I'll Have Another won the Preakness and claimed the first two legs of the Triple Crown, and now NBC is hoping to cash in with big TV ratings. Michael Hiestand of USA Today broke down the numbers and without a Triple Crown candidate the Belmont Stakes broadcast has only reached an average of 4 percent of US households, while the four races where the winner would win the Triple Crown since 1978 have extended to an average of 10.1 percent of households.

That second number is higher than some NFL games and marks a huge boon for NBC, so the network is planning on over six hours of coverage for race day. For more on I'll Take Another, be sure to check out an interesting story about his morning routine.

For more on the world of horse racing, visit And Down The Stretch They Come and stay tuned to the SB Nation StoryStream.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Belmont Stakes 2012: I'll Have Another's Trainer Faces Scrutiny Over Drugs

It is no secret that drugs are a problem in horse racing, and as the sport gears up fo a potentially historic Belmont Stakes, a question about drugs is threatening to hang over the moment like a dark cloud. I'll Have Another trainer Doug O'Neill is currently in the midst of what is surely the high point of his professional career, but this weekend he was forced to answer questions about potential penalties stemming from allegations that he has drugged horses in the past.

O'Neill has been accused in California of "milkshaking," the term for an illegal mixture of drugs that contains bicarbonate of soda, sugar and electrolytes. The blend supposedly reduces fatigue in horses and increases performance. Argenta, a horse trained by O'Neill, tested positive for the blend on Aug. 25, 2010, and it's possible that O'Neill could be fined or suspended, although any penalty will assuredly come after the Belmont.

O'Neill, who has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that California's drug testing program is flawed, denies the accusations:

"I swear on my kids' eyes I never milkshaked a horse," O'Neill said nine days before the Preakness. "We had some people in charge of California racing I think didn't like a few of us that were doing well. Anyway, it's all being heard by the courts and I'm very confident everything will be fine."

(via SI.com)

For more on the Belmont Stakes stick with SB Nation Chicago or check out SBNation.com.

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Triple Crown 2012: Bodemeister Won't Race In Belmont Stakes

Bodemeister, the runner-up in this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes races, is expected to sit out the final leg of the Triple Crown.

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