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.