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09 June 2024

Unheralded Dornoch springs Belmont Stakes surprise

09 June 2024

Dornoch stayed on strongly from his prominent position to cause a shock in the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga.

Both Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan and Preakness scorer Seize The Grey were amongst the 10-strong field for the final leg of the US Triple Crown – which this year was run over two furlongs less than its usual mile-and-a-half distance while Belmont Park is redeveloped.

However, neither of those prior victors could land a blow as Danny Gargan’s game son of Good Magic showed a willing attitude to hold off Todd Pletcher’s Mindframe in the hands of Luis Saez.

It was the biggest success of Gargan’s career and he told Bloodhorse.com: “You never think you’re going to be a kid from the south end of Louisville who wins this kind of race.

“Anybody who can win a Triple Crown race from where I grew up has to work their whole life to do it.”

The winner is co-owned by former Major League Baseball star Jayson Werth.

Werth tasted World Series success with the Philadelphia Phillies and cut a delighted figure as he reached the pinnacle of achievement in another sport.

He said: “I’ll put it up there with anything I’ve ever done.

“Horse racing is the most underrated sport there is. This is as big as it gets. It’s the same emotions you feel when you play a play-off game, when you win a World Series game and arguably when you win a World Series.”

The Coolmore partners’ Kentucky Derby runner-up Sierra Leone was a staying-on third and beaten only a length and a half, having had plenty of ground to make up entering the home straight.

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