Ruler On Ice Wins The Belmont Stakes
The upsets continued on the track as the 24-1 long shot, Ruler on Ice, won the 143rd Belmont Stakes. 20-1 Stay Thirsty and 15-1 Brilliant Speed round out the podium in a very strange season of the Triple Crown.
Morning line favorite and Kentucky Derby champion, Animal Kingdom, couldn't overcome a bad start on the wet track today and Preakness champion, Shackleford, just ran out of steam in what has been a year of long shots taking the cake at each of the Triple Crown races. Animal Kingdom was the first to do so as a 20-1 long shot to win the Kentucky Derby and after donning the roses, set off to be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. However, carrying 2-1 odds at the Preakness, he placed behind a 12-1 underdog in Shackleford. Over 55 thousand showed up to the Belmont today to see the highly anticipated re-match of the two that never really came to head.
For the last three years, a long shot has won the Belmont Stakes. Drosselmeyer at 13-1, Summer Bird at 11-1 and Da' Tara the 38-1 horse have all made our jaws drop at Belmont. Ol' Monte and his boys figured a favorite was due! We headed down to the OTB to place a few dollars down on the 5-2 Animal Kingdom and we did an Exacta Box with the 9-2 Shackleford. Gripping our $4.00 9/12 tickets, we felt our hearts break from the moment we heard "and they're off!"
Animal Kingdom was cut off by Prime Cut at the start of the race and bumped Mucho Macho Man before he clipped Monzon, which almost sent Kingdom's jockey, John Velazquez, off the horse. By the time Velazquez re-set himself, Animal Kingdom sat in last place. Shackleford showed promise as he led the 12 horse field coming down the home stretch but tired quickly. The Belmont being a longer track with a 1.5 mile distance and the mud was just too much for the Preakness champ and Ruler on Ice and Stay Thirsty sailed on by. Brilliant Speed lived up to his name by sneaking up as well as we all saw Shackleford quickly fade to a fifth place finish. Animal Kingdom did mount a small comeback and finished in sixth, quite impresses for a horse that was once 13 lengths off of the lead.
Credit Ruler on Ice for the 2 minute and 30 second victory and a hefty pay out as well. Two dollars to win on Ruler paid out $51.50 while $19.40 went to Stay Thirsty to show and $7.90 for Brilliant Speed showing. The Exacta a whopping $928 and if you got in on the Trifecta correctly, you're probably over $8,600 richer. I've already ripped up my $4 losers. Appears my boy Joe bet five large, and it appears to be a pink bill. Hmmm. How did you do on the race today? Win enough to take mom out to breakfast in the AM?