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Dornoch pulls off upset win at the Belmont Stakes

Dornoch, (6), with Luis Saez up, crosses the finish line ahead of Mindframe (10), with Irad Ortiz Jr. up, to win the 156th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Julie Jacobson/AP
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AP
Dornoch, (6), with Luis Saez up, crosses the finish line ahead of Mindframe (10), with Irad Ortiz Jr. up, to win the 156th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Updated June 08, 2024 at 20:23 PM ET

In a surprise finish, Dornoch won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Among a stacked field, the odds were not in favor of the horse at 17-1.

The win gives jockey Luis Saez his second Belmont Stakes victory and trainer Danny Gargan his first.

Despite the colt’s recent poor starts, Dornoch’s team wasn’t ready to quit on him.

“No one believed in this horse,” trainer Gargan told Fox Sports in the post-race broadcast. “Those last two races are throw-outs. I told Luis you run your race, nobody’s going to beat you.”

In April’s Blue Grass race, the horse looked to be the one to beat but finished fourth after losing to the other one to beat, Sierra Leone.

The following month at the Kentucky Derby, the horse started out at a disadvantage by drawing the No. 1 post position, ending the race in the middle of the field at 10th place.

"When I rode this horse here at Saratoga last year, I told Danny he had the Derby winner," Saez said. "Unfortunately, the Derby is a crazy race, but we had a good trip today."

Ahead of Saturday's race, Sierra Leone, who took second at this year's Kentucky Derby, was favored to win, followed by Preakness winner Seize the Grey and Mindframe, according to Fan Duel Sportsbook odds.

A changed Stakes

The last leg of the Triple Crown looked a little different this year.

For one, the Belmont Stakes was moved to the Saratoga race track, more than three hours' drive north of its traditional venue at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The historic Elmont racetrack is undergoing a near-half-billion dollar renovation and is set to welcome back the horse race in 2026.

Also, the purse was bigger, having grown from $1.5 million last year to $2 million. After the prize money has been divvied up among the top finishers, a payout of about $1.2 million will go to the first-place winner.

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