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Long shot Dornoch fends off Mindframe, Sierra Leone in unique running of Belmont Stakes

Dornoch, at 17-1 odds, hit the line first on Saturday night to win a unique 2024 edition of the Belmont Stakes.

Trained by Danny Gargan and ridden by Luis Saez, Dornoch emerged from post position 6 to claim the final race of horse racing’s Triple Crown season.

Dornoch’s victory came in a much different Belmont Stakes than usual.

With Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, out of action due to ongoing renovations, this year’s Grade 1, $2 million Belmont Stakes took place at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.

And because of the configuration of Saratoga’s main track, this year’s 156th edition of the Belmont Stakes was run at 1 1/4 miles (the same distance as the Kentucky Derby) instead of the usual 1 1/2 miles at Belmont Park.

Dornoch is now 4-2-0 in eight career starts and improves to 2-0-0 in four starts this year. Dornoch ran 10th in the Kentucky Derby, his most recent race prior to Saturday. Dornoch broke from post position 1, the furthest inside post, in the Derby.

The winning time for the 2024 Belmont Stakes was 2:01.64.

Luis Saez guides Dornoch, right, leads Mindframe and Irad Ortiz Jr. during the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Luis Saez guides Dornoch, right, leads Mindframe and Irad Ortiz Jr. during the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

The colt delivered Gargan his first victory in a Triple Crown race.

Saez, Dornoch’s jockey, now has a pair of Belmont Stakes victories: He also won the 2021 Belmont Stakes with Essential Quality.

Former MLB outfielder Jayson Werth has an ownership stake in Dornoch, who is a brother of 2023 Kentucky Derby winner Mage.

Mindframe, the lightly raced Todd Pletcher trainee, finished second. Sierra Leone — who ran second in the Kentucky Derby and was part of a historic three-way photo finish in that race — ran third in the Belmont Stakes.

Sierra Leone was the 8-5 race favorite at post time. That horse was also installed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite earlier this week.

Honor Marie came in fourth.

Fractions from the Belmont Stakes included the opening quarter-mile being run in 22.99 seconds, the opening half-mile being run in 47.25 seconds and the opening three quarters of a mile being run in 1:10.67.

A $0.10 superfecta placed on Dornoch, Mindframe, Sierra Leone and Honor Marie yielded $320.05.

The previous Triple Crown winners this year — Mystik Dan (Kentucky Derby) and Seize the Grey (Preakness Stakes) — both finished out of the money in the Belmont.

Mystik Dan ran eighth as he became the only horse in 2024 to run in all three Triple Crown races.

Seize the Grey, who went wire-to-wire in his Preakness Stakes win, set most of the early pace in this year’s Belmont before fading to a seventh-place finish.

The other runners in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes were Antiquarian (fifth), Protective (sixth), The Wine Steward (ninth) and Resilience (10th).

This marks the sixth straight year in which three horses each won a Triple Crown race, the longest such stretch since 1924-29.

The last time a horse won multiple Triple Crown races in the same year was 2018, when Justify became the 13th horse to claim the Triple Crown.

Luis Saez Jr. celebrates winning the Belmont Stakes aboard Dornoch at Saratoga Race Course.
Luis Saez Jr. celebrates winning the Belmont Stakes aboard Dornoch at Saratoga Race Course.

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