ELMONT, NY – To conclude a Triple Crown season that has been full of drama and surprises, Sir Winston picked up the final jewel when he won Saturday’s $1.5 million Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) at Belmont Park. This was the only race of the Triple Crown for Sir Winston as well as his first career graded stakes win.
It was a clean break for the entire field but Jovia on the inside broke best and went straight to the front to be joined by Tax who sat close by on his outside. War of Will also broke well from the outside and shot toward the front to sit just off of the leaders as they went into the first turn.
Into the backstretch, Jovia held sole possession of the lead with Tax about a half-length back on his outside followed by Spinoff and War of Will. Back a few more sat Everfast followed by the 9-5 post-time favorite Tacitus, and then Sir Winston, Bourbon War, and Intrepid Heart at the rear.
Jovia on the front end controlled the pace and set fractions of :23.92, :48.79, and 1:13.54.
Photo Credit: NYRA | Adam Mooshian
As they approached the second turn, for the first time in the race Jovia began to face pressure for the lead. Tacitus moved up four-wide from mid-pack to join War of Will and Tax as they forced Jovia into action. At the same time, Sir Winston who up to this point had sat near the rear, remained patient as he moved in along the rail just in behind the leader Jovia. As they were coming around the turn, a hole opened up just outside of Tax and Sir Winston sprung into action at the urging of jockey Joel Rosario. By the top of the stretch, it was Jovia on the inside joined by Tax and Sir Winston on his outside with War of Will and Tacitus close behind.
Without a horse to slow him down, Sir Winston shot to the front and never looked back. He cruised right past Tax and continued on by Jovia as he crossed the finish line a length in front as the 151st champion of the Belmont Stakes with a final time of 2:28.30.
Photo Credit: NYRA Photo
Tacitius on the outside showed impressive late speed to get up for second. Jovia continued on to finish third and was followed closely by Tax in fourth. Master Fencer was fifth. The remaining order of finish was Spinoff, Everfast, Intrepid Heart, War of Will, Bourbon War.
“He’s a very nice horse and you have to let him do this thing. I’m really happy,” said jockey Joel Rosario. “It seemed like he didn’t mind [being] inside. I just took my time with him. For the distance, he broke very good. Today, he was a little closer, so I let him be where he was comfortable.”
Sir Winston, a three-year-old son of Awesome Again, is bred and owned by Tracy Farmer and trained by Mark Casse. His win today in the Belmont Stakes marked his third career win in nine starts and his first win since December. His best finish of the year was his second place finish last time out in the G2 Peter Pan Stakes.
“He’s an amazing little horse. If at this time last year, if you had asked me to rate our top-20 2-year-olds, he would have been about 16th or 17th. But I’m very proud of him because he’s kind of what our operation represents, and that is I feel like we develop horses,” trainer Mark Casse said. “I have this philosophy. I start every horse out thinking that they are going to win the Kentucky Derby, or the Oaks. That’s what I do. And I will try different surfaces; I will try different methods. With a horse like Sir Winston, you know, it paid off there.”
Sir Winston returned $22.40 to win, $8.80 to place, and $6.10 to show. Tacitus brought back $3.90 to place and $3.20 to show, while Jovia paid $8.20 to show. The $2 exacta paid $96, the $1 trifecta $1,244, and the $1 superfecta $10,428.