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2012 Belmont Stakes: Union Rags Edges Paynter To Win The Belmont Stakes

Union Rags Belmont Finish
Alex Trautwig, Getty Images

Union Rags used a late surge to win the 144th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in New York on Saturday. With jockey John Velazquez aboard, Union Rags came from behind to beat Paynter, who had led the field from the mile-and-a-half race’s start. Atigun finished third in the final leg of U.S. thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.

The excitement around the race was lessened when Doug O’Neill, trainer of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another, announced his horse would not compete at the Belmont because of a tendon injury. By withdrawing from the Belmont, I’ll Have Another missed his chance to become just the 12th horse in history to win the Triple Crown and the first since Affirmed in 1978.

The victory in the Belmont earned Union Rags $600,000, the winner’s share of the $1 million purse. Trained by Michael Matz, Union Rags finished a distant seventh in the Kentucky Derby.

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