In U.S. horse racing, Preakness winner Afleet Alex won the third jewel of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, in New York Saturday. Afleet Alex sprinted away from the field late in the 2.4 kilometer race to take his second Triple Crown victory.
Afleet Alex, with Jeremy Rose astride, hung back in the pack until the final turn. But the 6-5 favorite then broke away and finished more than six lengths ahead of Andromeda's Hero. Nolan's Cat, running in his first Triple Crown race, finished third. NBC's Tom Dirkin had the race call: "Afleet Alex opening up with a tremendous burst of energy! He five-lengths clear at the eight pole. Andromeda's Hero has now moved into second. Southern Africa third. Giacomo has faded. Nolan's Cat. A compelling performance by the plucky Afleet Alex,"
Three weeks ago, Afleet Alex nearly fell but recovered to win the Preakness in Baltimore, Maryland. However, because he finished third in the Kentucky Derby, Afleet Alex could not take the Triple Crown. Jeremy Rose said that Saturday's win should silence the critics who said that Afleet Alex was not capable of running the Triple Crown races.
"It's awesome. And now all the critics can be silenced. He's won at five-lengths up to a mile-and-a-half. He's done everything that anyone ever asked him. He should be a Triple Crown winner. But I messed up or whatever. I feel bad that he's not. But at least we got it done," he said.
Afleet Alex is now the 29th horse to win both the Preakness and the Belmont. No horse has won all three races, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes since Affirmed did it in 1978.