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No Triple Crown for 'Funny Cide'


Horse racing fans will have to wait at least another year for the chance to see a Triple Crown winner.

Constant rain Saturday made conditions quite sloppy at the track. The mud and cool temperatures helped to throw Funny Cide off his stride as he ran against five other horses.

Empire Maker was able to slice through puddles of standing water and claim the Belmont Stakes, the third jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown. Funny Cide placed third behind Ten Most Wanted.

Empire maker and jockey Jerry Bailey covered the more than 2.4 kilometers in two minutes, 28 seconds. The run around the huge oval was the longest of the three races. Bailey said Empire Maker just kept going faster. "You could not believe the deafening roar of this crowd when we turned for home. And he threw his ears in the air and kind of went into second gear and waited for Ten Most Wanted. But then he kind of accelerated again," he said. "He is the best three-year-old I have ever been on and I think he will prove as the year goes on he is a really great horse in himself."

Empire Maker had been the early favorite for the Triple Crown, but placed second to Funny Cide with a sore foot at the Kentucky Derby, and then skipped the Preakness.

The last horse to win the elusive title was Affirmed in 1978, and only 11 horses have been able to win all three races.

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