Sir Winston wins the 2019 Belmont Stakes

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Sir Winston, jockeyed by Joel Rosario and trained by Mark Casse, won the 151st Belmont Stakes after swinging around Joevia and Tax down the homestretch.

The Kentucky-bred horse began on the rail before skirting in front of stablemate War of Will. Once out to the far right, he ate up the distance between him and the two pace setters. Tacitus, the 9/5 favorite, had his comeback attempt foiled and finished second.

Full results from the 2019 Belmont Stakes

This is Casse’s second Triple Crown win of the year and his first Belmont win ever. Rosario previously won the Belmont with Tonalist in 2014. Casse also ran Preakness winner War of Will, who finished 9th. This is Sir Winston’s Triple Crown debut, but Rosario rode Everfast to a surprising second place finish in the Preakness. (Everfast ran 7th in the Belmont with jockey Luis Saez.)

The only horse to run in all three Triple Crown races, War of Will ran a disappointing 9th just three weeks after his Preakness win in Baltimore.

Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher ran two horses: Spinoff (6th) and Intrepid Heart (8th).

One year removed from his Triple Crown victory aboard Justify, Mike Smith rode Bourbon War for the first time, but the pair fell to the back early in the race and never recovered, finishing dead last.

Watch Larry Collmus call the 151st Belmont Stakes

The 1 1/2 mile-long (12 furlongs) “Test of the Champions” closed out one of the most dramatic Triple Crowns in recent memory.

Five weeks ago, Maximum Security crossed the wire first at Churchill Downs. About 22 minutes later, the second place finisher Country House was declared the winner of the 145th Kentucky Derby after track stewards ruled Maximum Security had impeded the forward motion of several horses. For the first time ever, the Kentucky Derby winner was disqualified on site.

In the days following, Maximum Security’s team announced they would rest the colt with no shot at a Triple Crown, and Country House’s training team scratched him from the Preakness because of a cough and potential burgeoning illness.

Without the disqualified winner and the official winner in contention, the 144th Preakness Stakes seemed to go off without a hitch until Bodexpress ditched jockey John Velazquez right out of the gate. The riderless No. 9 horse kept pace with the pack and even kept running after the race ended before being caught by outrider and former jockey Kaymarie Kreidel.

Somewhat slighted by the Bodexpress drama, Mark Casse’s War of Will shot past pace-setting Warrior’s Charge down the homestretch to win the 2019 Preakness Stakes. The win was especially sweet since War of Will was the horse most impacted by Maximum Security in the Derby.

Higher Power wins $1M Pacific Classic

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DEL MAR, Calif. — With his top two horses elsewhere, John Sadler took a chance with a couple others in his barn.

Higher Power paid off.

The 4-year-old colt took command turning into the stretch and won the $1 million Pacific Classic by 5 1/4 lengths at Del Mar on Saturday, making Sadler the first trainer to win the Grade 1 race in consecutive years with different horses.

“The second time is just as sweet,” Sadler said.

In 2018, Accelerate ended Sadler’s 0-for-11 skid with a record 12 1/2-length victory in the West’s biggest race of the summer. Owner-brothers Kosta and Pete Hronis joined Sadler with consecutive victories.

“Winning it back to back is a tribute to John Sadler,” Kosta Hronis said.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Higher Power ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.43 at the seaside track north of San Diego. Sent off at 9-1 odds, the colt paid $21.20, $9.40 and $7.40.

“When we entered the backside he really grabbed the bit and I was travelling really well,” Prat said. “Once the leader fell apart he really jumped into the bridle and did everything on his own, so I thought that was the right move.”

Draft Pick returned $17.40 and $10 at 13-1 odds. Mongolian Groom was another neck back in third and paid $7.20 to show at 18-1 odds.

Higher Power earned an automatic berth in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita this fall.

Seeking the Soul, the 2-1 favorite, finished seventh.

“He didn’t try at all,” jockey John Velazquez said. “No effort. I don’t get it.”

Sadler’s top two handicap horses, Gift Box and Catalina Cruiser, weren’t in the picture. Gift Box won’t run again until this fall and Catalina Cruiser is tabbed to run next in a sprint race.

Not seeing a dominant horse in the race, Sadler entered Higher Power. The colt responded with the first stakes win of his career.

“It developed pretty much the way we thought,” he said. “We thought there would be some speed on the inside and the plan was to stalk. It came out the way we thought it would.”

Sadler’s other entry, Campaign, finished fifth.

The victory, worth $600,000, increased Higher Power’s career earnings to $800,648, with five wins in 13 starts.

Sadler didn’t get Higher Power in his barn until spring. The colt was with another trainer for the first six starts of his career and then transferred to a different trainer.

In other stakes:

– Acclimate won the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap by a length under Florent Geroux. The 5-year-old brown gelding earned an automatic berth in the BC Turf.

Trained by Phil D’Amato, Acclimate ran 1 3/8 miles on turf in 2:12.71 and paid $16.60 to win at 7-1 odds.

– Cambier Parc shipped in from New York and won the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks by 1 1/4 lengths for trainer Chad Brown.

Ridden by Velazquez, the 3-year-old filly ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.75. She paid $4.40 as the 6-5 favorite.

– Fighting Mad cruised to an eight-length victory in the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes.

Ridden by Joe Talamo, the 3-year-old filly ran one mile in 1:38.61. Fighting Mad paid $6.60 as the 2-1 favorite trained by Bob Baffert. She’s owned by Gary and Mary West, owners of Maximum Security, disqualified after finishing first in the Kentucky Derby.

– Mr Vargas won the $100,000 Green Flash Handicap by 2 1/4 lengths.

The 5-year-old gelding ran five furlongs on turf in 56.15 seconds under Talamo. Mr Vargas paid $8.40 to win for trainer Brian Koriner.

Horologist upsets Jaywalk in Monmouth Oaks

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OCEANPORT, N.J. — Horologist upset Jaywalk, last year’s juvenile filly champion, in the $162,500 Monmouth Oaks on Saturday.

As expected, 1-5 favorite Jaywalk set the pace until Horologist made a strong run along the rail on the final turn. She slipped by to win by three quarters of a length in the stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Monmouth Park.

Horologist, bred in New Jersey, won for the fifth time in 10 starts for trainer John Mazza. Mazza said he was confident his horse would run a “bang-up race,” but he didn’t know it would be enough to beat a “champion like Jaywalk.”

Angel Suarez was aboard for the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.44.

Jaywalk was coming off a nine-length win in the Delaware Oaks last month. She closed out last season by winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies to clinch the Eclipse Award.

Horologist – whose name refers to a maker or dealer of timepieces – paid 12.80, $3.40 and $2.10 as the 5-1 second choice in the five-horse field.

Jaywalk returned $2.10 and $2.10. Sweet Sami D paid $2.10 to show, and was followed by Lady Banba and Stay Smart.