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.
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.
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.